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Attachments 19

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Attachments 19

(We are coming down the homestretch now, so it should be starting to come clear to you why I felt impressed of the Spirit to do this series and what I want to accomplish.  It is ultimately about us earning a secure attachment style, which is yet to come, so that we may be able to attach to God in a healthy manner.

      Last week, we began working on the spiritual disciplines and how they help us to find God as our safe haven and learn to use Him as our secure base, through the process of discipline and developing godly habits, which will lead to godly character.

      Tonight we continue with the spiritual disciplines.  You can follow along with me, in the Attachments book, on page 170.

We continue on with the next discipline.)

Simplicity

“When you practice the discipline of simplicity, you stop complicating your life and your pace and your possessions.  You put the brakes on your usual rush of activities.”[1]

       We must learn to simplify our lives and stop running all over gooney land like a chicken with it’s head cut off.  I realize that most of us are urban people and have never seen a chicken with it’s head cut off.  When a chicken has it’s head cut off or rung off, it has nerve endings that continue to fire for a while, so it jumps and flops and runs all over the place.  That is how some of us are—chasing the American dream—and believing that busy means success, or importance, or self esteem.

Jesus never responded to “the tyranny of the urgent” or tried to demonstrate His importance, significance, or success, but being busy or complicated.  When He heard that Lazarus was dying, He didn’t take the first plane to Bethany, but waited until Lazarus was dead.  The spiritual timing was not right for Him to go, so He waiting until the proper time.  And His words are instructive in

John 11:14-15 (NASB-U), “So Jesus then said to them plainly, ‘Lazarus is dead, [15] and I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe; but let us go to him.’”


We need to get rid of some of the many things that are good things that take up our time, but are not God things.

Matthew 6:22 (NASB-U), “The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light” (emphasis mine).

haplous; simple, single:— clear(2) (A. T. Robertson).

The choice for some of us, i.e. those who are really tracking with God, is a not a choice between good and evil, but the choice between better and best!

·        It’s not a choice between drinking alcohol or drinking juice; it’s the choice between drinking pop or drinking water or juice.

·        It’s not the choice of watching pornography or not watching pornography; it’s the choice of watching soft porn on TV or turning to something better or turning the thing off.

·        It’s not the choice of getting saved or not getting saved; it’s the choice of putting God first or letting all of the other distractions in our lives quietly crowd God out!

The latter choice has to do with being clear, simple, single, focused!!!

(This is illustrated in the well-known story of Mary and Martha in:)

Luke 10:40-42 (NASB-U), “But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, ‘Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone?  Then tell her to help me.’ [41] But the Lord answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; [42] but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her’” (emphasis mine).

In the Mediterranean culture is was woman’s job and role to take care of the domestic duties and it was the man’s job and role to receive the teaching, but Mary chose to sit at the feet of Jesus, while Martha was distracted fixing a six course meal!

       Jesus told Mary, there is really only one thing being concerned about, i.e. fellowship with Me!  (Relationship-Centered Christianity!)

(Paul also touches on this concept of simplicity in his writings.)

2 Corinthians 1:12 (KJV), “For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward” (emphasis mine).

2 Corinthians 11:3 (NASB-U), “But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ” (emphasis mine).

“It has been said that if the devil can’t make you sin, he’ll make you busy instead.”[2]

Secrecy

There are times when we should not let our left hand know our right hand is doing, i.e. we should do what God has given us to do without notice, attention, reward, or any personal noterity, broadcasting, or prestige.

Matthew 6:3 (NASB-U), “But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing [4] so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”

Jesus also talked about praying secret and being rewarded openly!

       I do many things for people that most people will never know about, until the resurrection.  I do some things for people that no one will ever know about, except me and that person, until the resurrection!

Simple Prayer

Prayer is talking to God and listening to God.  This is one of the most important activities of the Christian life, because we need to be in constant communication with God.

       Prayer is an activity and an attitude.  We are to cultivate lives of prayer and yet to pray incessantly, i.e. to pray as if we have an incessant cough, i.e. to pray any time the Spirit moves.  “Every time I feel the Spirit moving in my heart, I will pray!”

       I maintain that the activity of prayer is best done in the morning, but should occupy many times in the day.  We ought to always pray and never faint.

       The attitude of prayer is cultivated through reprogramming our core beliefs.

       “Through the lens of attachment, when we turn to God for guidance, direction, and comfort in the ‘ordinary junctures of daily life,’ God is our secure base.  He’s the foundation from which we confidently explore our world.”[3]  If anything to upsetting or threatening occurs, we have learned to run back to God for comfort, security, and guidance!!!

Philippians 4:6-7 (NASB-U), “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. [7] And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

The peace of God, which passes all of our understanding, will stand military guard over our hearts and minds from the things that would attack and ravish our peace, comfort, and security in God.

       A line from the favorite hymn, what a friend we have in Jesus is still true and still highly important.  The first verse goes:

What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear;

What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.

Oh, what peace we often forfeit; Oh what needless pain we bear;

All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

Did you catch it?  “Oh, what peace we often forfeit; Oh what needless pain we bear; All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.”

