FCC Public File - contact: Ken Anderson 618.997.1500
    Listen to WBVN online!

October Newsletter-Bed 2

Last month I wrote about the un-comfortableness or restlessness described in the Prophet Isaiah’s scripture: Isaiah 28:20. I referenced the linkage between our human soul’s (mind, will and emotions) attempt to dominate our daily lives and contrasted that with what our heart/spirit was purposed to do in our lives. Created by the new revelation of Christ in our heart, I mentioned that there’s not really a war requiring us to have to destroy the soul in order to find success in the spirit. Rather it’s a matter of once alive unto God, our spirit becomes the tool that the Father uses to guide and lead us into more of His Life versus the three amigos of the soul being in our driver’s seat. From birth, the soul, having been in charge most of our lives, wants to continue being the leader in our everyday lives. Our mind, will and emotions want to force the spirit into the back seat, want it to be quiet. Our mind, will and emotions are perfectly content for our hearts to just travel quietly back there from birth until death. I mentioned that the soul is not evil in itself, but is God’s gift to us. Our mind, will and emotions are some of God’s tools designed specifically so that we can experience all that God has provided for His creation. For example, we may write poems in our minds that express hope and beauty. By our will, we can set goals in our lives, hopefully, goals that are remarkable simply by being goals that He’s purposed for us. And, the emotions– those relationships we’ve found in family, friends, the face of a newborn child, marriage, in fact, all our relationships, even the joy in our pets, or baseball(forgive me I digress!). Our worship experiences are gifts for us so that we experience the depth of our worship and the lifting of our soul. Our emotions permit us to touch a bit of His emotions for having, by His Love, chosen to send Christ and the Spirit into believers’ lives and their relationship. By design, they enrich and enhance our journey but they can, if we allow them to, create their own kingdom in our lives. They can also separate us from what God has prepared for us.

Last month’s letter about merismos, the proper dividing of the soul and spirit, is connected to this letter. Both letters combine and clarify what’s going on between our heart and our head. So, this letter is the foundation letter for the last letter. I’m not actually sure why the letters occurred to me in this order, but I’ll just take it at face value that you will permit me to do them backwards. Just keep in the back of your mind that the first will be last, and the last is first.

First, why have we become professional soul creatures rather than moving toward more of the spiritual creatures God intended us to be? Why is it that more and more our culture moves away from the spirit and spends all its efforts and times ginning up our soul (what we think, what we want, what we feel). The correct order of the Gospel is: accept, believe, and change. Dominated by our logical minds we reverse that in our cultures to: change, believe, and accept. Here, seems to me, we major on the minors and minor on the majors. What we’re seeing in America today is a total rebellion to the spirit and a swelling of the soul. The ultimate goal is to get you to think like it thinks, to want what it has and to feel like you’re right and everyone else is wrong. Everything the spirit thinks is somehow sub-human, everything the culture elite thinks is righteous. By the time we’re adults, our mind, will and emotions have countless experiences. In a kind of a self preservation process, those experiences develop patterns and habits in our souls of how we manage our lives. In order to change our fixed mind, will and emotions, the Spirit of God knew we would need something so strong that it wouldn’t simply persuade us for awhile to a new way to live, but something so powerful that it would dynamite our reliance on the three amigos to lead our life responses and place our new alive unto God spirits in the lead. That’s the Gospel. To overwhelm our thinking and emotions we will have to come to believe, without wavering (!), something like- while we were sinners Christ died for us. Or something like-our guilt, shame and alienation have been destroyed by the Cross of Christ. There are hundreds of others. Those are things that sound too good to be true, but those are the things that are to become constant down in our soul. Those kinds of things simply don’t make sense to us if you think about it only with your brain. That’s where the Gospel must overpower our Greek logic, taking foothold in our hearts. The Gospel must be so powerful that it’s only believable because it is so illogical, so outlandish, and doesn’t match the things we’ve experienced in our lives.

