From the Inside Out

Posted on 03/13/2016 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.

AUDIO: dialup - broadband - podcast

TRANSCRIPT: (does not contain everything found in the audio above)

*** listen to the audio for introduction and prayer ***


Public Prayer Requests:


For Diane: He mother is dying. Matter of days barring a miracle. Don't know if she's saved or not, would assume not to be safe.
-StacyAnne Homewood

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Please click one of the offering plates in Second Life or at http://almcyberchurch.org, and give as the Lord leads.

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KING OF KINGS

King of Kings and Lord of Lords
Glory! Hallelujah!
King of Kings and Lord of Lords
Glory! Hallelujah!

Jesus, Prince of Peace
Glory! Hallelujah!
Jesus, Prince of Peace
Glory! Hallelujah!


INTO THE HOLY OF HOLIES

Take me into the Holy of Holies
Take me in by the blood of the Lamb
Take me into the Holy of Holies
Take the coal, touch my lips, here I am

Take me past the outer courts
into the holy place
Past the brazen altar
Lord, I want to see your face
Pass me by the crowds of people
and the priests who sing your praise
I hunger and thirst for your rightousness
and it's only found one place


TO HIM WHO SITS ON THE THRONE

To him who sits on the throne
and unto the Lamb
To him who sits on the throne
and unto the Lamb

Be blessing and glory
and honor and power forever
Be blessing and glory
and honor and power forever


*** Choose your connection speed and listen to the audio to hear the introduction. ***


Last week, Jen talked about the atmosphere we create around us wherever we go.

If you missed it, you can listen online by going to almcyberchurch.org, clicking on Service Audio Archives, and looking for "Atmospheric Change" under the date 03/06/2016.

To sum it up, she talked about the atmosphere you carry around with you -- whether you light up a room when you enter, or you bring negativity with you. She mentioned the examples lived by Jesus, who is our prime example.

Today, I would like to take just a few minutes to pick up where she left off, and dig a little deeper into how we can effortlessly generate the kind of atmosphere that brings light, healing, peace, and joy into the world around you.


Throughout the Scriptures, one of the themes that is repeated is this: Everything on the outside flows from within.

As Proverbs 4:23 (KMV*) says,

23 Keep watch over your heart with all diligence, for out of it flow the springs of life.

If your INNER atmosphere is negative, that odor, or aura, will project outward as well, regardless of how hard you try to appear positive to others.

Most of us carry around a constant state of fighting. We fight the weather. No one has won
THAT one yet, and it's rather silly to do; but we all fight the weather from time to time.

It's an inner feeling of resistance to "what is." It's too cold. It's too hot. It's too rainy. It's too snowy. It's beautiful now, but it won't last.


Or how about traffic: There's too much of it. That driver's too slow. THAT driver is too stupid, and should probably not be behind the wheel at all.


Or how about work: It's Monday, and I just started, and it's going to be a long, hard day, and I don't get paid enough to put up with these ridiculous customers.

I wish it was quitting time. I can't wait until
lunch time. Lunch time is almost over, and I wish it wasn't. Or even, It's quitting time on Friday! Yay! And we set ourselves up for the vast disappointment when it's over.


Or how about relationships: My partner did this or that, we get into fights, arguments about who is right and what choices we should make.

And this also covers the "D" word: DRAMA. Show me a "Drama Queen" and I'll show you someone who is always at war on the inside with people, events, circumstances, and Life itself.

In fact, these all boil down to that one thing: LIFE.

We habitually and compulsively are at constant war with LIFE. What IS Life? Is Life your story? Your circumstances? Your relationships? Your occupation? Your diseases? Your hopes and dreams? Or is Life something deeper, something less fleeting, something that will not pass away?


Here's the thing about Life: It is not in the past, and it is not in the future.

Does anyone ever do anything in the past? No, we can only recall the memory trace of that thing, and we can only remember it in the present moment.

Will anyone ever do anything in the future? No, because the future does not even really exist. When someone does something they planned to do in the future, they can only do it in the Present Moment.

So Life can only happen Right Now. And yet, we are always striving for the future, or thinking about the past. Things USED to be better, or so-and-so did this or that to me in the PAST.

And so we reject the Present Moment, the only place Life actually is, or we cloud our experience of
the Now, because of a memory in the head of what USED to be, or what once happened.


How about the future? At work, it's very common to hear people respond to a "how are you?" with, "I'm here," or, "I'm at work."

