Tag Archives: GRACE

Violent Craving

The setting of this memoir may be challenging to read easily. I wrote this as a scholarly expository and have not edited for the purpose of an audience that may not have a background in bible exposition. I encourage everyone to read beginning to end though. My commentary is relatively simple with illustration where it is appropriate. I welcome all comments. This is one installment to my upcoming publication dealing with love and grace. Stay tuned for more articles on love! I have more great articles coming. Love has no bounds!

Violent Cravingviolent craving

Gen 3:16  UntoH413 the womanH802 he said,H559 I will greatlyH7235 multiplyH7235 thy sorrowH6093 and thy conception;H2032 in sorrowH6089 thou shalt bring forthH3205 children;H1121 and thy desireH8669 shall be toH413 thy husband,H376 and heH1931 shall ruleH4910 over thee.

Son 8:6  SetH7760 me as a sealH2368 uponH5921 thine heart,H3820 as a sealH2368 uponH5921 thine arm:H2220 forH3588 loveH160 is strongH5794 as death;H4194 jealousyH7068 is cruelH7186 as the grave:H7585 the coalsH7565 thereof are coalsH7565 of fire,H784 which hath a most vehement flame.H7957

Son 8:7  ManyH7227 watersH4325 cannotH3808 H3201 (H853) quenchH3518 love,H160 neitherH3808 can the floodsH5104 drownH7857 it: ifH518 a manH376 would giveH5414 (H853) allH3605 the substanceH1952 of his houseH1004 for love,H160 it would utterly be contemned.H936 H936

Son 7:10  IH589 am my beloved’s,H1730 and his desireH8669 is towardH5921 me.

When reading these passages my mind is reeling with thoughts. So many thought in order to focus I have to stop and start with a single word and work back and forward from this point of reference. I have to reject for the moment all the objections and preconceived notions to consider them later in a balanced logical manner. I am challenged with my English or American culture and language when surveying the Hebrew culture and language. Worse still to comprehend this matter I must also consider the mind of Christ or the culture and language of the Kingdom of God.

Many a student has rushed into a logical expression and failed in assumptions. The frame work begins with God or better stated the culture and language of the Kingdom.

We must begin with the word picture of the English word “desire”. Genesis 3:6 is the first place the English word is translated. This word “châmad” means to lust or wanting something that does not belong to you in a way that it robs the owner. We find this definition to be consistent with other appearances in scripture such as

Deu 5:21  Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour’s wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbour’s house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

However when we reach Genesis 3:16 we find another Hebrew word “teshûqâh”. This word has been termed a “violent craving” or an intense longing. Some has went so far as defining it as a disease due to the context where as the curse plagues every woman after Eve.

We have on one hand the context and on the other culture language.

Study Notes

( fem., תשוקה / te-shu-qah ) Translation: FOLLOWING Definition: To go, proceed or come after. Being next in order or time. Subsequent to. As the river follows the path of its banks.

The root of this word means

( common, שוק ) Translation: OVERFLOW (V) Definition: [To be verified] The overflowing of the banks of a river.

Word picture by each Hebrew letter from rigth to left

התשוק

tav :  Crossed sticks;  monument, signal, sign, mark

shin : two front teath; sharp, press, eat tow

chet : tent peg; add, secure, hook

quph: sun on the horizon;  condense, circle, time

hey : man with arms raised; look reveal breath

The word picture literally look like this:  sign to press for security all day revealed. To place this in perspective this sign will be seen for all women. They will press hard or manipulate for the purpose of security. This pursuit will cause them to look all the days of their life.

I am quick to say this is not an interpretation rather a picture of the condition Elohim (God) reveals for all women. I am also quick to say that a judgment is not a curse of person rather a propensity of character.  We observe this in two ways. Eve would be concerned for her children. The word for sorrow in this passage is to worry. Many would say the travail of physical birth is the meaning here. Though we can find evidence of this in child birth this is not the translation. We cannot ignore the labor pains but it does belay the passage and the anxiety of bringing up children outside of the garden and the protection and security that it provides. We see then the propensity following that is all about her need or her want of security. This is not a curse rather this is the result of transgression Elohim cautioned them about. They were told not to eat the fruit of the tree because the results would be catastrophic. This is the first evidence of the law of cause and effect. Transgression resulted in sin. Sin is the result and when sin is fully conceived it brings destruction. Eve is not being cursed for ignorance rather she is being saved from further ignorance. God provided security and protection. She ran from this security and protection to a tree with a promise of something else. This is where we are draw into the narrative.  She has her security and protection removed. Further she is experiencing something that is really foreign. She is separated both spiritually and physically from Adam. Her vulnerability is increased. Oneness is not a desire but a design. This makes the desire for design as termed Violent Craving. Once you have something and it is gone the desire to have it again is excruciating. The overflow of water seen in a fountain overflows because of fullness to return to the source from whence it came. The scene here in Genesis is different though because the flow exceeds the bounds of the river drowning and destroying the landscape around.  The Flow is a torrent and violent causing collateral damage even changing the landscape.

