Conscious Contact

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Step 11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

I had a Catholic friend tell me recently that I was sounding more Catholic these days, especially in a recent Catch where I talked about dealing with sin as a progression in our lives (see “Meeting sin head-on”). I love it when I hear that. I love it when Lutherans tell me I’m sounding more Lutheran, Baptists tell me I’m sounding more Baptist, Anglicans tell me I’m sounding more Anglican — you see where I’m going with this. (I’ve even had Mormons tell me I’m sounding more Mormon.) That’s because we all have the truth, the only difference being that each discipline emphasizes a certain part of the truth. So that if you are speaking the whole truth, you will be touching on all of them while sounding more like each one by the minute. Comments like that tell me I’m on the right track.

Speaking of Catholics, though, I think the twelve steps, at times, do sound rather Catholic. Like step 11 that emphasizes having constant contact with God. What with daily mass, continual confession of sins, and commitment to a sponsor (a priest?), Catholics do sound a lot like twelve steppers.

But today, however, I’m going to sound more like a Baptist when I talk about living and walking in the Word of God as a means of having constant contact with Him. I don’t think the Word of God is necessarily cumulative, as in, the knowledge of God grows as we stack more word upon word. The implication could be that you eventually don’t need the Word every day because you already know it. That is just not true. The Word of God, more than anything, is communication. We talk to God and God talks to us through the Scriptures. So if you want to have conscious contact with God, you need to take the Word of God with you and experience it in some way every day, if you can.

Arnold and I experienced God yesterday through the gospel of John, chapter 4, and the story of the woman at the well. We had actually started in John a few weeks ago when Arnold wanted to take a little side trip through the Book of Revelation. I have to admit that after beasts with seven heads, raining fire from heaven and multi-colored horsemen leaving a river of blood, talking with a Samaritan woman about water by a well is a bit of a let down. But then you encounter the joy of the Lord as He brings a Samaritan woman to belief in Him, and you start to share in His excitement.

“But I say, wake up and look around,” He told His disciples as He saw the whole town of Sychar making its way up to Him, their white turbans gleaming in the sun. “The fields are already ripe for harvest. The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike!” (John 4:35-36).

Jesus has just seen a woman forgiven and entering into eternal life out of one conversation with Him, and she’s so excited, she forgot her water jar and ran into her nearby village rounding up everyone who wanted to come see a man who told her everything she’d ever done. “Could he possibly be the Messiah?” His disciples try to get Jesus to eat some lunch, but He is so taken by the prospect of setting a woman, and potentially a whole town, free, that He tells them he has food to eat they know nothing of.

Note: This is part of the wonderful grace of Jesus as John records it in the first 4 chapters of his gospel. This may not be the actual order of events, but the order as John wants to tell it, and I believe it says something about the nature of the Messiah no one was expecting. His first miracle was to keep the wine flowing at a wedding (good wine, too!). His first convert was a Samaritan woman, divorced five times and currently living with a man she wasn’t married to (Jews considered Samaritans dogs), and his first healing was of the son of a Roman official (a gentile). This is going to be a wild ride.

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9 Responses to Conscious Contact

  1. Mark D Seguin says:

    Love this from Today’s reading: “His first convert was a Samaritan woman, divorced five times and currently living with a man she wasn’t married to (Jews considered Samaritans dogs), and his first healing was of the son of a Roman official (a gentile). This is going to be a wild ride.” I just love how Jesus was so very unconventional! ❤

    • Sandie says:

      Jesus was comfortable reaching out to the type of people that were shunned by the official ‘church’ (Judaism) at that time.He didn’t label them; he loved equally.That drove the Pharisees crazy! It is sad that these people are still being shunned today. It is sad that there are Pharisees in our churches today. They forget where they came from and that someone was used by God to lead them to grace. Hardened hearts look down on those they consider unworthy.How that must hurt Jesus. “The last shall be first, and the first shall be last.”

      • Mark D Seguin says:

        Like reading your post, Sandie… yet there are times, when I can allow myself to be honest I can be a Pharisee.

      • Sandie says:

        We all are guilty of that Mark. Over the years it has been less deliberate and more the ghost of my old nature rearing (or trying) to rear its ugly head. If I listen to the Spirit I can prevent it from becoming full-blown. I switch to prayer for the person or situation.It’s particularly hard for me because, long before I knew Jesus I was raised to think I was better than everyone else. I became addicted to the praise of others…it’s still a trap I can fall into. So these 12 Steps for the addict (which I am) are continually at work in me, in different ways, at different times.

  2. Jesus Aguilar says:

    Hi John, I am Jesus A. alcoholic that by the Grace of a Loving God I am sober today.
    What happened to Step 10? Did I miss it, or we are going to by pass this important step?
    Hope to get corrected and hear from you. Blessings

    • Mark D Seguin says:

      You’re right my brother in the Lord, Jesus I too don’t recall reading about Step 10…

      • Jesus Aguilar says:

        Good morning Mark, as I am reading the posts, now is you and our brother Tom that we are in the same tune. I am glad I am not insane any more. Well not like I use to be LOL.
        Here we go Mark, “where two are together, I will be in the mist” and it takes two ta have a meeting: STEP 10 –“Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted”. In my own experience and being very aware that I am not perfect, often during the day I make mistakes and some of them offend people, so I do not wait until night to review my day, i promptly admit that I am wrong, clean the my side of the street and keep going with my day. I am so grateful for the ten step for it helps me to live free of the bondage of self and concentrate in the precious will of God. May God richly bless you Mark. Holy Friday Keep our eyes, heart, souls, mind and body in the Cross

  3. TOM says:

    OK I’m not the only one who wondered about step 10. It took me a couple decades of recovery to get a good grasp on step 11. I just wanted to hang on to some control. I was not ready for that drastic a surrender. My 10th step convinced me that If I wanted the big buzz I needed to take the next step. Prayer clears the channel so I can receive guidance. And the guidance I get usually has not much to do with me but rather how I can be of service to others. I told God if He wanted that kind of relationship with me – HE- needed to make it happen. And He did. What I seek today is to able to walk meditatively and be aware of what God would have me do or say. throughout my day.

    • Jesus Aguilar says:

      Good Morning Tom. I am Jesus Aguilar, do not mind leaving my last name because this is a forum of people like you and I. Aha. It took a little while for us to come together. I am glad I never will be alone, ever. You may want to read my post to Mark

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