And I've had customers wish me a good day, then follow that up by saying, "Well, you're at work, but have a good day after you get off."

These are just symptoms of an inner war we are raging against Life -- which is only here and is only now. In this way, we live in a constant state of ingratitude, of complaint, of subtle turbulance, of inner turmoil.

And TRUE peace is just an idea in the head of something we will experience in the sweet by and by. And the result? The atmosphere around us is clouded. Instead of radiating peace and love and joy, there is always an undercurrent of war. Of discontent. Of fighting, however subtle, against Life -- against what we are being given right here and right now.


In the New Testament, we are instructed to give thanks IN all things, and even FOR all things. And that's not a "lip service" that is desired, but an inner state of full surrender, and the gratitude and peace and joy that true surrender brings.


If right now, sitting where you are in front of your computer, you were to be fully okay with "what is," what would happen? Try it and see.

And I don't mean the story. "Well, I'm NOT okay with all the rape and murder and starvation and exploitation and the evil and depravity in the world."

Okay, but where are they? Look around you. Feel the life inside your body, inside the temple. Where are all those horrible things? Right now, for you, they are in your head.

Yes, they are happening elsewhere, but what can you do about them right here and right now? Sure, you can pray. But at this moment, you're not praying; instead, you are just fighting -- fighting a battle in a way that produces nothing good.

Instead, come back to the here and now, and with this moment in this place, let what "is" be.

Are you cold? Put on a coat. Are you hot? Turn on a fan. No coat or fan? Nothing you can do? Then just let it be. Be okay with the physical sensations, as unpleasant as they might be.

And when you encounter an injustice, or something that is evil or depraved or violent or confrontational, allow it to be as it is, as you take any appropriate
action at THAT moment and THAT place.

You just might find that your words or actions are much more effective than if you were lost in the fog of inner war.


You see, you are living in the temple of God. And you are called to be dwelling in the Holy of Holies. Not just on Sunday. Not just during musical worship. Not just during a sermon. But always right here, and right now.

Regardless of this mental thing we call "time." Or our story. Or the person we think we are -- that mind-made fantasy that is here for an instant, and will soon vanish away.

Those things are all a part of the drama we call "life." And we are actors on the stage of this world. Play your part well. But remember that you are not the role you are playing. You ultimately are not that person, that character.

It is all temporary. It is all fleeting. That person can go into the holy of holies only in the imagination. But when you truly enter that place of eternal peace, just for that instant, just for that moment, that temporary character and person and role fade into the background. If you've ever entered into a deep place of worship, then you know what I mean.

But for most of us, that experience comes and goes, and our background AND foreground is the story, and the character we play.

Well, that's backwards. Christ calls us, the Spirit calls us, Love calls us, Life calls us, to make our home in the place of true surrender, of letting "what is" BE.

And in that place of Peace and Joy and Love and Life, we interact with this world and with whatever form arises in this moment, from the place of unshakable Peace, Joy, Love, and Life: the Presence of the I Am who dwells right now in your body.

Your mind wants to go there by thinking about it. But then you are just in your head, in a fantasy ABOUT that place.


Go there now.

The Kingdom of Heaven is not in some far off place; but as Jesus said, the Kingdom of Heaven is within you. Not within your imagination, but within the Temple. Right here. Right now.

And you can feel it, experience it, when you are not lost in the head, not lost in the story, not identified with the person your mind thinks you are or the story about the character you play on this temporary stage.

Let all those things go. Let go of your attachment to them. Bring your attention in the temple. Feel the Life that fills it. Don't think about it, or label it, or imagine it, just Feel it.


Does it help you to sing a song? With or without words? To lift your hands? To sit silently? To speak in tongues? To make the sign of the cross? To count beads? I'm just throwing out examples of actions and forms some people use to bring them out of the mind and into the temple.

For other people, these things might be a distraction. Find what works for you to bring you into that place, that place that is BEYOND that action, and then let that tool go.

Use it, but realize its only purpose is to point you beyond itself and to that place, within the temple of your body, where the Life of God resides; In the Holy of Holies.

And as you dwell in that place, as your home, USING the mind, interacting with this world, playing the character of the person you've always thought you were, you will find that the atmosphere around you will change. The right actions will make themselves clear.

And you will bring Light and Life and Love into this world effortlessly, as it flows, like a rive of life, From the Inside Out.