Luke 8:50 and Intensity in the Presence of God
January 5, 2019
The article starts below. Here is a video of this article:
Introduction: Belief Meditation
A summary of this paper is as follows:
To believe is enough (Luke 8:50), so throw aside the other contents of your mind, and fill your mind with simple belief in Jesus, making it your main project and way-of-life throughout any given day: vigilantly live in a state of active but gentle believing in Christ, from step-to-step. If you live your life this way, an unfathomable Holy Joy and realness of Christ will come over your days.
The following verse is considered the basis for this entire paper:
Luke 8:50 King James Version (KJV)
50 But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.
Luke 8:50 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
50 But when Jesus heard this, He answered him, “Do not be afraid any longer; only believe, and she will be made well.”
Luke 8:50 New International Version (NIV)
50 Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.”
Luke 8:50 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
50 When Jesus heard this, he replied, “Do not fear. Only believe, and she will be saved.”
This article is about meditation—and prayer. This article is for those who yearn for, and who are called to, only the most intense, paralyzing, explosive religious experiences of God, Jesus Christ, to the point of resembling Damascus Rd, to the point of healing the blind, and raising the dead. This article is about a Christian prayer-meditation technique that is not known to have been discussed previously, but which I assert is the simplest, most important prayer-technique in all of Christianity, and the most atomic message of all of the Bible.
This article might be considered by some as weird or overdoing it, but on the contrary, this article contains the purest message of the supernatural Word of God:
Hebrews 12:2 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Acts 16:30-31 New International Version (NIV)
30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”
The message of this article is: just believe, all the time, with all your being, there is nothing else to do in this life.
But what does this mean, precisely? It will take a few pages to show exactly what is meant here, and we will be careful in determining what the Bible means by “believe”. I contend a few billion Christians on earth are presently confused on exactly what the Bible means by the word “believe,” as in believing in Christ. At the time that the Bible was written, believing in the Lord was far different than it appears to be today, by the average churchgoer. In the Bible, miracles were common (including raising the dead), casting of lots was common, and trusted more firmly than the clearest scientific discovery, and many were having regular conversations with, and revelations with, God/Christ/Holy Spirit—all things seemingly either quite absent from Christianity today, or in instances where such may rarely occur, they are either not believed by other Christians not involved, or they do not hold as much import as in Bible times. What happened? Where did the change happen? The Bible is clear: God does not change. And that means that there is a problem with Christians, today, not with God. I content that the change is in the definition of the world “believe,” which went from being a meditation and way of (prayerful) life in Bible times, to now being non-meditational afterthought, and a worldview, or a position in one’s paradigm-set.
Typically, a Christian holds the idea that to believe in God is a decision, to adopt a specific idea to their worldview, and which is a choice made at some point in their past: the choice that Jesus Christ is God and Creator and Savior. It is typically held that belief is to remain as a mere worldview alteration, rather than an active moment-to-moment spiritual practice. Typically it is held that the belief in Jesus, the aforementioned paradigm shift, was mainly a past activity in one’s life, and is not necessarily something to actively do, watchfully, and to recreate, repeat, restart, daily, hourly—all the time!—as the foundation of one’s life, in a continuous state-of-mind and awareness, existing in a state of pure belief in God-Jesus-Holy Spirit, all the time, and which is always new, and always Power.
In other words, typically it is held that the belief in Christ is not a decision we actively make-and-remake all the time, but rather, is something more like a decision we actively chose-upon and made in the past, like the time that one decided they were a republican or a democrat, or when one decided they were for or against abortion, and where now the person coasts-along in their worldview based on that past decision, no longer re-making that decision in the present moment, but merely holding it as a data-point in their overall worldview, and rarely meditating on it, dwelling in that belief, living deeply in it, step-by-step, moment-to-moment, sinking deeper into the state, the mindset, the feeling, of active believing. It is precisely that, which we are to do, deepening in our experience of believing in the Lord, every hour, where the meditation (and prayer) of constantly believing in Christ is our #1 vocation, as we work out our salvation. That type of belief is different than the belief in a worldview, and rather, it is more of a meditation, an experience of faith, and a contacting of God. The choice to become a republican or democrat was made when one was 19 years old, for example, and one does not meditate on it continually, re-initiating and remaking the decision, now, and perpetually for the rest of their life. Likewise, Christianity, today, has become a situation where one does not re-believe, and re-believe, in God, throughout a given day, through the difficulties and the trials, actively, in their minds, full of awareness, literally looking at God with their mind and heart. Rather, belief in God is on the level of the worldview data-point, the paradigm inclusion: it was a choice from long ago, and most of life is spent filling the mind with other things, and things that do not satisfy—rather than active, passionate, but relaxed and simple belief in Jesus Christ.
