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A Question

“What do I do with my life, Lord?”

“I’m sorry, at what point did you get the idea that it was yours, to do with as you please?”

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Conversations

‘Stumbling Through’ To The Will of God

It doesn’t have to be like that.

(music video to ‘It Doesn’t Have To Be’, by Erasure)

This morning I was looking at my new social media website and sort-of-praying about what to do with it.

By ‘sort of praying’, I mean that I was thinking along the lines of, ‘what if God blessed this effort?’ and weighing the pros and cons of success vs. failure. I was thinking about what I could do to improve the site, and whether it was worth doing anything about it at all. I was wondering when the other shoe would drop, and how much another disappointment would hurt, or if maybe it would be a successful endeavor, and how pleasant it would be if it succeeded.

I wasn’t actually directly asking God, ‘hey, is this your will?’ and waiting to hear an answer.

That would be too direct.

I got a mental picture of what I was doing: Gideon putting down fleeces.

People rag on Gideon (this story is in Judges 6) sometimes for his ‘lack of faith’. Whatever. Gideon was just doing whatever he knew to do. He was afraid of God because he’d been told to be afraid of God, and God did what he always does: humored him, and lovingly steered him towards the truth of who he is.

I saw that what I was doing was making some effort, and waiting to see if God blessed it before proceeding.

(It’s not my fault, I was taught to do things that way.)

(You see, I was taught that God was distant, that his will was mysterious and unknowable, and all that junk that comes from years of people-who-only-know-theories-about-God trying to teach me about God, instead of teaching from personal experience.)

(I have the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit just as much as any other Christian.)

(I could just, you know, ask.)

(But I get in ‘Western Evangelical Christian Mode’ sometimes, and forget.)

So I ‘put my big boy britches on’, and I asked.

Here is the response:

“I’ll bless whatever you do.”

Whatever? That pretty much gives me carte blanche to do whatever the f*** I want.” (This is how God and I talk, I can cuss and use French in the same sentence when we’re talking, and he’s OK with that.)

“Exactly.”

“I mean, I can’t just go out and stab someone.”

“Of course not. I wouldn’t let you do that. But you wouldn’t do that anyway.”

“Yeah.”

So, yeah.

No more fleeces.

I’m going to move forward with Stevebook, adding more pieces on as I can afford to pay developers and web designers, and we’ll see what happens.

I’ll learn, and I’ll look for lucky occurrences, a.k.a. ‘divine favor’ along the way, and we’ll see what happens.

We don’t have to stumble through to the will of God.

We have the will of God ‘displayed in the face of Christ’, 2 Corinthians 4:6.

We can just ask…

…and expect an answer.

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Conversations

Conversations With God

Photo by Etienne Boulanger on Unsplash
Photo by Etienne Boulanger on Unsplash

“Now I say, walk in spirit and you most certainly will not bring the longings of the flesh to pass.” *

Evangelical Christianity reckons that the newborn Christian is both alive and dead at the same time, a Schrödingerian nightmare of a person, with a ‘good spirit’ and ‘evil flesh’ warring until the day he or she dies.

Jesus, on the other hand, seems to be convinced that he came (among other things) to destroy the flesh, and that he completed the job: tetelestai, ‘it is finished’.

I humbly suggest we listen to Jesus on this one, and leave behind Western Evangelical lunacy.

“For you have died and your life has been hidden with the Anointed in God…”

When Jesus died, you died.

Your old nature, the evil-desiring part of you, died on the Cross 2,000 years ago, mystically. (…and when I use the word ‘mystically’ here, I mean, ‘it definitely happened, but we can’t scientifically explain it’.)

“I have been crucified along with the Anointed. And I live no longer, but the Anointed lives within me…”

Crucified. Dead. The old you doesn’t exist any more.

So where are you getting your information from?

Christians and mental illness have a long history together, a history that is attempted to be concealed by Empire and Legalism, Pride and Vanity, but one that, nevertheless, remains.

I am convinced that schizophrenic theological teaching, leads to schizophrenia. (And to other forms of mental illness.)

It is impossible to believe that you are alive and dead at the same time.

Either you are alive, or you’re dead: children know this. Western Evangelical adults, not so much.

That bird that hit the windshield is dead. Short of a divine miracle, it’s not coming back.

Zombies do not exist, and never will exist. It’s just not part of the Creator’s plan.

Yet we are taught that Christians are ‘some kind of zombie’ (to quote one of the very worst Western Christian rock songs).

You have died in Christ. And now you are alive in Christ.

So we return to Galatians 5:16:

“Now I say, walk in spirit and you most certainly will not bring the longings of the flesh to pass.”

And I say again: from where are you getting your information?

Inside, are you hearing competing voices? Not lock-you-in-the-looney-bin voices, I’m talking about the normal internal dialogue of most adults.

One angel on the shoulder, one devil on the other?

Competing natures?

It’s all a bunch of religious, Platonic, Augustinian, Calvinistic, nonsense.

(In case you’re not familiar with these characters, these guys, though they are pillars of Western Christianity, had a history of taking a seed of truth and taking it to an ungodly end.)

You died.

You were buried.

You rose.

Your old nature is dead.

Where are you getting your information from?

Are you sad? Lonely? Depressed?

All lies. These are all lies of the enemy.

Where does the enemy find a foothold?

In the human flesh.

And what happened to the flesh?

It is dead. Buried.

Gone…yet not forgotten.

Memories linger still.

Memories from that old man.

Lies that that old devil, the defeated foe, told you.

Lies that your hungry soul lapped up like a starved puppy.

Where are you getting your information from?

Life in the Spirit involves hearing God: hearing from the Holy Spirit.

Yet we are told, by liars, ‘you can’t hear God!’ Or, since you can, ‘you can’t hear God accurately.’

Lies. Innocently-crafted lies, but lies nonetheless.

Where are you getting your information from?

From the Truth? Or from lies?

You get to pick. As a Christian, you have the choice of where to get your information. There’s ‘the world, the flesh, and the devil,’ and then there’s God and the New Nature.

Pick your team.

Now.

But it’s not so easy, is it? At least, sometimes it’s not.

The old man and the devil, they made powerful arguments: a complete legal team, in your head. Judge, jury, and executioner, all residing between the human head and heart.

But the old man is dead, gone, buried. And the new man is alive.

“…and to don the new man, the one created by God in the righteousness and holiness of the truth.”

The new man is created by God, the old created by your parents. The old nature is dead, the new is alive.

Where are you getting your information from?

* All scriptures are quoted from the David Bentley Hart New Testament, an excellent read)