Posts Tagged ‘spirit’

Let’s look at the last sentence of John 6:63, “The words (truths) that I have been speaking to you are spirit and life.”

So it says that the Words, truths that Jesus was speaking were spirit and life. Selah…. (Pause and think on this) Upon first reading i immediately took that to say that life is the words Jesus spoke. But… it does not say life is the words i speak. No doubt there is life and the spirit in the words Jesus spoke. Jesus spoke words and Lazarus came to life so from that it could appear that life is the word. I happen to think there is a difference between life being the word and the words i speak having life. i think in part what Jesus is saying is that to simply breath has no benefit, no profit and i get that! Breathing without Christ… well, what’s the purpose?

Hebrews 4:12 says “For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.

This can get a little deep for my purposes but you can research it on your own if you desire. His words are nourishment to our spirit and our soul. His words have the power of life and death in them.His words change lives, transform situations and make the impossible possible.

DEEP BREATH…. TIME TO TRANSITION… So how do i reconcile all that with Genesis 2:7 “Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” Does that put me right back at Life Is… Breath, more specifically God’s breath?

So, what is the breath of God? my understanding is that the breath of God is the life and power of God, and is given to man to animate him.

The Creator of heaven and earth did two things in creating man. First, He formed him from the dust of the ground, and, second, He breathed His own breath into the nostrils of Adam. This distinguished man from all of God’s other creatures.

Genesis 2:7 reveals three significant facts about man’s creation. The first is that God and God alone created man. God created the substances, and then He used those substances to create man. God had both the omniscience (all-knowledge) and the omnipotence (all-power) to do exactly what He wanted.

Second, God breathed His own breath of life into man. Man is more than “dust” or physical substance. Maimagesn has a spirit. Picture it this way: Adam’s body had just been formed by God from the dust of the earth—a lifeless human body lying on the ground. Then God leaned over and “breathed” His own “breath” into Adam’s nostrils. So what exactly did God give Adam? i have always believed that when God breathed into Adam He gave him a portion of EVERYTHING He is. Much like a candle lighting another candle. What does the candle being lit get? A portion of everything the already light candle has!

Third, man became a living soul. The word soul in Hebrew is nephesh, meaning “an animated, breathing, conscious, and living being.” Man did not become a living soul until God breathed life into him. As a physical, animate, rational, and spiritual being, man is unique among all living things upon the earth.

This is starting to sound like the “which came first question, the chicken or the egg,” Gods’ breath or God’s Word?

 

i think we can all agree that, no air, no breath, no life! Wikipedia says, Breathing is the process that moves air in and out of the lungs, or oxygen through other breathing organs such as gills. For organisms with lungs, breathing is also called ventilation, which includes both inhalation and exhalation. Breathing is one part of physiological respiration required to sustain life. “Breathing is required to sustain life” but is it life?

breath-of-GodBreathing is one of the few bodily functions which, within limits, can be controlled both consciously and unconsciously.

Conscious control of breathing is common in many forms of meditation, swimming, cardio fitness, speech or vocal training, where one learns to discipline one’s breathing, initially consciously but later sub-consciously, for purposes other than life support.

Unconsciously, breathing is controlled by specialized centers in the brainstem, which automatically regulate the rate and depth of breathing depending on the body’s needs at any time.

So, without air, without breath there literally is no life. So is this the one true answer and all the others are a by product of this one. i mean life wouldn’t be so awesome without the air i breath. Life wouldn’t be a series of events without air and breath. Life just wouldn’t be anything if it weren’t for air and breath… right?

And what about those people that we all know who seem to have no life despite the fact that they breathe? Now if that’s true then breath, air, is not the answer i’m searching for. i mean air can exist without man but breath can not take place without air, but as i just shared i know many people who breath but they appear to have no real life. Sure they have a physical life but is that the life Jesus meant when spoke about life?

Perhaps this gets confusing because there is a physical life and a spiritual life and i’ve been looking for an answer that will cover them both? That’s somewhat surprising to me as i usually go directly to the spiritual because for me everything is spiritual. Physical is temporary but spiritual is eternal… right?

Look at John 6:63, Jesus says, “It is the Spirit Who gives life [He is the Life-giver]; the flesh conveys no benefit whatever [there is no profit in it]. The words (truths) that I have been speaking to you are spirit and life.”

It is the Spirit Who gives life [He is the Life-giver]. So it is a spiritual matter and add to that the words that follow, “the flesh conveys no benefit whatever [there is no profit in it].” So does that mean that air, breath, are not what life is? And… what does this verse do to the other “Life Is…” answers we have shared?

Here’s one thing i know for a fact as of this post. i know where life comes from and i’m thinking that knowing where it comes from will help me to understand what it is.

