Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Flesh, Spirit, and Time

Time is an interesting thing.  As humans, everything we do revolves around time.  Especially in the Western mindset.  Then you move to a Latin country, and bam!, time isn't as important anymore.  People and events take priority over time.  Detailed schedules and pacing your day to accommodate events based on when they occur just don't happen.  It truly is a change of culture and way of living. 

I must be adapting into our Latin culture because I noticed I haven't blogged since July!  How unWestern is that?!  Sheesh...

In reality I have blogged many times in my head since then.  I've had some amazing pieces.  You would have been impressed.  Some deep theological/spiritual thoughts, some humor mixed with regional mishaps, some personal thoughts...  It was good.  Maybe one day scientists will learn how to infiltrate our brain and connect it to blogs, FB, Twitter...  Hmm, maybe not a good idea.  Plus, we already have that with God.  Why ruin a good thing. 

Probably the most important thing is that between then and now I have done a mega amount of growing.  Yep, mega.  There's something about living through ups and downs in life that sweetens our disposition to change.  You have to ascertain if you'll be changed toward something good, or if it sours your soul. 

The most important lesson I have been learning is I have held on to this earthly life too dearly.  It's all about me.  It's about my wants and needs and when they are not satisfied, I rebel.  Sometimes I can get really nasty (especially within my own family) or it's internal when around others. 

Why is that?  It's the battle between the flesh of this world and the spirit of God living in me.  Since we are not in our glorified bodies yet, we wrestle daily with making decisions.  So how do we make the right decision?  What is the right decision? 

Very basic to begin with.  You either believe there is a God or you don't. 

If you believe God exists, than know He has left us a manual: the Bible.  For the moment, throw out religion; that is, churches and denominations and any other preconceived thoughts you have about God.  Take a Bible and talk to God, ask Him to teach you what you need to know and begin reading like crazy.  Begin to truly understand this life. 

Christianity is and isn't about time.  It's about time in the sense that the passing/doing of an event molds you, stretches you, grows you.  Or you can be stagnant I guess.  You don't have to grow.  But really feeling life and existing through the eyes of the Creator brings contentment, even as you live in a dead world.

Pst, this is a dead world.  This is not what God intended.  But He gave free will and choice.  If you get stuck on the evil of this world, it's no wonder you get angry at God.  But the open eyes of the one that sees this free will created it, also realizes God allows you to choose.  A demanded love and respect is not love. 

So, I have been going through my own wrestling matches.  But it has helped me know God more.  The turning point was listening about Jesus' temptation and the whole 40 days in the desert thing.  There is no more powerful real-life understanding than fasting to see we are truly a meld of flesh and spirit.  I did some "real" (I've attempted before and never really learned from it) fasting during a critical time in my life.  My eyes were opened to the war of flesh and spirit.  Let's just say the spirit was strengthened. 

But it's a daily war.  And with each new battle and victory, I become better prepared for the next.  The spirit takes charge a little more each time, creating contentment over the sorrows and disappointments of the flesh.  To borrow a phrase, it's a good thing.

Do you have some time?  I encourage you to listen to this sermon/message from Pastor Bob Coy about fasting.  I think you'll enjoy it.  You'll laugh, you'll cry, it'll move you.  Just do it.  Trust me.

Find Them, Feed Them - Tempted