onenessoneness

Oneness is God the Fathers design.  Adam was made of earth as a body to house the Human being for the purpose of experiencing the Grace of God demonstrated by Christ the Son of God. What does this mean? In this context Adam is a being named for the physically body. In the same way angels are named for their celestial body. Throughout the scriptures men have been named for characteristics manifested in the physical world. David has historically been known “am man after God’s heart”  and his name means “beloved”. “Adam” means made from earth or earthy and literally means ruddy as a complexion.  Eve is not made in the same fashion. She is made from Adam. We must hold at this point. We cannot understand this scene or the event until we make this picture complete. From the ground Elohim made man. This is to say that the elements He is to be made of are linked together chemically to form a genetic code that makes a kind called mankind. Chemically the electrical charges are aligned in a code. The code literally is a programming that displays physical characteristics to include all the mechanisms and organs that must function to display and maintain health. The chemicals are then coded to form the bonds necessary to make these organs. This is the makeup of every physical body to include the animals and plant or every living thing after their kind. Adam is made a kind of physical body. This is where we arrive at Eve. She is not coded from the earth. Instead Adam’s Code is divided. The English rendering of this scene says that Elohim took a rib and fashioned Eve. The word rib is simplistic and if this was all we had to understand this passage we could come to an understanding though not a complete picture. The concept is the marrow of this curved bone is all the genetic material needed to fashion another body. We know this from those who receive bone marrow transplants who take on the characteristic of the person who donates the marrow. We can understand this scene greater from the Hebrew word:

צלעה

tsal‛âh meaning “a side”.

We arrive at this meaning from the word picture “journey to bind know divide from “trail shepherd staff eye tent wall”. The letters of the word tsal‛âh form a picture of not a rib singular but the half of man denoting something more than physical. We term this correctly as masculine and feminine. This is not just a physical value though because this carries the values both emotional and psychological. These values are not differences as much as complimentary and completion. These are a matter of design and function. Adam was made complete in body with a balance of hormones testosterone and estrogen making him ONE. Eve was fashioned feminine meaning she was taken from Adam leaving him masculine. The two together make one flesh, a single family unit with a singular design function.  This new body is then assigned a human being to walk in unity. The word picture is then representative of Christ and the bride or the body/church stated as one body and one spirit.

Eve needs oneness not because of lust for something that does not belong to her. Eve needs oneness not because she has issues of pride to rule the new world. Eve needs oneness because she was created as one with Adam. She is a part of him that she cannot deny or escape. The relationship is damaged if not lost. The spiritual connection is broken because they are dead where as the word death means literally separated. At this point spiritual death takes on an expanded meaning. Eve is separated from Christ meaning she is fallen from grace. Eve is also separated from Adam meaning she is fallen from all relationships she knew in the garden. Adam is dead and she is dead spiritually. This cannot be overstated. Spiritual death drives Eve to a point of despair we all can relate. For her though who tasted the life and vitality of the garden and relationship with Christ and Adam this despair does not have words to describe. What kind of world will her children live in? What of the security of the garden? Where will they live; what will they eat; how will they survive? There has not been a more desperate moment in all of history. What will she do? What will they do?

We pick up a portion of the narrative where one of them conceives the idea of sewing fig leaves together to cover their nakedness. Why the covering? Eve is vulnerable and she hides from Adam her husband and Christ who walks in the Garden. She is vulnerable, unprotected in an environment that once was a safe haven. What changed? The garden did not change. Eve changed. She is lost in the flood that once was a river in the banks. She is caught up in the torrent that sweeps her away from the only thing she had ever known. She knows fear! Fear of uncertainty. Fear of Death. But why?

