Monday, July 15, 2013

Is It Reality or Illusion of the Flesh?

Greg Winfield wrote a blog post on Saturday that summed up part of what we’ve been talking about over the last several weeks.  He talks about some of the consequences of negative communication.  It’s well worth the read – we’ll give you the link at the end of this post.

One of the problems with negativity is that it can come out of us far more easily than positive thoughts.  No matter how spiritual we may think we are, our flesh will fight for life with every last gasping breath.  And that’s where we get in trouble.

No matter what we would like to mold our doctrine to say, the Bible is clear that we’ll have negative situations in this world.  Situations will be against us.  So will people.  We’re not immune to the same trials and tribulations our spiritual forefathers experienced. 

John 15:18 (KJV)  If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
Even our own flesh would like to turn spiritual Truth into a lie.  We know from our Bible study that God created everything, He’s in control of everything, man messed things up via Adam’s choices.  Nevertheless, God is still in control.  It’s up to our free will whether we fully accept that Truth or let our flesh start complaining about how bad things are.  There’s a Bible passage giving us direction about what we should do.

James 1:2-4 (KJV)  My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.  But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
This is what I like to call a cyclical truth.  If we trust God, we understand that we’re protected in any situation, which helps us to trust God, which shows us we are protected in any situation, which….
How often have we gone through that very cycle successfully and never noticed?  Or how often have we focused on the negativity and missed the truth?  Our flesh goes to its demise kicking and screaming.  And trying to get us to ignore spiritual reality.
There was another comment on Saturday that fits right in here.  Shawn Mullin said that there are times when we ask God to be used by Him that He gets out the spiritual sandpaper (irritating situations and people) to grind down the very flesh that resists being killed off with every ounce of effort it can muster.  It doesn’t matter how spiritual we are, the flesh will still find comfort in sin.  I’m not talking illicit sex, illegal drugs, murder or anything as blatant as that.  Sin is “missing the mark” in the original language.  Anything that gets us to even slightly deviate from God’s intent is sin.

When Genesis 4:9 says, “And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?”, God knew that Cain had killed Abel.  Do we doubt that God knows when we kill someone’s spirit with negativity or their reputation with public negative comments?  Either one is as much murder as an actual killing would be, if we take Matthew 5:28 in the spirit it was intended.

Matthew 5:28 (KJV)  But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
If we give mental assent to the negativity of the flesh, it will kill our own spirit, the spirit of those talked about, and the spirit of those who have to see or hear it publicly communicated.  And it puts our thinking in direct opposition to God’s thoughts.  Sin.  Those thoughts put a whole different angle on things, don’t they?  We can justify all we want, but the fact is that God has always been against thoughts and behavior, not people.  We’re accountable for our thoughts and actions, but God’s anger at us never exists.  He will wipe out people if there is no chance of repentance and the actions or thinking will pollute God’s plan for us.  However, we’re here till our appointed time comes, if we continue in our growth in Him or our being here helps someone else’s relationship with Him.  We need to think like God.
There’s one other problem with negative communication.  We each have a God sized hole in our heart that needs to be filled with something.  If we don’t want God in there, we’re going to try to fill that spot with something else.  If we do want God in that space, that doesn’t mean we’re at that point in our spiritual growth where we let Him completely fill the hole.  So, we can let other things (including negative attitudes) take partial residence there.  And, while we think we’re communicating God’s heartbeat, it’s really something quite different.  At the same time, others are looking for something positive to fill that hole with.  The more often we say negative things, the fewer people are going to hang around to allow that to fill their heart hole.

After all the things I’ve said about negativity, I’d be remiss if I ended on a negative note.  Especially since we don’t ever have to.  When we say we trust God, we can live in that faith.  Which means that, no matter how much we dislike a situation, we can focus on how God is using it   We can live in cyclical Truth instead of refeeding our souls (and the souls of others) with the negativity that can only grow by feeding on itself.  God’s positivity and love allow us to blossom in the desert of negativity.

We promised a link to Greg Winfield’s post on negativity, “Negative Words, Frustrations and the 30 Minute Rule”.  Here it is:
Deuteronomy 30:19 (KJV)  I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
What are we doing today to fill our God sized hole only with God?  To take turn curses into blessings (Deuteronomy 23:5)?  To feed our souls with God food instead of negativity?  To live in reality instead of in the illusion of reality, created by the flesh?  What are we doing to choose life?

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