Excerpt: Practical Spirituality | Devotional Sessions
To know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God (passage from Ephesians 3, prompted from Devotional Sessions)
To know God fully is to fully experience and know the love of Christ. Take a moment and reflect on this passage of scripture: know — love of Christ — filled — all fullness of God. What a beautiful reality. We have the opportunity to experience the love of Christ now, in our everyday, to know Emmanuel, God with us.
Now, take a deep breath and in the quietness of your heart [or out loud with words] communicate to God that you desire to know his fullness — to be filled with all the fullness. Ask God to show you personal practices or tendencies that hinder you from knowing the love of Christ, which would otherwise be available to you. Invite him to help you remove that which hinders the love of Christ in your everyday experience.
My personal engagement with this session:
This exercise is incredibly impactful to me; inviting Holy Spirit to reveal ways that I hinder the love of Christ in my own daily experience. Each time, I have the opportunity to walk into the empowering grace of the Father. Holy Spirit, thank you for this new understanding. Though I am ordinary, you are unfathomably deep. Thank you for revealing the path to greater depths of the love of Christ.
An added note from Phil Rice
I hope you’ve benefited from this excerpt from Devotional Sessions | Practical Spirituality. Share this session with anyone you think would be impacted and don’t hesitate to leave questions or comments for our mutual benefit of continued conversation.
Thanks for journeying alongside,
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find me here too —philrice.blog —Practical Spirituality —Ember
For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form (Colossians 2).
To know Christ is to know the Father. To know Christ is to know the fullness of the Deity – the fullness of God. Wild, yeah? Take a little time tucked away and read through this excerpt from Colossians 2. Think about what it means. What does fullness mean? What does Deity living in bodily form mean? As you begin to connect those dots back to the third word in this excerpt — Christ — ask Holy Spirit to give you understanding on who he is. Ask him to help you connect Christ and fullness and Deity lives in bodily form. Write down some of your thoughts about who Christ is and what it means for him to be both Deity and human being.
Spend a few moments thanking God specifically for each new phrase of understanding he gives you.
As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, Sarah Bingaman’s Heart Living content has been incredibly impactful to me these last 12 months. One of my big take aways is her content on the Journey out of Religiosity. I wouldn’t have considered myself a destructively religious person, but as I continued to relate with the Lord through the last 12 months I realized that in many areas I was hanging on to self constructed scaffolding instead of responding to the movement of his Spirit.
The idea that I was actually created to hear and respond to the whispers of his spirit so challenges my desire for consistency and control. I began to take inventory of all of the places that structure and scaffolding was actually perpetuating my regular connection with God and then the realization… there’s another way.
A mold is put in place in order to set that which is inside. The mold is not the final experience. The intention from the beginning [like Adam + Eve beginning] was that we would commune with God in a fluid natural experience of relational response.
I found it to be a helpful process to begin to ask the questions: In what areas am I simply leaning on my scaffolding? Is this scaffolding still necessary for the season that I’m in? Does God want to relate to me more naturally? God… do you want to relate to me differently… if so… how?
One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple (Psalm 27).
A few things that stick out to me in this passage are the phrases — [one thing I ask] and [only do I seek]. Take a few moments and think through the single mindedness of these phrases. Take them to the Lord and ask him, Lord, is this how I seek you? Is this how I gaze on your beauty? Or are there other things that take my attention?
As things come to mind, write them down. Invite Holy Spirit to show you how to take these distractions and set them aside, so that you will more fully be able to pray to the Lord, One thing I ask…
I’m so thankful to all of you for the support and encouragement as I’ve expressed where I am in my journey battling Ulcerative Colitis (UC), and I thought it was time for an update.
After many years of subduing my body with pharmaceuticals, I thought it was time to take a different approach. I started seeing a naturopath in October of 2016 and began my journey equipped with food choices and supplementation. I began with a blood test and a 90 day elimination diet called the Autoimmune Protocol Diet (AIP), eliminating all probable inflammatory food suspects [imagine if Paleo was on a diet… it’s like that].
My blood test came back with a CRP level [a measure of your body’s overall inflammation] of 6/10 [0 = fine and dandy, 10 = Snap! You should already be in the ER w an IV drip … so a 6 is not so hot.]
The AIP diet after 90 days didn’t prove to reduce my symptoms by much, but when my blood test came back at this point, my CRP levels had reduced to 1.8… which is absolutely astounding. Especially considering by the end of the 90 days I was no longer on any of my previous medication [I was fully medicated when I took my initial blood test @ 6/10 CRP]
So, at the suggestion of my naturopath, I’ve continued with a simple Paleo Diet, along with some light supplementation.
While my current experience with UC has not reached remission status, I am feeling much better than I have in over 3 years. I am continuing with the Paleo Diet over the next 12 months and then, depending on where I find myself, we will begin to think through next steps.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support, and know that I feel and experience you all in very impactful ways.
Phil Rice — philrice.blog
Executive Director of Ember
So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend (Exodus 33).
Find a quiet place away from distraction [whether a park bench near the office or a pair of headphones in a crowded cafe]. Read over this section from Exodus, and take a moment and reflect on a few questions: What do I like to do with friends? What do we talk about? Where do we go? What do we do?
Then, shifting gears a little, ask God [out-loud or in your thoughts], God, what do you like to do? What do you like to talk about? Where do you like to go when we talk? Allow yourself some additional quiet space to wait. Does anything come to mind? Does any place stand out to you in this moment? Plan some time to think through your next few weeks and see where you can incorporate some time with God in these places, doing these things [be sure to pick things from both your list and his].
Before you end your session, read over this passage from Exodus one more time and invite the Lord to bring you into deeper friendship with him.
Phil Rice — philrice.blog
Executive Director of Ember