The narrative goes deep into the purpose Eve was created. This is where the story line gets profound. Looking at the text line by line, we see first that God places the man He had made in the garden and immediately gives the first commandment. It’s a dietary law: “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” (Gen. 2:16-17 NASB)

Keep this context in mind as to what God says and does in the next verse: Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” (Gen. 2:18 NASB) Consider the implications of these verses being juxtaposed together like this? Why does YHWH give Adam the first commandment and then straight away tells us that Adam needs an ezer kenegdo (suitable helper)?  How can we ignore the obvious connection that Eve’s purpose is somehow connected to the command for Adam to obey?  This is where the narrative gets really interesting.

An ezer is literally an aid, a help, a guard, and a protector meaning to surround. In nearly all of its uses in the Old Testament, ezer is used in reference to YHWH (the LORD; English translations use all cap letters when YHWH is found in the hebrew).

 

Ps. 33:20 Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help (EZER) and our shield.

Ps. 70:5 But I am afflicted and needy; Hasten to me, O God! You are my help (EZER) and my deliverer; O LORD, do not delay.

Hos. 13:9 It is your destruction, O Israel, That you are against Me, against your help (EZER).

We should ask the question that is answered in this text. Why does Elohim use language that is directed to Him in the language of the formation of Eve? First we understand that she is not purposed to be an assistant to Adam. She is not a baby factory or nurse. Eve’s role is far more important than our cultural portrays. The language demands that we follow a logical ends to purpose. Eve’s function is to help Adam in a similar way that God helps us. The Hebrew text implies Eve is a type of guide or her existence is to help Adam fulfill his divinely created purpose namely to obey the Word of the LORD. The word “help” in this context is one of conscience that surrounds Adam. I would not be so bold as to say this is a spirit guide. However we must not discount that she is a Human Being implying that her being is spiritual made in the likeness of God. In other word she is spirit in a body. In this way she is to aid Adam in obedience and consequentially also means for one to disobey is to mean both disobey. Together they stand or fall.

There is more to this expression ezer kenegdo. The Hebrew kenegdo is actually a compound of two prepositions, ki and neged. Neged means before, in front of, corresponding to, against, and opposite;  Ki means like or as. Why is this so important? When we combine the two words the implication is a corresponding contradiction: to be for and to be against. However we must remember that these expressions are a position. In the same way a hedge is to keep some in and some out kenegdo describes the position Elohim created for Eve. If Adam is righteous then Eve is for him and if Adam is unrighteous she is against him. This is not indicative to transgression or the resulting sin rather the direction of travel and counsel. The expression “Remember the LORD your God” is a matter of travel and counsel.  In the same way the LORD our ezer steers us toward righteousness. Fact is in our fallen state His desire even when He is against us is to turn us back to repentance.  Eve was created to be ezer kenegdo to Adam.  This was her divinely designed purpose. She has a special role to play in the life of Adam.

This text reveals the depth of Eve’s worry and corresponding sorrow at the fall. She is designed for the purpose of maintaining obedience between Adam and Christ. She is his intercessor and front/rear guard. She is to support him when he embraces Christ’s direction and oppose him when he does not. She is the ezer in the only field he needs additional attention. Notice the commandment to eat or not eat was given to him but this is not his only command. He is also tasked with keeping the garden and tending to the daily business of the garden. He does not need help in work, stewardship, dominion of animals or expansion plans as his family grows. He needs spiritual awareness and obedience. Without her, the man is at great risk and vulnerable.

This is the meaning of the word of the Lord that she received in Gen 3:16. Her world of security and protection is removed and great uncertainty is a way of life outside of her personal relationship with Christ not with Adam. Adam will still need an ezer kenegdo though he will not easily or readily accept this help due to his previous experience.  The bond is broken and trust will have to be re-established. This trust will have to be her relationship with Christ: Love and Respect.

There is a violent craving. Yes there is dysfunction. No this is not a disease or a curse. The woman’s need is not for what she can never have, rather a need to be who she is created to be. She has every cause to feel as she does toward man or men. This does not make right rather reveals the desperate need we have of Christ who restore and saves.

Look back at the Garden of Eden now. See the Angel of the LORD that stands barring the way to the only purpose and security they knew. Now see Christ who builds an alter and sacrifices himself on that alter; clothing them in animal skins as a symbol of the blood He shed clothing them in Grace. Eve got her restitution though it would be years before she would see it face to face. The ONE who walks in the garden Walks with us and talks with us even to this day only in a messy world stained with ignorance and deceit.