       “Let’s look at things from another way:  Prayer is to our attachment relationship with God the same as the act of crying is to the attachment relationship between mothers and their babies.  Even though tiny babies can’t express their needs in words—they can’t say ‘Hey, Mom, I’m famished!’ or, ‘Mom, I’m sitting in a lake, here.  It’s definitely time for a change’—sensitive moms know and do whatever is required to bring their infants comfort and security.  Likewise, God understands our prayers, our inward groaning, and responds to our needs in the same way.”[4]

Romans 8:26 (NASB-U), “In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”

This verse can be about both our inaudible and audible groans, and speaking in tongues!

Romans 8:28 (NASB-U), “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

Meditation

Concentrating on a passage of Scripture.  This is not transcendental meditation where we just meditate on nothing, or our bodies, or our inner strength, or our chi, but herein we concentrate upon the Word of God and upon godly things.

Joshua 1:8 (NASB-U), “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success” (emphasis mine).

Psalm 63:6 (NASB-U), “When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches” (emphasis mine).

Psalm 119:15 (NASB-U), “I will meditate on Your precepts and regard Your ways” (emphasis mine).

Psalm 145:5 (NASB-U), “On the glorious splendor of Your majesty and on Your wonderful works, I will meditate” (emphasis mine).

Psalm 143:5 (NASB-U), “I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your doings; I muse on the work of Your hands” (emphasis mine).

Philippians 4:8 (NKJV), “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good repute, if there is any virtue and if anything worthy of praiseworthy, meditate on these things” (emphasis mine).

“In the same way that talking and listening are two sides of the same conversational coin, prayer and meditation are two inseparable dimensions of our relationship with God…

       When we pray we learn to listen to God, to discern that still, small voice that directs us and comforts our souls.  As Richard Foster points out, ‘Chrisitian meditation, very simply, is the ability to hear God’s voice and obey His word.  It’s that simple.’”[5]

       “We encourage you to practice prayer and meditation together.  They’re both equally important elements of our ongoing conversation with God.  As we practice them, they amplify our awareness, our absolute conviction, that He’s present and active in our lives.”[6]

       “If we ignore these disciplines, it’ll be tough to trust that He’s close.  We’ll eventually lose sight of Him; it will become as if He’s left.  But, of course, He hasn’t.  Instead we have, in a sense, left Him.  Then when we face tragedy, our instincts will take over and we’ll end up enduring the tragedy essentially alone.  In contrast, when we are anchored in truth and fill our hearts and our minds constantly with Him, we are promised the peace of God that passes all understanding (see Philippians 4:7).”[7]

First Things First

“As Saint Augustine once noted, ‘Man was made for God, and he’ll never find rest until he finds it in the One who made him.’  God is the ultimate attachment figure.  He created us first to be in relationship with Him—and then with those who share our lives.  When our relationship with God is secure, our other relationships become richer, easier, and more rewarding.  Thus, our first priority is enhancing our attachment to God through worship and through the spiritual disciplines—including those we’ve discussed here as well as others such as fasting, confession, Bible reading, submission, and celebration.  All play important roles in transforming our attachment relationship with God.”[8]

       Clinton and Sibcy pointed out that again and again in their practice they saw that when clients worked on strengthening and, as needed, healing, their relationship with their Creator they soon began to see noticeable changes in their attachment relationships with others.  The result is akin to a whole new start on life and the joys it offers.[9]  “Jesus said, ‘I am the true vine, and My Father is the vine dresser.  Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit’ (John 15:1-2 NKJV).

       Do you want new life?  Strengthen your relationship with the One who created you.  Start today!”[10]

Homework:    Attachments (pages 257-266).

The Word from the Lord:  “I am the Vine and you are the branches.  Abide in me through spiritual disciplines and you will bear much fruit!!!”

(Now is the Day of Salvation!  Come to Jesus, Now!)

Invitation

Call to Discipleship


----

[1] Tim Clinton & Gary Sibcy, Attachments, Integrity Publishers, Brentwood, Tennessee, 2002, p. 170.

[2] Tim Clinton & Gary Sibcy, Attachments, Integrity Publishers, Brentwood, Tennessee, 2002, p. 171.



[3] Tim Clinton & Gary Sibcy, Attachments, Integrity Publishers, Brentwood, Tennessee, 2002, p. 173.

[4] Tim Clinton & Gary Sibcy, Attachments, Integrity Publishers, Brentwood, Tennessee, 2002, p. 174.

[5] Tim Clinton & Gary Sibcy, Attachments, Integrity Publishers, Brentwood, Tennessee, 2002, p. 174.

[6] Tim Clinton & Gary Sibcy, Attachments, Integrity Publishers, Brentwood, Tennessee, 2002, p. 175.

[7] Tim Clinton & Gary Sibcy, Attachments, Integrity Publishers, Brentwood, Tennessee, 2002, p. 175.

[8] Tim Clinton & Gary Sibcy, Attachments, Integrity Publishers, Brentwood, Tennessee, 2002, p. 175.

[9] Tim Clinton & Gary Sibcy, Attachments, Integrity Publishers, Brentwood, Tennessee, 2002, p. 175.

[10] Tim Clinton & Gary Sibcy, Attachments, Integrity Publishers, Brentwood, Tennessee, 2002, p. 175.

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