Last night it again was impressed on my mind the idea of delicacy in the realm of the spiritual. I sense more and more that true preparation for living in the presence of God has far more to do with the fine tuning of the sensitivities of the mind and heart to become more delicate so that they can perceive the messages from heaven than it has to do with the amassing of factual knowledge or sin-free performance enhancement. In fact, I am starting to see that doctrines and behavior are really more about supporting this process of shaping the mind and heart to fit into the atmosphere of the society of heaven than they have to do with impressing God or keeping up religious appearances.
I am starting to better understand that the reasons behind pretty much every requirement of God is to further this goal of allowing the mind to become more sensitive to His voice in the heart. The reason it is detrimental for me to eat between meals, to eat late before bedtime, to overeat or to eat foods that are not healthy has far more to do with the effects that doing these things has on my mind rather than because they violations of some rule.
God's true government, His kingdom, is based on the principle of cause and effect. Satan tries to assert that God is arbitrary in order to shift our thinking away from this underlying principle and to inject fear into our relationship, to reinforce the notion that God is waiting to punish offenders and all the other misapprehensions we have about our heavenly Father. When we teach the principles of God's government as only rules to follow rather than principles that align us to better perceive and receive all the blessings that He is eager to share with us, we blaspheme the truth about God and turn away many from wanting to know His goodness and righteousness.
When I act out of a motive of desiring to know God more intimately as the basis for choosing to live more healthfully, to treat people more respectfully, to live a morally upright life rather than from a motive of simply keeping rules, I find that I have access to a power for my choices that is impossible to experience otherwise. I am speaking from very little experience here as I have spent most of my life coming from the other perspective, of obedience out of fear, obligation and all the other improper reasons. I am not suggesting that these alternative motives are completely useless as initial tools to get me moving toward God; but if they remain the main reasons for my obedience I become extremely handicapped and stunted in my ability to grow very far in a saving relationship with God.
Growing up into Christ primarily involves a sensitization of the nervous system which is the only means by which God's Spirit can communicate with humans. The whole body and all of its systems and functions are all designed to support the brain and the spiritual nature. The reason that exercise is important is to create the healthiest conditions in the body and blood so that the mind can become sharper and more sensitive to hearing the voice of God to the soul. The reason that diet is so important is for the very same reason, so that the blood can nourish and enhance my ability to think clearly and more deeply. The reason that rest is important is so that our bodies can rejuvenate and heal and recover from the debilitating effects of sin as much as possible.
When we put harmful substances into our bodies, whether it be drugs, unhealthy food, smoke, alcohol or anything else, these poisons act to destroy the sensitivity and abilities of our thinking and feelings and move us farther away from an ability to listen to God effectively. This is why they are sinful; not because we have broken some arbitrary rules and made God upset but because we are destroying the very supporting systems He gave us for the brain He needs to relate to us through.
When we fill our imaginations with falsehoods, counterfeit concepts about reality and shallow entertainment we likewise dull the fine sensitivities of the mind and heart and clog our imaginations with ideas and feelings and beliefs that prevent us from grasping the delicate truths that are needed to appreciate the society of heaven. When we compromise in these areas of our lives we are damaging our own capacity to grow in knowledge of God and in grace, and the damage we cause ourselves results in the inevitable wages that sin produces. It is not God punishing us when we get sick, rather it is the law of cause and effect punishing us for choices that have been made. Yet God is always at work through overflowing grace to counter the pervasive effects of sin, to reverse as much as possible the curses that we keep bringing on ourselves through selfish choices. But He longs for us to come into an attitude of more willingness to obey His instructions so that our appreciation of His love can take deeper root in our hearts and we can become more stable in our thinking and feelings.
Our imaginations can easily be infected and diseased and thus unfit to be able to be properly activated by the elevated truths found in the Word of God. The world's attractions are designed to hijack our imaginations and calculated to stimulate our passions while largely bypassing the part of our brain that God designed to act as guardian of our morals. It has been shown by scientific research that watching theatrical television, movies and such media of any genre literally damages the human brain and stunts its ability to keep reason and conscience in control over the steering decisions we make in life. Such entertainment stimulates the baser emotional parts of our brain while suppressing the higher creative control circuits thus unfitting us for living in harmony with the social structures of heaven and even being able to function properly on earth. It has been proven that such activity seriously damages the brain of children who are exposed to this during the first seven year of their life and results in all sorts of commonly seen symptoms around us today.
When we begin to grasp the bigger picture, the true nature of the battle we all are caught up in along with the rest of the universe, we will begin to gain better perspective about these things that we have so long misunderstood and have misplaced in our priorities. When we begin to grasp the great truth that God is not out to threaten or hurt us but is doing everything possible to restore us and fit us for life in the rare atmosphere of love, transparency and super-charged joy that fills all of heaven, then we can make more sense out of the many instructions that He has given for our benefit.
It is false ideas about God's attitudes toward us that blind us to the true nature of the battles we are in and how we need to relate to them. Everything that confuses us, causes us to malfunction and brings dysfunction into our relationships with others can be traced back to mistaken ideas and feelings about God. This one issue is the core issue that must be addressed if we are to begin to make real progress in the healing of the soul, mind, body and spirit.
God's commandments can be condensed into a very simple package that Jesus reiterated when He was here on earth.