In this article, I will advocate the idea that we are to live according to the aforementioned belief meditation. We are to believe anew throughout any given day, or perpetually if possible, in active, new, belief-awareness, and we need to train our minds to no longer be on auto-pilot, but to fill all moments with this belief awareness, no matter what we are doing—if we are driving in highway traffic, walking to get the mail, talking to Jesus in prayer, or in a conflict with another person. This is by far the most direct way to be in the presence of God most overpoweringly. What I am discussing is to wordlessly make-and-remake the conclusion of belief in Jesus, ceaselessly, in the active awareness of one’s mind, where Christ is therein contacted and thus makes this prayerful state of belief ever-new at every moment, where one is powerfully, and perpetually, in the presence of, and in awareness of, Christ (Psalm 105:4, Rom. 14:23, Ps. 1:2, Heb. 12:2).
The continuous deciding-and-concluding of believing at every moment replaces the unhappy self-controlled mind, and replaces it with profound inner vibrancy and joyfulness, opposite of the aforementioned one-time choice in the past, which misses the focal-point of the Christian life and Christian experience, where to just believe is enough (Luke 8:50).
If just believing in Him is enough, then why would we be doing so many other things in our lives? And why wouldn’t we just be hyper-focused on pure belief in the Trinity at all times, moment-to-moment sinking into more and more pure and joyous belief? Because in Luke 8, Jesus tells us that the rewards are quite astounding if we keep this is core Christian principle, that to believe is enough—such as that Jesus Christ will heal the sick through us.
But I Already Do Believe All the Time
The average reader of this article will think that what I am discussing is what they are already doing—that they believe in the Lord already, and they never stopped believing, so they believe in Him now. But I do not believe I am talking about what the average believer, or nearly any believer in Christ, is doing. Nearly all believers are living at the level of the aforementioned paradigm shift sort of belief, and their belief in Christ is not an active spiritual practice from moment-to-moment, and it is analogous to making the choice to be a for or against abortion, or for or against the death penalty. What I am talking about is stepping out from autopilot consciousness, grabbing a hold of the mind, of awareness, of the mind’s eye, the mind’s heart, and steering it, directing it, in a specific direction—which is into simple and active belief in Jesus Christ—frequently throughout a given day, if not perpetually, deliberately, in a state of ever-newness, reaching out to the Lord, by believing in Him anew, right now, and as the main project one is engaged in, and relaxing in, on any given day. This life of belief is not a life of strain, effort or work. There is really nothing to do, nothing to change about your life, other than to let go of your life, open to the Lord, letting God in, all the time. Escape into this belief, clear your mind of most other matters in your life, and fill your life with this rejoiceful believing. Fill all of your mind and being with belief in Jesus Christ, and He will become visible.
