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The Greatest Spiritual Act
The Greatest Spiritual Act!
What is the highest spiritual act possible that we all can accomplish?
To Love God Fully... with our ALL... and to Love Others as much or more than that with which we love ourselves. Therefore having a LOVE relationship with God the Father, Jesus the Son, and Holy Spirit will be the center point from which we will then grab hold of the keys of the Kingdom. (from Luke 10.23-37) "You are to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with all your understanding; and your neighbor as yourself." "That's the right answer", Jesus said, "Do this and you shall live." Note; that Jesus said, "you shall live", he does not say that you will have eternal life. Jesus doesn't want us to just follow the letter of the law, but to actually live above and beyond its every inference.
A works mentality and a performance mindset will not bring us into the relationship needed for us to proceed with any type of expediency. We will fail miserably and continuously enter into a striving, grinding it out lifestyle with little or no progress according to kingdom ideals (standards, ethics).
What exactly is a works mentality? It's when we take upon ourselves the work of justification and sanctification and leave behind all the action of the cross and the shed blood of an awesome savior, and we go it alone. Many are still living out the law, and not grace.
What exactly is our ALL? = Every bit, in its entirety (total, whole)
This means our whole self, as we are presently. Our whole heart, total soul, entire strength, complete understanding, combined with the activation of the will. Our all is impossible without the will to love. Our triunity of spirit (our intuitive God created inner self), soul (mind and emotions), body the housing of the heart and as we presently are and in whatever current condition we may find our self in. God knows our all anyhow, and we can neither add to nor take away from our spiritual prowess.
A baker comes to bake his bread. He prepares the ingredients in measure and he puts in the most important element for the completion of the mixture; the least component in size yet the most essential; the yeast. The other elements are rudimentary, but without the yeast he cannot expect the outcome necessary to have great bread.
Our love and our all in this case is the least factor compared to ALL the other components already put in by God, but without it there will be failure and no finished product. What is the finished product? That we become like Jesus in our Agape' love for the Father, Holy Spirit and for others thus having the ability of showing forth the Kingdom of God as the evidence being exhibited as an outward sign in our lives. When we try to accomplish this action purely by our own strength, from our soul (sense mentality), without a recreated spirit (which is where we all start) we find that failure is inevitable, just like having no yeast in the bread, nothing really happens. The chemical reaction necessary fails. There is a result in the Spirit (our spirit and his) that God is looking for, but without the proper spiritual components coming together from both parties the outcome is a life consisting of futile exhibition of fleshly indulgences which equals "Religiosity". The religious mindset, no matter how pious, zealous, fervent, is not the mind of the Spirit, because it is born of earthly endeavor and seeks heavenly merit. Jesus in his encounter with the rulers of the law, pointed out their error in not knowing God because they did not recognize him as coming from God and being the expression of God in their midst. He called them, "Sons of their earthly father the devil". (Emphasis mine) In 1 Corinthians, Paul shows the difference of those in the Spirit and those who are not who could not discern the things of the Spirit. Being blinded, or veiled in their understanding. So no matter how much reliance we place in our understanding, our own mind and thoughts we will always come up short of the Spirit of God and therefore our relationship with God will have great lack. (See my other articles on Body soul and spirit, and the mind)
Nicodemus in his encounter with Jesus, says... "We know you are from God!" Basically, Jesus says, "that's not enough... You must be born again, born of the Spirit". (John 3; EM) Knowing is never enough without an encounter in the Spirit. Revelation in the heart and transformation of the mind are the necessary dynamics towards moving forward. Our All is relational. These encounters therefore must continue throughout our lives to help maintain a consistency in our spirit as God moves us forward in his plan for mankind. We do not need to be born again, and again. But our spirit will continuously need a heavenly power boost, when our battery runs low and the charger is needed to plug us back in to revelation, encounter, experience or manifestation. These encounters in the Spirit will be closely affected by our personal make-up, personality, both in the spirit (ours) and in the natural. Love is not an emotion, sense, feeling, it is only a word. The results of love will effect everything about us. It is the connections we have in life that makes the word have genuine meaning and being.
