The Secret of Knowing God
Practice the art of going within...this is the secret to knowing God.
The psalmist said, "Be still and know I am God" (Psalm 46:10).
"Be still"..."and know..."
In the Hebrew language, when two coordinate imperatives or imperative verbal forms appear together, as in "Be still" and "know" the emphasis goes to the second command. In other words, what the psalmist is saying could be translated to mean, "Be still in order to know."
Ah! So, knowing follows stillness?
So, what does it mean to "be still?"
Jesus gave a hint when he said, "And, when you pray, go into your closet and shut the door." (Matt. 5:11f).
Closet? Literally? Did he mean this literally? Maybe, he was just speaking symbolically, as in "So when you pray go inside...into your inner world...the world within...and, there, as the psalmist said, "Be still" which probably means, "Be quiet."
Most Christians think of prayer as the words they say. But the most significant kind of praying is the uninterrupted state of oneness...unity...or connectedness you nurture and feel with God. Isn't this what Saint Paul was suggesting when he said, "Pray without ceasing" (1 Thess. 5:17).
Is that even possible? For a Benedictine monk maybe. But, how do you and I live in an uninterrupted state of oneness in prayer with God?
The answer is this: Practice the art of going within...this is the secret to knowing God.
Here are five suggestions to make this real:
1. Go daily into this inner world. Develop your own practice but here's how I do it. I spend thirty minutes to one hour every morning entering into "stillness" or "silence." I use headphones, quietly playing instrumental music. No singing. I don't need more words swirling around in my head. Now, until your greatest passion is to know this Presence, you are not ready to embrace this practice. That's not a judgment, just a fact. When you're ready, you'll know it. Some of you are getting there now, otherwise you would not be reading this. Of course, a few of you are reading it because you live to find something to disagree with. One day, you'll grow up. Until then, you'll probably find plenty in what I write.
2. Visualize a mental image of entering into your inner "closet" of quietness, solitude, stillness. I've been making this my spiritual practice for several years. Each morning, as I take several deep breaths to release any unnecessary stress or negativity, I visualize a flight of stairs, twenty steps upward, and I slowly and methodically climb the stairs. I cannot tell you how difficult this is. To stay mentally focused, I mean. It takes vigilance and patience. But, again, if you're serious about knowing God, you'll have both the vigilance and the patience to stay with this practice until you master it. And, my friend, you WILL master the sacred art of knowing God.
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