This narrative is the call for women to rise to the occasion and become the Women of Grace God created them to be. This is also the call to men to rise to the occasion and become the voice of God spreading the word of God to shed light in the darkness of ignorance. Oneness between Man and Wife is possible. He that hears let him hear.

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Love or Die

Love or Die

Love is a law therefore it is commanded. Somehow this has escaped me all these years. I know it is good for me to love because it is reciprocal. Hate is reciprocal too. Indifference is no more than a silent hatred. What has escaped me all these years is that love is a law that cannot be broken without extreme collateral damage. Even so love is the motivating law of life.  We see this law in action all around as an inescapable command: “Love or Die”.  We have an insatiable need for love. We are served and serve through love. Intimacy of relationship is though love. By serving others we add value to ourselves and others. We call this appreciation or to appreciate.  The absence of love depreciates, decreasing the value of ourselves and others.

god is love

The Love Defined

God is love. What does this mean? Love can be expressed by four Greek words, agape, phileo, eros and storge.

Storge is a love God the Father expresses toward Christ as the heir of all He has designed and purposed to show the Glory of God to all creation. This love is also expressed toward us who are made in the image and likeness of God.  To live is to manifest the Fathers glory of genius. To reflect this glory is an expression of storge. Storge is the most organic form of love that anyone can feel; something as natural as falling asleep at night. This love is the most comfortable and least ecstatic of all loves. It’s not the rapturous feeling you have when falling in love with a partner. Storge  it like soft slippers might feel to your body. Storge wraps you around like a blanket, almost like sleep itself. The Father has provided all that you need intellectually, emotionally, physically and spiritually. To love God you must express this level of appreciation with your total being. You are wrapped in the Fathers love resonating for all to see and feel.

Eros is a love that shows intimacy of being. Eros is the romantic flavor of love. It’s passionate, it’s rapturous, and it’s euphoric. It’s what the greatest songs have been sung about, what the greatest poems have been written about. It’s what many consider the greatest feeling of the human experience. Far more it is an expression that makes you human. If you’ve been walking around with a void in your life, when you find someone who can wipe it clean, it can truly feel like heaven on earth for a period of time.  This is the love of Jesus Christ toward His bride the body/church. This is His glory in action. To eros is to have the most intimate relationship intellectually, emotionally, physically and spiritually. To love Christ you must express this level of appreciation with your total being.

Dr. Seuss once said..

“You know you’re in love when you don’t want to fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”

Phileo is a love that is dispassionate, deep, and enduring friendship. This love knows your faults and does not abandon you in times of need. This love stands with you regardless of the circumstances. This love laughs when you laugh, cries with you when you cry and comforts you all the day every day. This love tells you what you need to hear not what you want to hear. This love anchors you to stability not shifting with the sands of time. This love strengthens by faith and creates hope in your life. This is the love of the Holy Spirit toward you expressed in knowledge, wisdom, health and faith of intellectually, emotionally, physically and spiritually. To love the Holy Spirit you must express this level of appreciation with your total being.

 

Agape is a love that is comprehensive of storge, eros and phileo. God is Love. This would be better said Elohim is Love. The trinity is Love! You cannot have one without the others. Jesus said “He dwells within me and I in Him…He does the works.” Faith, hope and agape is the essentials of life and agape is the greatest of these. Why? God is agape. Who wants a husband or wife that is eros only? No you want a friend who will walk with you, a lover who will court you and spouse who knows your needs better than anyone! This is expressed toward you comprehensively by God intellectually, emotionally, physically and spiritually.

jas 1_5

Law of Love in action

This is where the road rises up to meet you. This is the great teaching of Christ Love is life. Love dwells in all human beings. All things that are good are the result of love. Love creates and appreciates. It does not benefit a person to attempt anything without love. Despite all your will to think positively and accept only good, you will find your thinking warped, demented and twisted into patterns of selfishness, bitterness, and resentment every time you cross a crisis in your life. If love has not manifested fully in your life you will see a world that is hostile and people and things that are hostile. This is a matter of view and not necessarily a reality. You will expect people to be bent on beating, taking from and destroying you. As long as this type of belief lies at the door of the subconscious you will be subject to the Law of Reciprocal Actions. You will get your expectations met creating an environment opposite of your desires. Consequently through lack of love you grow selfish, bitter and complaining, and sow the seeds of hate and destruction; you will wither, die and detract from life.

