“Lord, bend down to listen to my prayer.
I am in deep trouble. I’m broken and humbled, and I desperately need your help. Guard my life, for I’m your faithful friend, your loyal servant for life. I turn to you in faith, my God, my hero; come and rescue me! Lord God, hear my constant cry for help; show me your favor and bring me to your fountain of grace!
Restore joy to your loving servant once again, for all I am is yours, O God. Lord, you are so good to me, so kind in every way – and ready to forgive, for your grace-fountain keeps overflowing, drenching all your devoted lovers who pray to you.
God, won’t you pay attention to this urgent cry? Lord, bend down to listen to my prayer. Whenever trouble strikes, I will keep crying out to you, for I know your help is on the way.
God, there’s no one like you; there’s no other god as famous as you. You outshine all others, and your miracles make it easy to know you. Lord Almighty, you are the one who created all the nations. Look at them—they’re all on their way!
Yes, the day will come when they all will worship you -and put your glory on display. You are the one and only God. What miracles! What wonders! What greatness belongs to you!
Teach me more about you, how you work and how you move, so that I can walk onward in your truth -until everything within me brings honor to your name. With all my heart and passion I will thank you, my God! I will give glory to your name, always and forever!
You love me so much, and you have placed your greatness upon me. You rescued me from the deepest place of darkness, and you have delivered me from a certain death.
God, look at how these arrogant ones have defied me. Like a vicious band of violent men, they have tried to kill me. They wouldn’t worry for a moment that they were sinning against you!
But Lord, your nurturing love is tender and gentle. You are slow to get angry yet so swift to show your faithful love. You are full of abounding grace and truth. Bring me to your grace-fountain so that your strength becomes mine.
Be my hero and come rescue your servant once again! Send me a miraculous sign to show me how much you love me, so that those who hate me will see it and be ashamed.
Don’t they know that you, Lord, are my comforter, the one who comes to help me?”
Psalms 86:1-17 TPT
“Prayer is the bridge into your castle. ( Sou) Through prayer, you quiet your mind. You cannot engage your soul through relaxation -or the power of imagination alone.
Those are just mind-body techniques for mind-body work. Your mind is not your Castle. To enter the sacred interior of your Castle you have to pray -and give conscious attention -and dedication to your journey. You are embarking on an internalized liturgy, as an internalized liturgy, as the great chronicler of mysticism and rituals, Mircea Eliade, might have put it; you are entering a Gnostic system of ancient wisdom and practice.
This is a journey of discovery, of the liberation of the self. You are scaffolding your soul with stamina for the remainder of your life. Most of all, by entering your Castle -you develop a relationship between you and God.
The most effective way to make the transition from the idea of your soul as Castle to actually entering the Castle is to become familiar with its blueprint before you step inside.
Visualize yourself at the foot of the drawbridge to your Castle. Within your Castle are seven mansions. They are not necessarily vertical, one on top of another. Rather, according to Teresa of Ávila, these mansions are arranged some above, others below, others at each side; and in the center – and midst of them all is the chiefest mansion—where God lives.
Each of the seven mansions represents an elevated place in the soul for self-examination -and encounters with God. At each mansion you increase your understanding of your soul -and gain a deeper capacity to experience and know God.
Each mansion represents a stage of development and self-discovery in which you peel off layer upon layer as you go into room after room. In each room, you face an issue or a strength, talent, challenge, memory, history, or wound -that exerts control over you. In many instances, you will confront shadow aspects of the self -that you need to reconcile, release, or heal.
You will also uncover various aspects of your soul, some familiar, many unfamiliar. Some of these rooms you have opened, some you have sealed, —and some you have yet to discover.
Your task is to enter these rooms, clear out the debris, and discover hidden treasures -and untapped inner gifts that you are meant to recognize and develop as part of your soul. This is the essential work of the soul-journer.
I have noticed again and again that the rooms in the lower three mansions that contain gifts -and blessings are the ones most tightly sealed and hardest to open.
People fear these treasure vaults -because they know that the divine power they contain, once freed, will change their lives. In fact, the work you do in every mansion, room by room, allows your life to change. And by doing this work your soul builds stamina -and its insights grow richer, more intimate and revealing. Each mansion has as many rooms as your soul needs—and then some.”
