Sitting here waiting for a upload to complete gives me a opportunity to listen to tunes which elevate my thoughts into thinking and clarifying where I am in the grand scheme of things.
One of my readings is “Jesus; The Pilgrimage” which recounts the journey of the author to Israel. James Martin SJ, recounts with Catholic veneer the theological and meditational aspects of a journey that goes beyond both traditional and touristic benefits of a journey to the Holy Land. My heart transcends then into a reverie where I begin to tap into some very pertinent trends which alert and inspire me to greater heights of purity in my Christian walk.
I sometimes become alarmed by some of the terminologies for spiritual experiences which seem to be the pursuit of many Churches and ministries.
I was 15 years in ministry, preaching and teaching in Portugal. It was by no means a easy task.
Not a easy task as the national tendency there was a heavy and image based Catholicism. Where a type of superstitious ritual embedded in that people. I can say in the midst of all my own access to preaching and teaching was revolutionary however I would not care to return to those experiences as there is new depths of being I have accessed that have moulded a new perspective of what is ministry.
What do you pursue as a ministry objective?
My own pursuits then were to see immediate results in terms of the Word. I will never forget the first journey to Salamanca to a Church there, winding up the heights of Guarda toward the frontier of Vilar de Formosa between Portugal and Spain. Hearing Casa de Davi and taking a message over a weekend.
After 15 years since those experiences after health issues, relocation my pursuits and perspectives have changed. Not have they been changed with discarding old spiritual journeys but those experiences form the stepping stones of new discoveries.
No longer do I look for experiences that excite the senses, but what I discern and look for are the theological windows on new understandings.
Ephesians 4 spells out a definition of knowledge as the “knowledge of Him “. This means both experiential and theological.
Experiential and Theological Together
It means that from experiential intimacy we come to intimate theology. It is not head knowledge. It is “sensing the written truth through the intimate interaction with truth.”
I have come across the concept from Ignatius de Loyala that prayer becomes more than saying words to implore divine action but it is recognising theological truth discerned in its action through our daily lives.
I do not wake up anticipating great doors or prophesying great collective breakthroughs but I do look for those So small doors that open in my spiritual perception which I could miss if I miss the “precious stones in the midst of a huge diamond I want to pursue.”
What I see happen is that my works stem from my intimate and layered access from a diverse multiforme listening to His person and when I research in the Bible, saintly experiences from centuries past I see what I perceive is brought alive in the panorama of a renewed approach to theology.
Not enough to Promote Experience
Experiences alone provide just a mere silhouette. We need the flesh and nerves. When Ezekiel had to prophesy in chapter 37 he had to prophesy on many different levels. Not enough for a skeleton army, but nerves, blood arteries and veins, organs, finally muscles and skin, finally the breath. So what God has taught me is that it is not just general prophetic understanding or proclaiming is enough. What we need is a new understanding to speak in a multifaceted way. This is wisdom and knowledge.
Not enough to espouse theology over Intimacy
What God wants is to lead us in a knowledge beyond thought and perception but grasp and interact with His nature. No good if we know electricity exists but if we do not connect we will never access it’s benefits and lifegiving facilitation of daily processes.
Theology is good. But without our interaction with Him in whom there is all knowledge we shall stay on a level of knowing about Him without knowing Him.
However we must not pursue experiences that we become sensual in our affections. That way we are easily deceived.