Life is creation, and all creation is a labor of love. The desire to contribute or add value(appreciate)  to humanity creates our environment and things. The fundamental nature of creativeness is love of life, for such love guides a man to progress, advancement, improvement or more enhanced than has ever been done before. Devine love draws a man into the great unity and purpose, guiding instinctively with perception the direction in which life moves; becoming one with its efforts, he contributes and creates.

This is no secret or special knowledge: only a measure of ignorance that has be sustained from one generation to another. Life seeks out knowledge and creation is the measure of the learning. Creation is the purpose of life; Creation is the mechanism of love. In other words you were created by Love to live in love and to express love with creativity. You have a designed purpose. For example a coffee cup is designed to be filled with coffee. More importantly it is designed to be filled with the brew that the master desires. We should not argue semantics noting that any hot or cold beverage may be placed in the cup. Rather that the desire is love and that love created the cup for the love of the beverage to the satisfaction of the master. You are designed with purpose by love and this love has designed talents and abilities given especially to you making you unique in the universe. Love develops character and sets you free to do the good works that God the Father has ordained that you should walk in. Lasting or complete satisfaction is established in your talents being developed, and your vision and knowledge God magnified. This is the chief end of man to glorify God by enjoying Him where magnification or your vision and knowledge reveal the magnitude of His greatness. This gives you a telescope view of God! By cleaving to the love of God as the power to good works you become free to develop your talents and abilities with an expanding and seeking universe; you become free to contribute. This is to say your life has meaning and purpose that is unique. This is not to say that the world is dependent on you and cannot exist without you; instead you add value to the world you live. This contribution advances humanity along the road. The great deception and evil resides in rejecting God as the source of love and life and proposing humanity as the source. This would be like proposing the eye is the most important organ of the body because it can see and perceive when the body can live without it. However with the eye the whole body advances in function. You are of value and add value. Your contribution is of great value.

We should be shocked and dismayed at the most disgraceful expression evil of our time by those people who do not realize that malfunction and despondency are their own fault. Some would say I have no friends and yet they are not friendly or are not a good friend. Some would say they have nothing to plant in their fields in the spring yet they ate their seed. They are sick and yet do not follow good hygiene. They sow the seed of idleness and laziness and reap neediness. They complain just as the children of Israel in the desert and ignore the greatest miracles right before their eyes. They cry in outrage and resentment along life’s road blaming God:  too much rain, not enough rain, too cold, too hot, too much sun, not enough shade, and negative, negative, negative! The greatest lesson to learn is that the fault is not fate, luck or an angry God—they are the fault. The very word itself presumes a mistake made. Ignorance and lack of love is the error which is to be the fault. This is a shame when we have such a great witness that surrounds us that God is Love!

Love or Die

Life does not have to be this way. God has created you to be more than you can imagine. You can achieve the desires God has placed in your life just as a seed that is planted in the ground. Are you fertile ground for it to grow and develop? The fertility of the ground is dependent on your love. Love is the power to live and grow; the lack of love is death.

The Power of Love

prays best_coleridge

The person who knows God loves God and loves all things He has made. His love does not capitulate for it does not rest on the shifting sands moved by the winds of time and circumstance; instead he knows a complete oneness through Christ with the Father whose very essence is love. He does not seek because he has all. Wherever he cast his eye he sees the reflection of God and the same glory reflected in himself. All things resonates the love of God, from the birds that sing songs of praise early in the morning to the chorus of night creature that meter a harmonic voice to the wee hours of the morning. For this person all creation sings praise to the love of God, his spirit is raised to new heights of adoration and his prayers move mountains, calms the seas of fear and doubt. He knows and is known by and through the great power of God’s love.

 

 

RESPECT

In “respect is a man’s deepest value”, Emerson reports on a national survey in which 400 men were asked which they could endure better: (a) to be left alone and unloved in the world, or (b) to feel inadequate and disrespected by everyone. Seventy-four percent said they would prefer being left alone and unloved over feeling inadequate and disrespected.( Love and Respect pgs 49-52)