Image all the things that can happen to us as we grow into believers. Some of us experience mistreatment, perhaps insufferable infant or childhood environments. Our teen years can be traumatic, as young adults we face so many temptations to pull us away from the Love of God. By the time we’re a legal adult our emotions may be shot. Much of the time, what happened to us on the outside burrows itself in our insides: hurtful words, physical abuse, and abandonment, learning struggles or something similar, all affect our interpretation of the world around us. Many times those environments leave us damaged or at the very least suspicious of everything, everyone around us. I still default to certain emotional responses from my early childhood disappointments and fears. Our emotions become full-time devotees to all kinds of past pressures. We feel and see through the filter of our soul, locking in on only things that have hurt of damaged us, rather than anything beautiful or meaningful in our lives. For most of our early lives, our soul antennas have been constantly stroked and have become the ‘first responder’ in most every situation. We can easily lose sight of the mystery of life, the wonder of each breath, the miracle of birth, and we begin the process of isolating ourselves from people and God, from caring and confidence. We can be alive without living. That causes us to miss part of what God has prepared for us. What changes in us, along with our spiritual change, is we can become convinced we’re people that God can love and partnership with. When that happens, our spirit can begin to lead us away from the simple mind, will and emotions of our earlier experiences. We begin to hear, follow and be led of God.

C. S. Lewis wrote a line in one of his novels that expresses much of our problem- our ‘eyes are wrong’. Sometimes our mind, will and emotions blind us from the workings of God in our lives. Our soul is being changed, either positively or negatively, day by day. It’s just natural that as we begin to see the Glory of God in our daily lives, our spirit stands up and our three amigos sit down. In that process, our shredded lives that were held together by the weak twine of human experience begins to give way to assurance, security and hope. That in turn creates freedom in us, a freedom to care and to be cared for. It gives us the ability to trust and be trusted, even in the midst of the world’s unlovely and unjust system. Knowing the Love of God is the most efficient thing for escaping our past, our heart-ache and our fears: in fact it’s instantaneous.

Our experiences aren’t alone in our struggles to live by the Spirit. There’s a helper that persuades us away from the embrace of God. He’s a whisperer for the most part. Whispering is the only power he possesses, which when fully understood, is truly powerless. He’s reminding us of our failures and fears, playing with our soul (mind, will and emotion) in a playground of his choosing- one between our ears. His game is it to take away our Joy and hide God’s Glory already in our everyday lives. For all the trying to break out, we can remain blinded by the Yo-Yo effect of feeling saved one minute and falling for the suggestions of self-condemnation the next. That problem got addressed in Jesus’ teaching about double-mindedness. First, we must become convinced that we’ve been found by the Love of God, that we’ve been embraced by It, that we’re forgiven, that we are, as David was (with all his faults), the apple of His Eye. All that, not because we deserve it, but because of His choosing! Being single-minded about the Love of God bulldozes the whispers and puts them in our recycle bin. Once we establish those kinds of truths in our heart, not arrogantly but with humility, so that nothing can move us away from them, we’ll begin to persuade our mind, will and emotions to quit murmuring and get in order.

Isaiah 7:14 references and introduces us to Immanuel, literally, ‘with us is God’. Not God was with us or He will be with us later, but God is NOW! He’s our new Helper and His Whispers are more powerful and able to separate the spirit and the soul. Isaiah goes further in Chapter 8 verse 8. ‘And he shall pass through Judah; he shall overflow and go over, he shall reach even to the neck; and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel.’ I looked up the literal translation and it reads: ‘…and He shall pass through Judah (meaning descendents of the original, Jesus is the original and Judah would be his descendents: the Church) and He shall overflow and go over, He shall reach even to the neck (this is where burdens were carried in Isaiah’s culture, and can reference our burdens), and stretching out His wings (He) shall fill the breath of land (our lives)- O’ Immanuel (With us is God!). Knowing He has done that, is doing that, is the first step to saving the soul.

Posted on by Laura Posted in Newsletters

Add a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.