Today’s post comes from a reader.

Well, this is my maiden blog and what a wonderful subject with which to launch!  As I understand it, the blogging question is “What is Life”.  So….here goes…..

Life is the very essence of Jehovah God Himself. In Genesis, God gathered together a collection of dirt/clay, shaped it into a creation named Adam, which housed both man and woman.  Then He breathed into their nostrils His essence….life.  Adam had no memories, no behavioral patterns, no perspective on everyday affairs, he was just an inanimate object made of clay until God breathed Himself  (spirit) into him.  At that time Adam/Eve were one with God because  they had His thoughts,  imagesmotivations, character, ability to speak His personal language and was able to commune with Him on His level. This was His big dream and His plan all along, to have a family and a Bride for His Son that thought the way He did, loved what He loved, hated what He hated, was in sync with His emotions and plans.

We had that ability until the choice was made in the Garden of Eden to allow our soul,which can only operate through information given to it, to rule. Free will is located within our souls/intellect and was the key ingredient to maintaining our relationship with God. God has to be our first love by “choice” so hence, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  We chose to receive a counterfeit source of life that comes thru outside information, experiences, etc to determine our identity, thoughts, memories.  As a result of not choosing to allow our spirits to lead and interpret these things for us, the very life-sustaining, immortality that was given to us by God began to grow less effective in our lives and our bodies became mortal.

There is only one source from which a human being is given life, and  that is God. There is no other entity that can cause something to come to life.   We all have a spirit that came from God that keeps us physically alive but because of Adam’s choice, we do not have complete access to it until we are born again. The Holy Spirit then begins to unpack all  that was hidden since the fall  in the Garden.  When  Jesus  said ” I have come that you might have “life” and  have it more abundantly”, He was indicating that we already have the source of “life”, our spirits, which keeps us physically alive, but that Holy Spirit would begin unpacking a measure and dimension of “abundant life” packed  away in our spirit  that our souls could never dream of.

Wow!  The ability to live life and commune with God on His Level!

So, to me when I am asked “What is Life?” , it is being who you were created to be, His Equal Partner .  Can you imagine?

hello I’m Dr. ed Peterson the host of the me and I Am post and podcast. Thank you for joining me on my journey of INTENTIONAL living. This is the conclusion of a three post series i began on Monday but for me this is the most important element as it contains the lessons learned thus giving me new tools for applying God’s word to all situations in my life. For whatever reason this series has no podcast as every time i recorded it and went to post it, it would erase. yet every night when I would do a test it would work fine. One of those things that makes you go hummmmmmm????

It has been my experience that soon after i have decided to surrender to a more God filled life and i have set my intentions on Him that i soon afterward feel as though my favor with God and man has evaporated! My great God experiences seem to dry up. In those times i’m not even able to consider spiritual things. This was one of those times and I can’t give you any specific reason for why it occurred.

In the past i have considered these type of moments as a great loss with regards to my relationship with God. In this situation i am thinking differently. i am recalling how blessed i have been in my relationship with Him and even though it may seem like or feel like it has ceased to exist, I know that it has not! Knowing that allows me to look at this whole situation as not a great loss but a great benefit.

Galatians 5 talks about this matter. “But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God).”

i heard the voice of the spirit… and the voice of my flesh… and made a choice of my own free will… gratify the cravings and desires… of my human nature without God. So you might be thinking that i’m making this to spiritual or that i’m being overly dramatic… perhaps just so i have something to post about? Since these posts and podcasts are about my personal life i assure you there is no lack of material.

So what did happen? The simple  answer… there was a battle. Two opposing thoughts, two opposing voices. Galatians 5:17 says, “ed’s desires of the flesh are opposed to the [Holy] Spirit, and the [desires of the] Spirit are opposed to ed’s flesh (godless human nature); for these are antagonistic to each other [continually withstanding and in conflict with each other], so that ed is not free but is prevented from doing what ed desires to do.”

my inner strength was not enough to defeat my outer collapse because as i read down further in Galatians 5 it explains that “the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge].”

Someone is saying that’s all well and good ed but you still haven’t explained what happened! Okay… It has been my experience that soon after i have decided to surrender to a more God filled life and i have set my intentions on Him that i soon afterward feel as though my favor with God and man has disappeared! Great God experiences seem to dry up. In those moments i’m not even able to talk about spiritual things. Heaven on earth is the farthest things from my mind which leaves me with little or no hope.

So now what? First i had to confess my actions of wrong doing and ask forgiveness of God. Through posting this i’m asking Ann Marie to also forgive me. Finally i’m asking each listener and reader for forgiveness as what i did was not according to the word. Is that necessary one may ask? Absolutely!  The word says, “to whom much is given much is expected.” i have been given this privilege and platform to share life with others. With that comes this responsibility, “ed is not to seek his (self) own good and advantage and profit , but [rather] each one of the other [let him seek the welfare of his neighbor].” 