RESPECT

This one paragraph hit so close to home that I feel the stab in my back right between the shoulder blades. At the drop of a hat I will respond to the call to war , to protect home and family. Does this mean that I like to fight? That would be a greatly overstated. However God has wired us men that it is not common for us to back down from a good fight or better stated the action of backing down is the result of  the suppression of manliness. Men what does that say about us? To fight and lose is the same as to fight and win. This is called respect. I do not win all my fights in life. I have lost the battle of pride many times. I have lost the battle with lust many more times. I have lost the battle with bitterness and coldness toward others. I have acted in an unloving way to my neighbor, friends, family, wife and my God. I still come back swinging to be humble before my God. A man is not measured by the battles he loses but the number of times he gets back up and comes back swinging. The most boring boxing matches is the one that does not last one round. However respect goes to both men for getting in the ring. We all want to see a long battle that shows the determination of each man willing to stay the course. Truly does it matter who wins? No! except to the bookie and the betting men who do not have the courage to get in the ring! I am not a great fan of boxing or fighting sports but I am a man and I can relate to the why they do what they do. No man truly wants anything other than respect and if respect is not coming leave us alone.

1Co 9_24-27 

We are instructed as men to live in such a way that we do not bring dishonor or disrespect first to God and then to ourselves. Respect is the highest measure of God for it produces Glory. Many times in the scripture we are told to Fear God. The English language is too subjective for this expression. To fear God we recognize that He is supreme in intelligence, power, and might. Everyman esteems to have all three of these qualities. To possess them is wisdom and respect. Some of the most powerful men that have walked on this earth did not have physical stature to move mountains and yet they moved mountains. Power is found in the arm and chest. Power is also found in the intellect. Might is found in the stature of a man. Might is also found in the temper of a man. This is illustrated with diamonds which possess power and hardness. What can match the power and hardness of a diamond?  The fear of God is our view of His intelligence, power and might.

And fear not them which destroy the body, but are not able to destroy the spirit: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both spirit and body in hell. Mat_10:28

Many have been harsh with this passage. Jesus is speaking to us men on a very personal level. Who do you respect?  The same is said of poisonous snakes, lions, bears, crocodiles, and sharks. Make your own list. We give them space for the reason of respect. They have the power to wreck havoc on our body. They are worthy of this respect. You can call this fear if you must. The respect is not found in what they do instead what they are capable of doing.

micah-6_8

Now the million dollar question:  What does God require? He requires the same thing all of us men do, who is made in His image and likeness. Respect! You want respect? Be respectable. God the Father gave us Jesus as an example of being respectable. He loved, He cried, and He laughed. He walked on water not to prove that He is God but to show us that we can do mighty things in His name. Ask Peter! He healed the lame, gave sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf not to prove that He is God but to show us that we have the power to have compassion on the needy and fix broken things. He gave life to the dead not to prove that He is God, but to show us that life is in our words for the building up of those who are around us. Ask Martha. He gave His life on the Cross innocent of every charge brought against Him not as a show of weakness or frailty but as a show of strength found in mercy. Ask the thief beside him on the Cross!  This mercy is to be our strength in this messy world. He was buried in a borrowed grave to show us that our life is not about the monument raised in our name because this is not the end but the beginning. He arose from the Dead to show us that as God he has shown the way through the grave and blazed a trail to greater things than we have ever known. He appeared to the disciples who testify that grave could not hold him and death could not  defeat the power of God and that we to are victorious through Him. We are a victorious people who though we may lose battles WIN THE WAR. He did this for you and so much more. This is RESPECT. This is GLORY.

Men we all want respect. Fact is we need respect. We are wired for respect. Respect begins with a relationship with Christ and following the example He has set before us. What this means is that we fight for character and integrity. We evaluate our lives and take corrective actions to be men of faith, men of courage, men of honor, and men of integrity. We go through the furnace and temper our words and actions. We do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with our God!

1-Corinthians_2-9

Too Many Mind!

Too Many Thoughts

too many mind

We humans think altogether too much on altogether too many things. In the space of a split second our minds may entertain a mishmash of unconnected ideas and half formed notions such as could not be found on the printed page outside of Wikipedia. We jump haphazard from one idea to the next, unguided, unguarded, unfiltered and clutching on to whatever is blasted at us across the moving screen of mind and declaring it to be real. We start the Subconscious Mind moving in one direction, halt it, start it off in another, recall it, send it off again, recall it, literally hundreds of times each day.

We have developed habits of utterly undisciplined thinking. Worse still, very often where any discipline is present it is aimed at negative thinking. One moment we are happy and entertain happy thoughts. Then a shadow crosses the face of the mind, and we entertain morbid thoughts. A friend pays us a compliment, and we feel important and vain. An acquaintance criticizes us, and we entertain thoughts of resentment and bitterness. We wait for stimulus from outside to determine what thoughts we will accept and which we will reject. Consequently we become victims of every wind that blows and every twig that falls, and the temper of our lives is determined by countless unending streams of circumstances over which we have no control.

