The Practice

The Ancient Pathways:  Stillness, Adoration and Fellowship with God

‘Ancient’ can be an intimidating word.  It conjures up images of things that are old, aged, and seemingly worn out.  Ancient pathways, when left to the imagination, could be perceived as a route that would be difficult to travel.  Challenging.  Extra.  Most people opt for the smooth paved road.  And yet, our imaginations fool us, for it is on the ancient paths that our footing is sure, and our travels navigated by Holy Spirit whispers and the carved-out paths of prior pilgrims.  It is the GOOD WAY.  It is the route upon which we find REST for our souls.  Journey with me today, into this weeks PRACTICE and lets find out how…

THE PRACTICE

2 Corinthians 13.14  

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

Jeremiah 6.16 

Thus says the Lord: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the Ancient Paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find [mazsa: attain, find or acquire; secure; encounter] rest [margoa: a resting place] for your souls…”

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The notes herein are extracted from THE ANCIENT PATHWAYS GUIDEBOOK by Bernardine Wormley Daniels and THE SCHOOL OF HIS PRESENCE by Eric William Gilmour

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  1. The most ancient of all pathways known to man is WALKING WITH GOD. 
    • See Genesis 3.8. The precedent of covenant intimacy through ‘walking together‘ is implied in the text
    • Several times in Scripture, key individuals are noted as having walked with God:
      • Enoch, walked with God, and pleased Him so much so that God ‘took him’ to continue the fellowship for eternity! Gen. 5.22-24, Hebrews 11.5
      • Noah, a righteous man, walked with God. Gen. 6.9
      • Abram was invited by the LORD to ‘walk before Him’
        • ‘Before’ meaning (paneh: in the presence of, in the face of) to walk in covenant intimacy.
        • And Abram, did so until he was referred to as the ‘friend of God.’ Gen. 17.1-2, James 2.23
    • The term, “walk” is one of my most favorite Hebrew words! 
      • Walk: halak: to walk, live, manner of life; journey, to be conversant, to practice haunting (to keep constantly in ones consciousness)
      • The Adam prior to the fall, Enoch, Noah, and Abram…all walked with God, journeying with Him, walking and talking, continuously conversant, keeping Him in their consciousness at all times.
      • When you and I ‘halak,’ walking with God, we enter a dimension, a realm of intimate fellowship where God begins to unfold the secrets of His kingdom. This place, this ANCIENT PATHWAY, is ‘the way’ that our elders traveled before us.
      • The GOOD NEWS is that through Christ, as we ABIDE in Him, we can explore the glorious riches of knowing God just like they did—and to an even greater degree because Holy Spirit has been given to us! Hallelujah!
    • Take a moment to read Col. 2.6 in the Amplified Translation.
      • Are you walking ‘in union’ with Christ in your life?
      • What are some ways that your life ‘reflects’ His character?
      • Have you ever lead anyone to Christ?  What hinders you?

The LORD God wants to walk with us before He works powerfully, compassionately, and supernaturally through us. So, He patiently waits, wooing us by His Spirit, transforming our hearts and minds until we are prepared for Kingdom service, disciples of Christ! Essentially, The LORD God works with His covenant friends, the one who ‘walks with Him.’ When God has a friend, a good friend, divine activity accelerates! When God has a useful yielded obedient vessel that has been prepared for noble purposes, He will use that vessel.

    • Find a sacred secret place of fellowship…a room, a table, a chapel, go for a walk, sit in a park…These ‘places’ are where you will develop a walking relationship with God.
      • We must develop a secret history with Him before He gives us a public history before people.
      • See John 15.15.  Jesus reveals His kingdom purposes to HIs ‘friends,’ those that ‘walk with Him.’
      • Start TODAY!

2.  And as you walk with Him, you will need to CREATE SACRED SPACE, building Altars as Places for God’s Presence.

    • Altars are holy places, consecrated and sanctified as a ‘meeting place with God. They are places set up to show reverence to God, worshipping Him, praising His Name.
    • Throughout Scripture Mizbeah ~ altars were built.
      • Noah, Abraham, Moses, Gideon, Aaron, Joshua Samuel, even Saul all built altars unto The LORD — and The LORD visited His People.  And The LORD blessed His people.  See Exodus 20.24
    • The Altar of God is an ANCIENT PATHWAY, a holy means of grace which ushers the one who would consecrate such space for sacred purposes, into the very Presence of God, into His anointing, and the anointing breaks the yoke of our enemies. 
    • The Altar/Sacred Space is for daily communion, prayer and fellowship with our Bridegroom King.  It is a time and place for healing, deliverance, revelation, impartation and intimate rest.
    • Have you set apart ‘sacred space’ in your home, on your job, mobile space in your car, etc. for time alone with God?
      • Designate an area.  Get Creative. Invite Holy Spirit to meet you there.  Include items that have person meaning (a palm cross, Bible, prayer books, a candle, Bedes).
      • Create a routine or ritual for using your sacred space.

3.  How are we to stay emotionally and spiritually alive to Christ and awake to His Presence in the midst of so many diverse intrusions, distractions, lures and temptations?

    • Where can we find the ‘restoration of our soul?’ Where can we find the rivers of living water, fresh bread from the ovens of heaven?
    • Among the Ancient Pathways, Solitude and Silence, proves to be a deep reservoir where the refreshment we long for is found. Simply put, it’s a moment of intentional time in the quiet to be alone with God.  In our modern era, this just might be a critical step to a life well lived.
      • See Luke 4.42; 5.15-16; Mark 1.35; 6.31
    • Christ, by example, taught that we need to have silence in our lives to be able to listen ‘well’ to God
    • See also I Kings 19.9-18.  
      • Elijah heard God, not in the wind or fire or quaking of the earth, but instead in the ‘sound of silence’ — a quiet gentle whisper.
    • How have you encountered The LORD in solitude and the stillness of silence?
    • The first challenge we face in attempting to practice solitude and silence is our lack of ability to turn off the seemingly ceaseless chatter in our minds, slow down and focus on Him!  And in that place, learn to ‘be our authentic selves.’
      • Set aside time each day for a minimum of 10 minutes to just sit silently in The Presence of The LORD and ‘be’ with Him.
      • Journal your experiences with the endless chatter in your soul and meeting your ‘authentic self.’