Revelation consequently brings about an enhancement in our love relationship. Anyone who has experienced courtship understands exuberant expressions of love. The Greek language gives us many terms for our one word love in English. Agape' (unconditional) love, the highest form of its expression and is given to us by God. Our love toward God firstly, ourselves secondly and then toward others is to be in its purest (untainted, uncontaminated) form. This love action (act, feat) will be and become different for each of us due to our many personality traits (character, individuality). We are most definitely not the same in our human make-up, but this does not deter God nor Holy Spirit in their dealings with us. He understands best how each of us will perform in the spirit/Spirit and in the natural. He will enhance our weaknesses with his strength to assist us in accomplishing the utmost possible action in our love effort. It takes God (in us) to love God.
Love must start somewhere, this means making a rational, implicit and processed thought with our intellect. Choosing to love God is always left with us, our reaction to his love in Christ and therefore our response in kind back to him. It takes the love of God in us for us to love God back. We have all seen the differences in one another, this is obvious. We only have to look at the men that Jesus firstly chose to be his followers at how individually diverse they were, from John the beloved, as he was called, to Peter who was emotional, impulsive, to the sons of Zebedee who wanted to bring fire down from heaven on people. Let's look at Peter for a moment, because he is probably most like us. He denies Christ, but Jesus knew his inner heart and rescues him with his Agape' love after he had sinned so decisively. He asks him three times about his love, Peter answers and is healed in his heart and is changed in his spirit. We can never say with assuredness how we will react in any given situation, especially when it could be life threatening. Anyway what I'm getting at is the diversity in our human being; so it is vital not to judge on the surface what we see versus what God sees in the heart of each individual. Each one of us are called to respond to God and to love him with OUR All, and this makes it personal. This personal relationship then is the crux for our relationship to have merit, purpose, response to God and to our fellow man.
"The power of choice to love him, with ALL our heart, ALL our soul and ALL OUR MIND... is left with us".
Can we say, "I love you Lord", without firstly thinking about it in our mind and coming to a sound conclusion?
Can we say, "I love you Lord", in our heart, without contemplation, desire, and an attitude of faith?
Can we say, "I love you Lord", with our soul, and not have emotion stirring us, to song and joy and feelings of peace and contentment.
Can we say, "I love you Lord", and not love our neighbour, truly as we love ourselves.
*There is no other religious order upon the face of the earth that gives back to us this ingenious plan of world domination through and by the power of loving, with a sound mind, fulfilled heart, and joyous soul. If we could only catch the full Spirit of it all in Christ, what a colossal difference it would make."*
(*From my Hub Mind Matters - Matters to Mind)
Part 1: Love and Relativity
(1) Transformation (repentance)
Repentance is at the beginning of our spiritual journey. Without repentance there is little room for real change in our heart. Our soul (self) is in a state of rebellion, built into our sinful DNA. Breaking loose of this element within will be the greatest challenge for each and every one of us. We each struggle in this arena with things that plague us, sometimes for a lifetime. But when we sin, we have an advocate before our Heavenly Father, a priest representing us, who says to the Father, "Look at me, I have covered them with my love and with my life and they are saved, not for what they have done, but because of the sacrifice that I have made on their account". "I will help them throughout their lifetime to be over comers". (E M). Keeping a mindset of clarity with respect to a tender conscience and heart for repentance is key. This is to be ongoing throughout our life.
(2) Heart renewal (the change of love for self... sometimes this can take a long time... a life time for many)
Part of our sin DNA carries with it this overwhelming love of self. It comes in different forms, styles, degrees, but it all adds up to me, me, me... often with devastating results if left unchecked. When we are in love with self (narcissism, vanity, self-absorbed), we miss seeing the need in others and by pass being humble enough to want to help others, and if we do see the need and help, it will always be for, "what's in it for me"? Many people approach God this way; "I'm deserving, I'm this or that, give it to me". Their arrogance never allows their heart to come to a place of repentance and therefore their hearts never really change. They just don't see the need for it. Also those who live by the letter of the law are often trapped in this unrepentant state. A state of self righteousness, (self-right) and they will in turn make demands of others to measure up to their self right. Because they do not know Agape' love they will always walk in judgement, condemnation, suffering from Phariseeism.