Rare in fact is the man that disciplines himself to accept only positive thoughts and beliefs. Rare is the man that is firm in his faith and foundation, who out waits the world to achieve his ends.

The sea and the mountain, the storm and the stars shall not persevere against such a man, and he shall move the very ends of the earth: Faith that moves mountains and the faith that by shear thought transplants a tree in the ocean.

DO WE THINK?

Do we think? This many well be the trillion dollar question. Could it be that we as human beings have been deceived into believing that we think or better said we make thought? It is strange that we should believe this, since we have no concept or perception where a thought comes and from what it is made. Even so most treatises on the mind maintain that man imagines and makes up thoughts. Yet a vigilant investigation of the process of thought, you will find that we observe thoughts instead of making thought. You will find that thought is a stream or a river that flows across the conscious mind more like a screen projection. These thoughts parade across your consciousness in a never-ending stream, following one upon the other incessantly.

Some you select and add to you, others you reject and send on their way. But the plain and irrevocable fact is that it is not you who sets the stream of thoughts in motion. If you doubt this, try to stop it!

streams of thought

Do not despair! You will find that all your efforts cannot stop your thinking, for the essence of being is observation, contemplation, and comprehension; and though you may slow the stream of thoughts even to a focal point, and examine each thought presented to you with diligent care, still they come.  These thoughts come from out of nowhere, displaying before your consciousness word pictures and images, demanding of you to establish a position: accept or reject. You are demanded to evaluate truth and fiction, right and wrong, real and fantasy.

Consider the writer who sits keyboard in hand. Does this writer “think up” the story? Does this writer “think up” the characters or plot? The writer unequivocally puts himself in a position of someone who is going to write.  The process is simple from this vantage point. He then observes the thoughts and ideas that cross the conscious mind accepting or rejecting until the ideas which appeals to him is settled. This idea he takes and examines places him in position not only to observe thought but in a position of writing a story about a man who is, let us say, standing in the middle of a busy city street. He wonders how he arrived there and the stream of thoughts come, and he accepts one, and now he is writing a story of a man who is going to meet his future wife. With each question and resulting thoughts that stream by the plot, characters and story line emerge. In no way shape or form does he “think them up. Fact is he has rejected far more thought that he has accepted.  His entire story, once completed and written, is merely evidence of the thousands of ideas he has accepted from the thoughts that have streamed through his mind. He has not thought up a thing; he has simply exercised choice. His story tells you what he has accepted; nothing will ever tell you the millions of ideas and thoughts which he has rejected.

WE CHOOSE THOUGHTS

Though it is a far stretch to say we author the story of our life; Like the writer who authors a story, each of us observes the life script of our lives and how we deal with the thoughts we accept and reject. Each of our lives is a story, unfolded by the silent contemplative Self who dwells within us, who does nothing more than accept and reject, who is involved only in making choices. This indwelling Self says, this is the law of nature and the law of God. All thought then becomes a matter of acceptance or rejection of these truths:  “This is so,” “This is not so,” “I believe this,”  “I do not believe this,” “There is hope,” “There is despair.” And each of these choices is manifested in the physical world.

We are today living testimonies to the choices that have been made from the thoughts that have streamed through our minds. We are literally products of the thoughts accepted or rejected. We are what we believe, that only, nothing more or less.

We are admonished to hold every thought captive!

2Co 10:3-5 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:  (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

The Spirit of God within us is teaching us to accept only good. The Spirit of God within us is teaching us to reject all evil by bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ!

Col 3:1-2, 12-16  If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

We are deliberately compelling ourselves to accept the things that build us up and add value to our lives. This includes the values listed in scripture whereas these values are health and strength to us.

Consider these word carefully:

Gal 5:19-23  Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

We are deliberately compelling ourselves to reject all suffering, all sorrow, all depression, all morbidity, all inferiority, all aches and pains. We know that we are only what we accept from the thoughts that come to us, and more than ever the wisdom of Jesus is brought home, “As ye believe, so shall it be done unto you.”

St. Augustine wrote:

I, Lord, went wandering like a strayed sheep, seeking Thee with anxious reasoning without, whilst Thou wast within me. I went round the streets and squares of the city seeking thee; and I found thee not, because in vain I sought without for him who was within myself.

