Communing with the Saints
Saturday, October 10, 2009

 ... Wang: Communion of Saints

“These things happened to [God’s people of the past] as examples for us.  They were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age.” (1 Cor. 10:11)


            It’s Saturday morning.  Hopefully you are not working today.  Saturdays are good days to make a fresh pot of coffee and nestle into reading God’s word and the words of God’s saints – ancient, historical, and contemporary.  This is part of (certainly not all) the concept called communion with the saints.  God worked in His people in the Scriptures, He has worked in His people in the ages past, and He continues to work in His people today.  And we, His people, can gain so much from visiting with these saints.  It will renew our spirits and fortify our souls.  But it is a difficult task for many.  Some don’t like to read and others feel they don’t have time to read.  So that is why one of the great spiritual disciplines is communing with the saints.  This is done in at least four levels.


            First, we commune with the saints of the biblical era.  And this is the most exciting because eveyr word of Scripture is God-breathed.  When we pick up the Word, we are listening to God – our Creator.  He talks openly and freely to us each day as we pour through the writings of the Holy Spirit, through the pens of the biblical saints.  There are many ways we can read the Bible – historical, as literature, or spiritually.  And all these ways are legitimate.  But there are times when we need to zero in on the spiritual.  Don’t read of the adventures of David to see how he behaved, but how God is working in his life.  Don’t read the life of Peter as history, but read and listen to what God is telling him.  Read every sentence as something coming from God that He wants you to hear.


            The second level is the writings of the saints gone by.  Read Confessions or The City of God by Augustine, written over 1600 years ago and see the depth of the early saints.  When I read these men and women, I am ashamed of the shallowness of my own writing and the writing of most of the pop Christian literature today.  In fact these saints are largely ignored by pastors with seminary degrees because the writings are too deep.  Take a hold of great books by men like John Calvin, Martin Luther, Julian of Norway, Philip Spener, Sister Theresa of Avila, John Bunyan, or Thomas Aquinas.  But don’t try to grasp these writings in a quick reading.  Understanding and growing comes from using your highlighter, keeping a pad handy to read their ideas and interact with them.  They have so much to share with you, because they spent so much time with God.


            There is another level of spiritual learning and growing that is more pleasant for most Christians and has some validity if rightly applied.  Reading of our contemporary Christian writers can be a place to start to reading and understanding of God’s desired relationship with us.  Most of what hits the Christian book shelves today is fluff, but there are writers even in our contemporary culture who have much to offer.  They write not for popular consumption, but to help the saints draw closer to God.  I would list among the best as A.W. Tozer, Oswald Chambers, Dallas Willard, Eugene Peterson, John Piper, Richard Foster, and John Stott.  These men, like the saints of old, write well, because they live well, and they spend their days in the presence of God.


            The fourth and the easiest way to commune with the saints is to fellowship and worship with them.  There is a purpose and reason God commanded us to worship on Sundays.  We go, among people we love, to seek the God we love.  We go with humility – not to critique the music or message, but to lovingly see what God has in store to tell us.  With open hearts we rush into His presence and find for, if only for a moment, a time of peace, a time of quietness, a time of worship that is unlike any other time we spend on this earth.  We are in the presence of God, with the people of God, yearning to do the will of God.  And all of a sudden, God will pour into our hearts and lives.  How blessed is the saint who worships in the house of his or her God.


            So this morning drown out the noise of the world by communing with your God.  Then next week, go purchase a notebook of some sort to start journaling what you read and the promptings of what God has given you.  Go to your favorite Christian Book store and buy a copy of the writings of the saints from ages past, pick up a devotional by Oswald Chambers or a copy of Interior Castles and hear from voices yearning for God.  Then lay your hands on The Divine Conspiracy, The Jesus Way, or Mere Christianity.  And next Saturday, make a pot of coffee, light a fire, and snuggle into the arms of your God.  Do those things on Saturday, and I promise you hell itself cannot keep you from worship on Sunday.

Kingdom Road Ministries
PO Box 503
10 South Main, Suite 201
Victor, ID 83455

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