Then one of them, an expert in the Law of Moses, asked Jesus a question to test him. He said, "Teacher, which command in the law is the most important?" Jesus answered, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.' This is the first and most important command. And the second command is like the first: 'Love your neighbor the same as you love yourself.' All of the law and the writings of the prophets take their meaning from these two commands." (Mat 22:35-40 ERV)
If love is the very essence of what it looks like to live in harmony with all the law, the writings of the prophets and the Word of God, then we need to learn how to have and experience whatever this thing is that is called love. We need to spend more time focusing on what it is, how to receive and share it and how to condition our minds and hearts to increase our capacity to operate in this way.
When I view God through dark lenses formed by distorted ideas about Him promoted by most any religion on earth, I will not be able to perceive the true nature of this love that is the very life-blood of the universe. When I see God as an arbitrary rule-maker rather than an inviting lover, I stunt my own ability to respond to what He really desires for me to experience. Or if I perceive God as a distant Dad who is permissive or uncaring having little interest in my welfare or safety, I will likely turn to other sources to find comfort, guidance and identity in my life.
Our brains were designed for far more sensitive living than any of us can even imagine. Even the very physical makeup of our brain betrays this fact. Microscopic nerve endings grow billions of potential delicate endings that if used are stimulated to grow stronger and develop whole regions in our brain giving us new capacities to experience new things. On the other hand when these potential nerve endings are not utilized and exercised they are soon disintegrated by caustic acids produce by our bodies to prune away what we have chosen not to exercise and over time our capacities for various aspects of life are completely destroyed and we lose our ability to regain them again.
This is the brain that God designed and has given to every person alive. When we begin to understand and appreciate this brain which is the sole source of our relationship with God we can begin to better appreciate what the Word of God really means to our lives. God gave us our brain with this capacity for encouraging growth in the highest areas of living with the potential for extreme sensitivities for things we do not now appreciate. If we obey His instructions in every area of our lives we will find that we can perceive far greater truths about reality and can more distinctly interact with the quiet voice of God in our souls with amazing results in our lives. This is God's deep desire for each one of us, but He respects the choices we make that either enhance our capacity to know and hear Him more clearly or that destroy our abilities to know and reflect His love.
Our minds, hearts and bodies are designed primarily for love. Our nervous system is designed to thrive on love. The touch of love, the hearing of love, the sights that stimulate feelings of love, the smells of love, the tastes that bring pleasure and the spirit we have that can elevate all of these things and integrate them together to shape an atmosphere of love helps us to know God more intimately who is the only Source of all real love.
Without love it is impossible to thrive and grow. Without love it is impossible to make sense out of our existence. Without receiving and passing on love we can never come to appreciate our original design, purpose or experience true satisfaction. Our whole being was created to find its ultimate fulfillment in focusing on love. And the most highly cultivated way for maximizing this design by our Creator is to live in constant reception of love from Him and in turn passing it on to others in the same spirit as in the One we received it from.
Love by definition is always other-centered, other-focused and intent on enhancing and blessing others more than ourselves. The reason God is three in one is because it is impossible for Him to be love without being more than a single entity. Love literally cannot exist in a single person alone; there always has to be an other upon which to focus attention for love to even exist. This is why denying the existence of the trinity is to deny that God is love, which is precisely the reason behind Satan's attacks on this doctrine.
We are created in the image of God, to live and thrive and be fulfilled only as we imitate our original template who is God – love personified. When we do anything less than this we malfunction and suffer pain, sorrow and ultimately death that results from a lack of love. Love is life-giving, and to be lacking in love is to experience fear and death to some degree or another. Just a casual look at the evidence all around us confirms this fact. People who's lives are filled with unselfish love thrive while people who live selfishly experience loneliness, damage to their bodies, souls, minds and spirit. The more a human is deprived of love the more this damage becomes obvious. We have overwhelming evidence of all of this, yet because of the deceptions and distortions about reality we remain confused as to how all of this relates to our religion.
Love is designed to ever intensify through the sharpening and intensifying of the delicate abilities and sensitivities of our brain, our senses, our feelings and our perceptions. Sin always leads to the dulling and destroying of our abilities to love and causes us to live in confusion about our true purpose, value and identity. Through many subtle or not so subtle lies about God, the one whom we were designed from, Satan causes us to have very distorted ideas about what will bring us satisfaction and fulfillment.
Only through a proper appreciation for the real truth about God can we ever begin to move back toward the refining of the highly delicate abilities needed to interact in true selfless love that marks all relationships in God's family. And only by allowing His Spirit to bring healing and stimulation for recovering our capacities as much as possible in this broken human organism debilitated by the effects of sin can we begin to move toward restoration into the society of heaven.
Now I hear in my heart God reminding me of something He said long ago.
Now that you know this truth, how happy you will be if you put it into practice! (John 13:17 GNB)
Father, cause me to walk in Your ways, to reflect Your truths in my life, to practice what You have been sharing with me for so long. Empower me to make good choices that will enhance my brain's ability to relate to You more intimately. I have a growing desire to enter into a deeper intimacy with You, to know Your heart better, to share Your love more readily with others who are malfunctioning like I am. Father, please make me a more accurate reflection of what You are like. Heal me of this terminal sickness of selfishness that causes me to damage both myself and others so often. Expose and help me to dispel the many lies about You that still remain hidden in my heart. Continue to grow me, to train me, to instruct me, to love me, to heal me, to restore me to the joy of Your salvation – all for Your reputation's sake, Amen.