Alms-Giving: Cleaning the Closets, Part 1, The Divine Center

Richard Foster in, “Freedom of Simplicity, (Harper, 1981) has a chapter on living from the Divine Center.  In the chapter, Foster quotes another author (Thomas Kelly, “Testament of Devotion”, in which Kelly writes:

We feel honestly the pull of many obligations and try to fulfill them all.  And we are unhappy, uneasy, strained, oppressed, and fearful we shall be shallow.”

What Kelly and Foster write about is caused by living outside of the Divine Center and is stimulated by our false self.  The false self tells us that we must work harder, do more, and excel  at every greater rates, in order to be loved and accepted by others.  The source of this false self is Satan.

I must confess that this has been my chief battle over the years.  It is a struggle that I only fully realized about 15 years ago and I am still striving to understand it and learning how to overcome living outside of the Divine Center.  God has been leading me, but, it is a slow process.  God is calling me to the Center.

The Lenten season starts with Jesus confronting, and, being confronted by His false self.  This is the first battle for Jesus and it is our battle today.  The invitation of Lent is to clean out the closet in order to live in the Divine Center.  We are all hoarders.  We hoard sin, things, lies and deceptions.  God invites us to discern those articles of mass distraction and invites us to lay them at the foot of the cross for redemption and healing.

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