(3) Mind (Love and our self)
Renewal and spirit regeneration (changing from old fleshly thinking, to coming into agreement with Holy Spirit thinking) This redemptive process becomes our life, continually... You must want it or your spiritual journey means nothing. Moving from Philao love to Agape' love is only accomplished as our spirit is transformed. We cannot pretend to love, any more than we can pretend to worship God in spirit/Spirit and truth.
Mind, heart and soul take up different positions on the throne of our life. They are often interchanged by their placement to each other. This is an extremely important element in our progress, understanding our human/spiritual make-up. But no matter what part of us is in the control room and pushing the buttons, without agreement coming into the mind, and an understanding of our walking in the spirit/Spirit, with desire and taking ownership for one's being, and all that this spiritual life involves there is no going forward into the Spiritual knowledge and true Kingdom living. (See Rom.8)
The deceiver has spent a very long time perfecting all the legalities that have to do with sin and unbelief. He operates in the realm of the soul (senses) and that is why, just like the old movies that showed us how the devil was after the soul of a person, is really showing forth a truth. If he can keep our thinking in the soulish realm he has our mind trapped and our heart will not have the strength to loose itself without a mind and heart revelation through the action of receiving conviction, with a sensitive conscience leading to repentance, and sometimes deliverance is necessary.
Mind renewal is a choice. Wanting to stop being manipulated in whatever form it's taking and making the effort to want to change... from worldly thinking to Kingdom thinking, and being led by the Spirit with our intuitive nature (spirit) being attentive to "His still small voice". Unfortunately many of us come to making a decision and take one or two steps forward and we stop, get stagnated. The train in the Spirit, has a long track to run on and we get off far too soon, when there is so much more to our journey. Many are afraid to venture on because they have heard or seen the results of those who got sidetracked, mixed up, over indulged in emotionalism, sin and failure or whatever the devil's devices did to them and fear got hold of their heart. Our love for God which can only get better, richer, fuller must not be diminished because of fear, which translates to fear of the unknown. (Perfect love casts out fear) We will always be in control of when we get on the train and when and where we get off, or for how long we stay in each place. The Kingdom of God is greater than, more expansive than, more completed than anything we can see and know in this universe which is within our grasp. Trusting in Him and his Word and Spirit in us will be the trial all of us must face. To do nothing would be a tragedy. It would be like the virgins not having enough oil in their lamps when the supply was there for them all along to get hold of. Because when it's gone, it's gone forever.
(4) Spirit to spirit lifestyle (Love of the Spirit)
We cannot truly do this act without some help. (less of me = more of Him) Sounds simple - but it is not - Why? Our individual complexities get in the way. We are people unto ourselves firstly, but the Law of Love can and will transform every man, in every nation, and with whatever nature, culture is common to him. It's a matter of individual initiative and the action of the Spirit of God upon such a one. We are unique in every aspect of our lives. It is the controlling factors in others that try to pigeon hole us and make us all common. That was the dictatorship mentality caused by fear of letting people become known. But even in the strictest place we still see the artists, musicians, poets, who emerge and defy. It is in us to be different, individual, but fear is a very powerful weapon working inside of each of us and used by external forces. It can always be overcome. People resist God because of fear. Fear that they can never measure up. Fear that they have to be this or that and comply to a strict diet of rules and regulations. We see in the real Jesus the Christ that he was not the strong armed judge everyone suspected God to be; although that is a part of his nature; the part that seeks the best for us is mercy, longsuffering, love, and joy in his creation, joy to be in fellowship with him. If God was not a God of joy, there would be no songs of elation on the earth. God has always made the first move toward relationship. That's just who he is.
So what is love of the Spirit? We are to fall in love with God, not just love him because we are told to. We fall into love for another human, and in this love relationship there usually is emotion, excitement, pleasure, joy, anticipation and expectation. God through Jesus, sent his love to us... "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this; while we were yet sinners (separated from God) Christ died for us" Rom. 5:8, and in another place... "for God so loved the world (mankind) that he sent his only son, into the world". Jn. 3:16 His love has, emotion, delight, pleasure, joy, anticipation and expectation and so should ours for him. Again, it takes God to love God.
(5) Walking in the Spirit. (Love and the Spirit)
We have to ask ourselves - of All the New Testament people, who was used to bring the greatest amount of insight to the activity of walking in the Spirit? The answer of course is the Apostle Paul.