Entering the Castle
“I think of the grace of Protection as a cloak of invisibility floating around me. No one can see it, but I know it’s there.
It’s like an electric fence that burns up the energy of dark thoughts before they can get to me. I can hear them, certainly, but their capacity to grab hold of me -or influence me is lessened.
I also think of this grace as the fuel for my survival instincts. Something or someone may seem safe or trustworthy, but my gut will tell me otherwise. I have learned to trust this instinct much more than anything I see or hear.
Protective signals such as these are pure grace and guidance.
Lord, keep me under the grace of Protection, now and always. You see what I cannot. You know this path that I am walking. Therefore, I must rely upon Your view far more than my own. Protect me through the days and nights of my life, Lord.
Watch over me on the long path of my life’s journey, today and always.”
Intimate Conversations with the Divine
“Though I live a life of plenty, there are those in the world who suffer unjustly.
They are bowed down in sorrow and suffering by systems over which they have no control. May my life, in whatever way possible, help ease the burden of those who suffer from the injustices of the world.
May I not forget that I am here to extend the compassion of God, to help repair the world, to heal the heart of humanity. Whatever I can do, with my love and with my efforts, may spirit guide me and give me the power to do.
May love pour down upon me
And use me as its vehicle.
May my life in some way be of service
To those who suffer.
May my efforts in some way bring justice
To those in need of it.
May my life in all ways be
A Year of Miracles
Jesus wants to give you a new way to live – a life lived with Him-following Him. Don’t skip over this incredible truth…Jesus wants you!
Not the cleaned-up morally good version of you, but the you who is broken-who is hurting-who has done things that make you feel unworthy of His love. The you who is full of fear-regret-shame and feels trapped.
He wants you to follow Him because He wants you. As you follow Jesus-He changes you.
It’s not a simple tweak. It’s not instantaneous. But when you keep taking steps to follow Jesus, you look back on your life and realize that He was changing you along the way.
Change is not just a matter of bending your will to do what Jesus calls you to do- but a total redefining of life altogether.
The focus is not on doing something-but on following someone— Jesus Christ.
The change Jesus desires for us to experience is the eternal-abundant-and extraordinary life that can only be found in Him.
Change is always personal to Jesus -because He is the source of change. In following Jesus, you are awakened to the life that you have been looking for all along. Why settle for change -when Jesus wants to awaken you to an entirely different life as you follow Him?
40 Day Devotional
Journey Church – Orange City – Florida
Pastor James Hilton
The punishment of every sin that should have been poured out on those who deemed God worthless and had rebelled against His glory and goodness would be poured on perfect Jesus. On the Cross, the God of justice would judge sin.
But this is what is so amazing. Jesus rises from the ground and heads to the Cross. He goes because the God of love was also on the move to forgive every sin of everyone who will have the faith to call out to Jesus to save them.
He would fight the greatest battle against evil, sin, and all the powers of hell to save you. On the Cross, the God of love would forgive sin.
What does this tell us about the love and justice of God?
It shouts that we are so deeply loved by the Savior that He was willing to swallow hell itself for us.
It reveals that God is so holy and just – that Jesus would die in judgment for our sin. When Jesus cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” on the Cross – He was actually experiencing the forsakenness and wrath we deserve. He was drinking the cup on our behalf!
There on the Cross, God chose to pour out the much-needed judgment upon His Son, Jesus – instead of us.
Because of His great love, Jesus freely and willingly took our place in bearing the penalty of death that each of us deserved. In doing so, He satisfied the justice of the Law for our judgment.
Jesus Christ drank the cup – so that we who trust in Him will never have to drink the cup of God’s wrath. Jesus Christ, and He alone, can save us from the wrath to come – because He absorbed the wrath of God for us on the Cross.
It’s at the Cross where love and judgment come together. It’s at the Cross where change happens – because you see how much you are loved. It’s this love that compels us to now live for Christ!
40 Day Devotional
Journey Church – Orange City, Florida
~ Pastor James Hilton