The Wandering Desert Monk

The Wandering Desert Monk

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Do you know the reality of Christ in you?

There is a challenging teaching of the Christian faith: “Christ in you the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). Who is the Christ in you? It is the risen Christ. What does it mean to have the risen Christ living in us? It means that the Spirit that raised him from the dead forms his life in us. Before we breathed the life of the Spirit, we had no interest in God or the things that concern spiritual issues. We were consumed by our own desires and will. When the living Christ is in us we become obsessed with doing the will of the Father just as Jesus was when he walked the earth in order that we might reflect the glory of the Father. – Ron Friesen

Monday, April 29, 2013

Jesus invites us…

Have you noticed how often Jesus begins his commands to do his work with an “if.” For example, “Then he (Jesus) told all of them, "If anyone wants to come with me, he must deny himself, pick up his cross every day, and follow me continuously” (Luke 9:23). Jesus is much gentler than many preachers of his word. Jesus’ ministry is about making a choice born out of a free will. Be wary of those who tell you what you to do in spiritual matters. Jesus was an inviter not a dogmatist. – Ron Friesen

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Will we miss the Father today?

“Where can we see the Father?” asked the disciples of Jesus. “He is right here in front of you!” We make life so complicated. We think that there is some very profound answer to our search for God. If we are followers of Jesus, we know that we see the Father in Jesus. Yet we find this answer too easy. There must be more to the answer, we protest. Jesus sidesteps our protestations and moves onto those whose simple, child-like faith welcomes the Father found in him. Will we miss the Father today? – Ron Friesen

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Has your work become a burden?

How do you understand the work that you are doing? Is it your work or God’s work? Is it “my ministry” or God’s ministry? If you find your work no longer refreshing and filled with joyful anticipation, it is very likely that it has become your work and not God’s work. When we feel our work is a burden, we need to be reminded by the words of St. Paul: “We are God’s fellow workers…” (I Corinthians 3:9) When we join God’s work, we can relax understanding we are co-laborers with God. – Ron Friesen

Friday, April 26, 2013

Are you too busy for God?

Have you ever felt that God was asking too much of you? This is a normal human response when anyone asks something of us. For followers of Jesus, this question is a matter of spiritual maturity. First, maturing followers understand that God asks only one thing: Love me with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself. The activities or busyness that we believe God is calling us to do are outflows of this commandment. If we are weary of our work for God, we must ask ourselves if we have replaced our love for God with our work for God. – Ron Friesen

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Do you feel abandoned?

Have you felt misunderstood to the point of feeling abandoned by everyone around you? This is a common experience of the followers of Jesus. Even those who once seemed to be our strongest supports seem to leave us to stand alone. It is at this moment we learn the truth of the words of St. Paul: “…no one stood with me, but all left me….But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me…” (2 Timothy 4:16-17). You can focus on the first “but” – the “but” of human understanding – “I am all alone” or you can focus on the second, “but”. When we realize the power of the Lord’s “but”; we will realize that this presence is much more faithful and enduring than human applause or human encouragement. – Ron Friesen

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Once a child….

Spiritual growth to the full maturity of Jesus is not attained by small, daily moments of attention to God or one hour a week. It is tempting to think that we can take a day off from paying attention to the spiritual side of our lives. If we give into this temptation, we are on the slippery slope of denying that we are the children of God. No more than we can deny that we are sons and daughters of earthly parents can we deny that we are daily children of the Most High. Paying attention to growth to spiritual maturity is a moment-by-moment experience just as breathing is. – Ron Friesen

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

God is worried….

God often speaks to us about various areas of our lives that need correction or re-direction. It is easy to deflect God’s speaking with a “Oh, it is a little thing; it doesn’t really matter.”  Yet if God is speaking to us about a matter, it must be a big matter. The fact that our conscience or inner spirit is struggling means that there is still area of our life that must be surrendered to God. God only worries us about things that worry him. – Ron Friesen

Monday, April 22, 2013

Living for the Mountaintop?

Many people who follow Jesus find moments in their lives during which they experience a reality of God that is beyond description. It is common to call these moments, mountaintop experiences. Once you and I have one of these moments, we often live for the next one. Unfortunately, we spend our lives in the valley not on the mountaintop. The maturing follower of Jesus takes the reality of the mountaintop experience and lets it be fuel for making it through the valley of every day experience. It is not the experience we worship; it is the God who created the moment of the mountaintop. – Ron Friesen