The average Christian reading this will assert that what is being said here makes no sense, since they are a believer already, they never stopped believing, and whether they do the sort of active belief meditation discussed above or not, they nevertheless of course believe all the time, and what has been written above is irrelevant. But while most Christians believe they are in that sort of belief all the time, they are however really not. The average Christian, if they are honest about things and about their life, is filled with all sorts of subtle or more-than-subtle fears, they are calculating their lives from moment-to-moment rather than trusting in the Lord with everything, they have all sorts of doubts, they are extremely interested in the world and worldly things, they do not fear the Lord and thus seemingly don’t sense His utter realness, and so on, and thus my opinion is that the average Christian does not really trust in the Lord, has little idea of what it means to fear God (see 1 Pet. 1:17), does not really believe at the level as somebody like Paul, who has been face-to-face with Christ, and thus I don’t think the average Christian really believes all the time, and I think they believe with significant caveats. I think they discard portions of the Bible when hearing about the latest scientific fads, as if the flawless Word of God is fickle or sub-true. I think they may often spend more time watching worldly television than contacting God directly in prayer. I have seen so many “strong Christians” turn from Christ in times of Crisis—many of which were Christians that said they would never retreat from their Christianity. I have seen seasoned Christians, including pastors, turn from their faith. This is all because those who said they believed actually only believed at the level of holding God as a worldview data-point, a paradigmatic position—not as a deep experience, not as a life of faith that was bent on connecting to Love (God), of the aforementioned belief meditation, where we increase in knowledge of the Lord continually (Col. 1:10).
What is Belief?
In the Bible, belief is more than a mere choice to hold a particular view or paradigm. Belief is an energy in consciousness, a force of the soul, that is little understood, little utilized, and highly and hugely underestimated. It is far more than what it is usually thought (e.g., a set of opinions, or a political stance)—rather, it is a doorway to Jesus, and the form of salvation. But this sort of belief is a life of belief meditation, where one’s mind’s eye, one’s awareness is actively believing, every hour, even moment-to-moment. Simple, uncomplicated, fearless and raw belief, and the holding of the belief in awareness, is a mental state that is an unmoved intruder within awareness that makes God visible. If only to believe is enough, then we should expect the deepest and most direct experience of Christ to found via genuine, vigilant, and convinced believing in Him, step-by-step, since “we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7). We do not see God with our physical eyes, and we humans therefore need a way to connect to Him simply, easily, all the time: walking by faith, not by sight. The way has been provided for us: it is the mental state of active, verb-like belief in Christ, as described above, which our minds are naturally accustomed to, and which we are designed for.
But what is, exactly, precisely, Christian belief? This is rarely discussed. Simple and uncomplicated belief in the Trinity is more like an inner explosion than a chosen worldview. When made into a daily practice—and we know from verses like Luke 9:23, that our life in Christ is to be a daily practice of working out our salvation—raw, uncomplicated, unfettered belief in Jesus Christ is more like an increasing, a deepening, and an eruption, than it is like making a choice to include a concept in one’s worldview. I will discuss how simple belief in Christ is a mind-set that Scripture tells us is to be practiced throughout any given day, and even perpetually if possible.
A primary element in Christianity is experiencing God all the time: living in and from His presence, at every moment. This is often referred to in the Bible as being in God’s presence, being crucified with Christ, fixing our eyes on Jesus, or having faith. This is the only acceptable life: to be aware of God, and, that is, in His presence, all the time, since living not in His presence is sin (Romans 14:23). If Jesus says “only” believe, that that’s all that is needed, and it must be that simple, where Luke 8:50 must point to us the way into Christ, the answer as to how to live a life of experience of Him all the time. We don’t try; we don’t invent or create a feeling—we just believe. We know Him, live with Him. It’s a decision to have the mind-set of believing, to believe now, rather than not: to open our hearts and minds to Him in Heaven now, rather than focusing on the world, which never satisfied. Believe in Him, all the time: to believe is a verb, it’s an action, it’s a way of life—far beyond being a paradigm.
Simplicity is very important; don’t overthink it. Our minds have a special capacity, a special power, to believe in Christ, which is not like other belief experiences. If we are having trouble holding the belief in Him in belief meditation, then we are overthinking it. Luke 8:50 does not specify to us some special belief technique, other than to have enough closeness and trust in Christ that the rest of reality is, in a way, eclipsed.
It is often said that believing in God is really knowing Him. While this is not incorrect, it is definitely not the focal point we are aiming for in this article. The belief meditation is an inner mysticism: that is, a direct connection in the mind, in the heart, to God. When we open to Him in active meditational and prayerful belief, we look to Him, look at Him, we let Him come in: He is seen in us, and we in Him (John 15:5). We clear our minds of what we think we do and don’t know, of what science and culture have told us is true or false, and we simply desire the presence of Jesus the Christ in our being now. We accept that reality is a mystery, God is a mystery, but where we have been given a special relationship and connection to Christ-God-Spirit, by this way of holding and resting in simple, relaxed, hungry belief in Him. If one holds their state of simple and uncomplicated belief in Christ for a few moments, in this way, God becomes present, and visible.