We have to look closely at his life and see what it was characterised by?
In the gospels we have ordinary unspiritual men. (they had not received any infilling) They operated in their soul and senses. But after the resurrection and in the time of Paul we see that men can live differently. There was a life in the Spirit and a recreated spirit life for us to experience.
Paul was walking it out each and every day, and living in a time of great change. Paul was not living among heathen tribes, but learned men of vast influence and lifestyles, (You can read about this in the humanities of history) both in the Jewish realm and the Gentile nations so there was a great need for him to be a walking, talking spiritual reflection of Kingdom authority and an example of true life in the Spirit .
We desire to be free or exempt of life as it is, free of troubles, problems to solve, conflict, money issues, and the daily grind... but this is not scriptural. Life happens to all of us on a global arena. There are happenings all about us from minor to major all of the time and there are consequences for some of our responses - the good, the bad and the ugly.
"Yet the Lord slay me and I will still praise him". (EM)
What is at the heart of God regarding our Spiritual Enlightenment?
REPENT! Turn from selfish and worldly influences to Kingdom and Holy Spirit input.
So we need to know what is happening in our 'spirit'?
Difficult to walk in the Spirit if our heart is sick! Neurosis is a more than common factor in the lives of many Saints. Part of our problems arise from too many shepherds with too many non-scriptural doctrines tied to a truth taken out of context and the sheep have great difficulty discerning who the wolves are. Every so called man-of- God has an agenda of one form or another. We are warned in scripture to try the "spirits" to see if they are of God or not, but if we do not want to know or we follow blindly then we become victim to falling into a hole that someone else dug. Hard to get out and get free if that is the case.
Heart and Spirit within, equals character and is reflected in the things we say and the actions we do.
Heart issues, we all suffer and we all have them. These things can take years sometimes to sort out. Especially if we are in denial that there may be something wrong with me. It will show up in every test of love that comes our way.
So what are we supposed to do in the meantime? We don't wait around for our healing doing nothing, when we have a huge job of loving others. Serve, put others first, humble ourselves before God. Jesus saying, "Learn of me, follow me, I am the way, truth, life". Surprisingly along the way healing happens. Why? Because our focus changed from inner to outer.
Attitude is everything.
If we are trusting only in our outer man, "the soul", and our imagination, waiting for a tickling, goose bumps, some sort of real or imagined manifestation (sign, demonstration)... this is not faith!
We have abandoned faith for a feeling (senses). A most perilous place to be. If we believe that Holy Spirit gives us a manifestation of himself, through our senses at every encounter, then we are believing a lie, this is not true. If that were true then there is and never would be any need for faith to arise in us. I love it when things happen to me and I am overtaken by God in one form or another, but I don't live here. These can be awesome times of encounter and life changing but they are not everything to me. We must learn to see God in the ALL of life we live.
By reducing faith to a feeling we are opening ourselves up to any and everything that would come through a soulish (sensual) lifestyle and the fleshly human nature of man and we then believe that we need emotion and senses to be our stimulus for the Spiritual encounter. This is the greatest lie and deception of the evangelical church of today that wants to walk in the Spirit. (Evidenced by the rise and fall of many who are fickle Spiritual fortune hunters and not true believers)
We abandon love and the Law of love.
What we do matters! Who we are in our relationship with God as Father, with Jesus as Savior and with Holy Spirit as counselor are crucial.
Our representation of him who has the greatest hold upon our heart will be demonstrated in what we do in our universe. Action = Reaction. Doing a meaningful action in the true spirit of love, less self, releases us from our own self-consciousness, therefore releasing us from neurosis! (hang-up, inhibition)
Fulfill our obligation = Obligated to the Spirit, to learn and know it, (the things of the Spirit) = knowing Him!
Jesus was "complete", in his human being and of being human and God man or God in the flesh man in a human body. He could say without hesitation that he was, "The way, truth, life".
That means that during this journey we are on we can become the real us we are meant to be converted (transformed, renewed) into. But if we begin to grow complacent and think that we have arrived we are dead, and everything we do and say will only be death to ourselves and others.
Honesty = Understanding our own intuition, initiating a response in the Spirit and especially in our own spirit.