4.  I want you to take a moment and consider this question:  What is God after in your life?  What does He want from you?

    • God has a burning desire to reproduce His Son, through the outpouring of Holy Spirit into our hearts – and FELLOWSHIP with Him there!
    • God’s joyful objective is to transform us into the image of His Son — every aspect of our being mixed with the Word/Seed/Spirit of God!
      • See Romans 8.29; Hebrews 2.10
    • What exactly does the ‘image of the Son’ mean? 
        • It means that Christ, lives in us and through us – His very person, unobstructed!
    • 2 Corinthians 3.18 tells us how this will happen  18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding [as in a mirror] the glory of the Lord,[a]are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.[b] For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
      • In other words – the image of Jesus in us and through us, is the result of gazing upon the very-increasing manifestation of God, who is the LORD Jesus Christ, experienced through the Presence of Holy Spirit.
      • If, the Word of God is true, and beholding the glory is the means of transformation into the image of the Son, then NOT BEHOLDING His glory causes us to remain in our own image!
      • Take a moment to pray!  Make a commitment to see MORE of the image of Christ reflected in and through your life!
    • So, the Presence of God is EVERYTHING! HOLY SPIRIT…FELLOWSHIP WITH HOLY SPIRIT IS EVERYTHING! 

5.  How does one EXPERIENCE God?

    • You must get STILL!  Stillness is the antithesis of rebellion and it will unlock the gates into the Glory of God!
    • Many times, we go into prayer and never actually touch God because we did everything but ADORE HIM – our spiritual senses NUMBED by all the pressure we put on ourselves to be there accomplishing something! And our push to ACCOMPLISH something is rooted in our desire for something other than just HIM! 
      • What or who does YOUR heart desire?
      • How do you respond to this statement:  Backsliding is when your heart stops ACHING for, LONGING for His Presence!
      • How do you spend YOUR TIME?   We can tell how much we love His Presence by how dependent we are upon HIM THROUGHOUT OUR DAY!

6.  Here are the most important stages of prayer:

    • Stage 1 that causes us to enter into an experience with God is DEPRIVATION.  We must first recognize that it is impossible for us to ‘make something happen’ when we are alone with Him
      • We must recognize our poverty of strength by simply letting go!  Relax.  Breathe.
    • Stage 2 is concentration or STILLNESS.
      • After I recognize my own inability and give myself completely to Him – the activity of my mind outside of focus on Him stops and my hearts affections are centered on God Himself.
      • Stillness occurs when I focus all – give all that I am to Him AND HE RESPONDS by releasing to me/pouring upon me an indescribable stillness that flows from His heart of love for me.
      • Psalm 65.7 “…Who stills the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves and the tumult (hamon: disquietude, noise, confusion) of the peoples.”
      • Matthew 8.26. He rebukes the winds and the sea and it becomes perfectly calm
    • Stage 3 in experiencing God is ADORATION!
      • THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT STAGE because the other stages lead up to it, and everything that comes after is a result of it.
      • After my soul has recognized its own poverty and focused itself in stillness, then it can offer itself up as a complete offering to God.  Adoration is incomplete until my soul is still.
      • Most of us have this problem. We look to the LORD while simultaneously worrying about other things…we are SPLIT IN TWO!   DOUBLE-MINDED!
        • And Holy Spirit fire only falls on an “Ola: Hebrew for WHOLE burnt sacrifice!
      • Partial attentiveness doesn’t receive the touch of God
        • “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart”Jeremiah 29.13
        • Love the LORD your God with ALL your heartMatt. 22.37
        • Psalm 86.11 David prayed that God would give him an UNDIVIDED heart
      • WHOLEHEARTED ATTENTIVENESS OFFERS AUTHENTIC ADORATION!
      • ADORATION IS THE PREOCCUPATION OF THE SOUL WITH THE BEAUTY OF THE LORD — IT IS THE PUREST FORM OF SEEKING GOD, OPENING THE VALVE OF OUR RECEPTIVITY AND ENABLING US TO CLING TO GOD
      • ADORATION IS LIKE AIR IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD! IT IS THE BEGINNING, SUSTAINING AND END OF ALL THINGS IN OUR UNION WITH GOD!
    • This takes us to MANIFESTATION.
      • In adoration there is ALWAYS MANIFESTATION!  
      • As we turn our attention and affection to Him –> it carries us like a river carries a yielded body. OARS ARE FORBIDDEN IN THE RIVER OF GOD, because if you carry oars you are trying to direct/control the flow!
      • SEE ISAIAH 33.21 But there the glorious Lord will be to us a place of broad rivers and streams on which no boat with oars shall go and on which no gallant ship shall pass…
      • Identify the ‘oars’ in your life and lay them down upon the altar.  Trust The LORD to carry you safely in the River of God!
    • Finally, there is RESIGNATION!  
      • Resignation is a letting go in TOTAL SURRENDER, fermenting in the sweetness of God’s Presence while He transforms your offering into Precious Priceless Wine.
      • Resignation TAKES TIME!  So we must learn to LINGER.  LINGER WITH HIM…

He is ALL that really matters!  

BELOVED…

God Loves You, He really does…And So Do I!