Believing is a far more powerful and active of a concept than mere knowing, and to reduce the inner mysticism of believing to knowing is to not understand the power of the belief-state of loving Christ. Nearly all people on earth do not understand the special and unique capacity and God-connection of the aforementioned belief meditation, since they have not known to take-part in this sort of prayer (even though it is pointed out in the Bible, such as with Luke 8:50). Knowing is a far more stagnant concept, and a far more simple mental activity than believing, where believing is far more effervescent and alive. When I know that 2+2 equals 4, or that there is a tree in my yard, for example, there is not a whole lot more than can happen than that: I can’t know much more fully, that the tree is there, or that 2+2 is 4—I know, and that’s basically the end of it. I just know it, and that’s it. But with belief, when you watch and feel your inner mental flux of belief ebbing and flowing, budding and animating more energetically, you will feel inside that there is an energetic tone of inner dynamism, of joyful prayer, and independent vitality, none of which is much involved in mere knowing. If knowing God was the key, Luke 8:50 would involve the word “know”, instead of the word “believe.” But believing is an active capacity to participate in God presently, and knowing is more akin to the aforementioned paradigm data-point, than to an explosive meditation in Christ Jesus. This explosiveness is more like a blooming flower, and a silent, restful explosion, and opening. When living in simple and uncomplicated belief in Him, in that very moment of belief-awareness, a person may lose their full anchoring within their physical existence, existing as a citizen of Heaven (see Phil. 3:20 and Gal. 2:20), to a degree absent in the body while being present in the Lord.
We just believe, in the same way that one believes that what you see in front of them right now is real. There is nothing fancy, secret, or spectacular about this. You just believe like you believe that the tree you see in your yard is real—just believe in God, see him and open to Him in believing, in the same way. Unlike the things of the world, believing in God, in this simple way, fills one with the fullness of God’s holiness. After tasting this, the world does not captivate, and one is compelled to lay down their life for the Lord God. The inner mental state of simple, uncomplicated, focused but relaxed and open raw belief is more like a glowing inner current of radiant feeling, a humming inner alertness that is iridescent and active. Do not try to invent any feelings or create a feeling; just believe, be aware, experience God.
One last point needs to be made about fear. Fear is the absolute block to the belief-capacity, the belief-connection in the soul to God, the inner mysticism of perpetual belief in Christ. How many times does Jesus say, “do not be afraid.” Also, note that Luke 8:50 contains this message: “fear not.” This is because if one has fear, one cannot participate in the meditation of the inner mysticism of simple, perpetual, verb-like belief in Christ, that makes Him visible. In my opinion, the most important verse on this topic is the following:
1 John 4:18 New International Version (NIV)
18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
If one has fear, fear will have to be removed from the heart, and this is done by fixing one’s eyes on Jesus, and letting go of their life, where all fear is replaced with perfect trust in Christ. If we try to remove the fear ourselves, we will fail. It must be removed by God, and only by looking at Him directly, and therein sinking into Him via the experience of faith, will we be transformed from fear to trust.
The Trinity is an infinite light, that his everywhere. The Bible is clear, that our lives are to be lives lived in faith—that is, in the presence of God, having evidence of Him who is unseen (Heb. 11:1, Ps. 16:11, 2 Cor. 4:18, etc.). The inner mysticism of simple, perpetual, verb-like believing in Christ, from moment-to-moment, can most vividly allow us to see, with our heart and mind, this infinite light that Christ is. The more we can practice this inner mysticism, more resembling a monk on Mount Athos, rather than a Sunday Christian in Protestant America, the better we can experience the infinite joy of Christ’s omnipresent light intensity. This is an experience that every creature that has breath yearns for.
-Jeff Grupp, Kalamazoo, www.PraiseandLove.net, Jan. 5, 20198
Here is a video of this article: