Seeking the Lord – AADISHRI ARUN

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Seeking the Lord means seeking His presence. “Presence” is a common translation of the Hebrew word “face.” Literally, we are to seek His “face.”  To be before His face is to be in His presence. But are His children always in His presence? Yes in two senses: First, in the sense that God is omnipresent and therefore always near everything and everyone. He holds everything in being. His power is ever-present in sustaining and governing all things. And second, yes, He is always present with His children in the sense of His covenant commitment to always stand by us and work for us and turn everything for our good. God says “Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age”. But there is a sense in which God’s presence is not with you always. For this reason, the Bible repeatedly calls you to “seek the Lord . . . seek his presence continually.” God’s manifest, conscious, trusted presence is not our constant experience. There are seasons when you become neglectful of God and give Him no thought and do not put trust in Him and you find Him “Unmanifested” — that is, unperceived as great and beautiful and valuable by the eyes of your hearts. His face — the brightness of His personal character — is hidden behind the curtain of your carnal desires. This condition is always ready to overtake you. That is why you are told to “seek His presence continually.” God calls you to enjoy continual consciousness of His supreme greatness and beauty and worth. Now question is-what it means to seek? Continual seeking. But what does that mean practically?  The Holy scriptures says – “Setting of the mind and heart” on God. It is the conscious fixing or focusing of our mind’s attention and our heart’s affection on God. The Holy Bible has prophesied -“Now set your mind and heart to seek the Lord your God.” For being seeker of God, you should understand what is means to make a conscious choice to seek God and the Obstacles to Avoid.

A Conscious Choice:

This setting of the mind is the opposite of mental coasting. It is a conscious choice to direct the heart toward God. This is what Paul prays: “May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness ”. It is a conscious effort on your part. But that effort to seek God is a gift from God himself.  In effect we seek God because he graces us with a desire to seek him. You do not make this mental and emotional effort to seek God because He is lost. God is never lost. Nevertheless, there is always something through which or around which you must go to meet Him consciously. This going through or around is what seeking is. He is often hidden. Veiled. You must go through mediators and around obstacles. The heavens are telling the glory of God. So you can seek Him through that. He reveals Himself in His word. So you can seek Him through that. He shows Himself to you in the evidences of grace in other people. So you can seek Him through that. The seeking is the conscious effort to get through the natural means to God Himself — to constantly set your minds toward God in all your experiences, to direct our minds and hearts toward Him through the means of His revelation. This is what seeking God means.

Obstacles to Avoid:

And there are endless obstacles that you must get around in order to see Him clearly, and so that you can be in the light of His presence. You must flee spiritually dulling activities. You must run away from them and get around them. They are blocking your way. You know what makes you vitally sensitive to God’s appearances in the world and in the word. And you know what dulls us and blinds you and makes you not even want to seek Him. These things you must move away from and go around if you would see God. That is what seeking God involves. And as you direct your minds and heart’s God-ward in all your experiences, you cry out to Him. This too is what seeking Him means. You can use the following prayer-“O Lord, open my eyes. O Lord, pull back the curtain of my blindness towards you. Lord, have mercy and reveal yourself. I long to see your face.”

God’s Promises for Children, Family and Marriage

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We are living in the kingdom of Kali. People calls it Kali Yuga and as per the Holy Bible and the Holy Quran, these are called the end of the days.  This is a time of great strife and difficulty and a time that is full of grave dangers, natural disasters and of man betraying man for the sake of petty gain.  As we look around us we see ample evidence of this.  This century has been full of major natural disasters, climate change, ecological disasters, strange and new diseases and wars.  Even as I write this, the conflict in Syria is on and going from bad to worse.  We have just experienced the worst forms of brutality and the world’s most powerful body-The United Nations is helpless in preventing the slaughter, rape and destruction of innocent people.  Man has failed to protect the weak and the helpless and the decent and good people of the world can only turn to the Lord for help.  The question is that the Lord has promised us many things in the scriptures but will He fulfil these Promises? And if He  fulfils these promises then how will He do so?  The question we are all asking is-What form will the fulfilling of the promises take? The answer is that the fulfilment of these promises will be done through the appearance of a great surprise or will be done as miracles.