Heed the Holy Spirit in the recesses of your being. Know that to him all things are possible, according to what he accepts. You are what you choose to be, and your choice is made in the mind. Seek the high and forsake the low. A man adds all things unto himself simply by taking a position with impregnable faith.

mustard seed faith

As a reflection know that “as a man thinks in his heart, so he is” (Prov. 23:7). However the limitation of this statement is based on our view and maturity. Consider the mustard seed as given by parable by Jesus. If you have the faith the size of a mustard seed you would be able to say to a mountain be moved or to a tree be transplanted in the sea. Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me”. Do you believe? How big is your faith? Dare to believe and have courage to stay the course. This we know that at the end of life the person who loves much, laughs much has lived much will view life as having much to show. The opposite or negative of this is true as well. The person who has loved little, laughed little has lived little and will view life as having little to show.

Prayer:

Father grant to me discernment to accept the thoughts that flood through my mind that add value. Grant faith that moves mountains in my life and restore to me the joy of my salvation. Grant me grace that moves my view from my own and this world to your view. Let me see your thoughts toward me and allow me to see myself as you see me and accept the thoughts you have accepted toward me. Give me discernment to reject the thoughts that will unleash evil and the consequences of this evil in and through my life. Restore health and vigor to my life, mind and spirit.

Additional scripture reference

Gen_6:5  And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Psa_10:4  The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.

Psa_33:11  The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.

Psa_40:5  Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.

Psa_94:19  In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.

Pro_12:5  The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit.

Jer_29:11  For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

Heb_4:12  For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Faith is a Matter of Life

“He has given all we need pertaining to life and godliness”

We have complete faith that the food we eat will turn into blood, bone, muscle, tissue and fiber, yet we do not know why, or what causes it, and even the most erudite of us can do no more than follow the chemical process with awe. We have faith that the air we breathe will oxygenate out blood and combine to form energy for the cells of our bodies. We don’t stop to wonder or doubt or analyze this each time we draw a breath; we simply breathe, confident that we are getting what we need. We have faith that the sun will rise, that the earth will revolve uniformly, that the stars will maintain their places in the heavens. We have faith that we can walk across the street, even sit on a chair and converse with people all day long with comprehension and understanding. We have faith in our own existence! Yet we admit we know the cause of none of these things. Our faith is blind! How strange it is that we so often scoff at faith in the less tangible fields of human existence! How strange it is that so we often mock others in the less tangible areas of the human existence!

We are told if we have faith the size of mustard seed we could say to this mountain “be removed” and that we could by word only say to this tree “be uprooted and thrown into the sea”. How very little is our faith that we cannot even measure it to a mustard seed! We have complete faith in the natural processes of our existence and shirk the faith to believe that God who placed us in this world provides all we need pertaining life and godliness. We draw back from embracing His love and care. We run from His grace and not to His grace scoffing and mocking our very existence. How strange! We live by faith and deny faith in the same breath. We draw air by faith and exhale faithlessness.

I believe Lord Help my unbelief!

Seek and find

Ask, seek and knock. Jesus encourages us to come to the Father who has all and is able and willing to give. Over the years I have witnessed this to be true. This is not some mystical search rather something that is more logical and spiritual.

 

We either work in accord to the power of the Holy Spirit within us or by opposing it destroy ourselves.

 

“He who seeks finds”, Jesus says. I have found this to work even in the negativity of this world. He who abandons search as hopeless will find a hopeless life. Amazingly the search does not stop and search is fulfilled albeit hopelessness. The question is what are we really searching. What do we really want? And why do we want it? Seeking does not take much effort. Seeking for any length of time may prove to test our patience. Therein is part of our problem. Our culture has destroyed perseverance as acceptable. Technology has stepped in to be our new god providing right now what we want or at least what the technology tells we want. Shamefully we have forgotten what we need and really want. We need and want lasting relationships starting with our creator. Our first breath was recognition that we can not do this life alone. We Cried out at birth hold me, feed me, clothe me. What has changed? We then cried out please save me, I can not save myself Jesus. What has changed? We are needy and want. This is natural.

“You have not because you ask not,” once again we are reminded. Stand at the counter in your favorite restaurant and say nothing and your will get exactly that, nothing.  What do you really want? and Why? Take these request to God. Be courageous and fervent! We know that the fervent prayer of a righteous person avails much. So do not give up in hopelessness. Your answer is coming either to correct your wants and whys or the thing that you have asked for. In both you have received your need and want.