God has promised that He will save your children and His promise will never be lie.  Bible, Isaiah 49:25 has prophesied -“For I will contend with him who contends with you, and I will save your children.” God calls husbands and wives to a mutually beneficial marriages.  Bible, 1 Corinthians 7:3 has prophesied – “Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband.”

God Promises Wisdom and Guidance

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God has given essential knowledge for His children is found in His Word. Lord’s word is wisdom and purpose is to have the ability to apply knowledge to everyday in life. It is in the reading and understanding of God’s Word that you obtain knowledge, and meditating upon that knowledge  brings wisdom.

Wisdom is one of God’s promises. Bible, James 1:5 says – “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” God gives wisdom and guides you. Bible, Psalms 32:8 says – “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” Bible, Proverbs 3:5-7 has prophesied – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil.” God promises to guide you on His pathway. Bible, Isaiah 30:21 has prophesied – “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.”

Why happiness is so important?

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What is Happiness?  It is a commodity that is being chased by every being in the world.  We all want it but very few have it and even those who have it, they find it difficult to constantly remain in that state.

Let us look at the question of Happiness closely.

There are two kinds of happiness.  One is what most of us chase.  This is an inner state of the mind that is induced by our circumstances.  When we get what we desire, we feel happy and when we don’t get what we expect, we feel unhappy, sad and anxious.

Thus this kind of happiness/ sadness is completely dependent on some external circumstance or object.  We all know the state of happiness when we get a new car, a new friend, go on a vacation or have a new addition to the family!  We may also feel happy when we get wealth, fame or acclaim.  This kind of reason for happiness is why women go shopping! Sadness is the opposite side of this coin.  We feel sad when we have a setback, when we may have lost a business or money or a friend or a loved one.

Thus this kind of Happiness and/ or sadness is two sides of a coin.

But as change is the law of nature, these states of happiness or sadness never remain the same.  They keep alternating with each other and we are not in control since our circumstances keep changing. Change is the order of the world just as night follows day. Another truth is that everyone has to face these changing circumstances. No one can escape from it.

When we realize this basic truth, we try to find that unchanging foundation on which we can rest our well-being.  That unchanging foundation is God Himself.  God is someone who doesn’t change and He is the only reality that can be depended upon.

Now we will ask the question.-Why is it necessary to be happy?

The question we must ask ourselves is – Why am I prisoner of my circumstances?  Why do circumstances have the power to make me happy or sad ? And isn’t my state of happiness or sadness simply a mental interpretation of my mental beliefs that may not be true?

We assume meanings and decide our happiness and sadness based on our limited understanding of life.

That leads to the second type of happiness.  That is the true state of happiness that depends on no external circumstances.  It can be called Non-Specific joy and it comes about because of the sheer gratitude and joy of being alive.  In India it is called Sat-Chit-Ananda. Or truth – consciousness – bliss.

The true seeker must try to be in this state of happiness rather than be in the duality of happiness/ sadness.

. Now question is why happiness is so important?
Although we may sometimes neglect to cultivate our own happiness, feeling happy is intrinsically important. If we are happy it has added benefits. These include us becoming more compassionate and feeling healthier both physically and emotionally. We become more creative, witty, energetic and fun to be around and it can also lead us to become more financially successful.

The fundamental reason why happiness is so important is that it’s extremely vital to our own goals in life and can help us achieve many other cherished personal ambitions and goals. Also, by being happy, we have the potential to change many other lives just by being ourselves.

How often have you been in a place and there’s been something about the mood or atmosphere that doesn’t quite seem right? When happiness is on board, this not only affects you but it has positive effects on all those with whom you come into contact.

So, it’s the ‘domino’ effect and it all begins with you as an individual. As you spread those feelings they are taken on board by those around you who also spread them in turn. If you can imagine the impact this would create if the feeling was then perpetuated and multiplied by hundreds, then thousands and then millions of people? There would be no use for wars or terrorism in the world which is another example of why happiness is so important.

These are the effects of being happy:

(1)Feel Good

(2)Live Longer

(3)Have Better Health

(4)Bounce Back Faster

(5)Are More Likely to Be Romantically Involved

(6) Solve Problems Better and Faster

(7) Look for the Win-Win

(8) Are Not Violent

(9) Are More Likely to Help Others 

(10) Feel blessed and Lucky in life.