If ed lives by the [Holy] Spirit, let ed also walk by the Spirit. [If by the Holy Spirit ed has his life in God, let ed go forward walking in line, ed’s conduct controlled by the Spirit.]

It’s now almost a week later and guess what? my want is back, my “in the moment” satisfaction is nowhere to be found. Self satisfaction, surrendering to self wants is fleeting. The struggle is now stronger because it had previous success. But… i can assure you that as of this moment the battle has already been won, the victory is mine and the Glory is God’s.

And those who belong to Christ Jesus (the Messiah) have crucified the flesh (the godless human nature) with its passions and appetites and desires.

Hello i’m Dr. Ed Peterson, the host of the me and I Am post and podcast. i’m glad you decided to join me today as i share with you about my journey of intentional living. Again before i start i must apologize that there is no podcast. After attempting to record 3 times… well, i gave up. Not sure what the issue is because when i tested it last night everything worked fine. You can come to your own conclusion… i’ll just leave it that, i’m not supposed to podcast it for whatever reason.

FranticIt was around 9 P.M., i was in for the night or so i thought. i had been to the store earlier and had rejected the idea of buying any of that “stuff”. Now, i know none of you have ever experienced this but i did. As i sat in my comfy recliner, watching mindless television, it hit me. “i…  want something,” meaning of course… a snack, something sweet, which i was now regretting having not purchased anything earlier. i remember thinking on the question of what i wanted as though it was worthy of great consideration.

The next thing i know i’m at the store, grabbing a cart and making my way down the isles. In the bakery section i loaded my cart with 4 pieces of chocolate cake which by the way had plenty of chocolate frosting covering them. i would have selected more but there was no carrot cake with vanilla crème frosting to be found. After further, careful consideration of countless other possibilities i decide on an almond coffee cake… for the next mornings breakfast of course, but knowing that i might have a slice tonight should my other items not fulfill my want. Continuing down the isles i looked left and right examining the shelves from top to bottom as though i was listening intently for something to call out my name. When i hit the ice cream freezers the choices were endless… which is why i ended up with three, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Recesses Peanut Butter with Chocolate Chunks, and Vanilla Toffee Crunch. After a stroll down a few more isles again listening intently, i made my way to the check-out counter where the two clerks immediately began discussing their favorite deserts with me. Somewhere in their exuberant sharing the cashier says, “so your having a dessert fest?” and now there’s a  name to go with what i was doing.

Returning home i carefully laid out the selections buffet style making sure that each could be seen easily, but… there was no need to choose… the intention was clear… eat them all! And within an hour most everything was gone and within 24 hours it was all gone.

Now one might ask, why? What came over me? Why the extreme, especially for someone who has had relatively little in the way of sweets for over a year? A single five letter word… FLESH/self as in my mind, my will and my emotions. As clear as i spoke “i want” a still small voice inside me began resisting. At every isle the voice asked me, “are you sure you want to do this, what are you doing, what’s going on?” But not once, not for a second did i pause to consider the voice. i might as well of said, “shut up and leave me alone!”

i’m not sharing this because i’m proud of it, quite the opposite. Now please listen or read very carefully. i don’t regret the things i’ve done, i just regret the things i didn’t do when i had the chance. What i didn’t do when i had the chance was listen to the Spirit inside me, i didn’t do the wise thing for my health and i didn’t consider Ann Marie when i had the chance.  i brought her on this rampage with me, without any regard for her. She has been struggling to get back on track with her diet and i added to the struggle. 1 Corinthians 10:23 the verse i shared in the opening has a following verse which says, “Let no one then seek his own good and advantage and profit, but [rather] each one of the other [let him seek the welfare of his neighbor].” Now, eating all that was in no way for my own good, advantage or profit. my point here is that i did not seek the welfare of my neighbor, more specifically the welfare of my best friend, my wife. What example did i set for her? my misplaced encouragement… and let’s just leave it at that… misplaced.

So there you have it, “the story.” What you don’t have are the lessons learned which are the most important elements of these posts. As the verse above says, “let him/ed seek the welfare of his neighbor” i always want to be respectful of readers and listeners time and this is running longer than i anticipated. i am unable to cut it short as the lessons are what i will take with me as i move forward from this… and face new… challenges in living my life INTENTIONALLY for God.

Thank you for joining me on me and I Am and i look forward to you joining me in just one more wake up for the conclusion of this series on Permissible And/Or Profitable.

 

I read the following story from a fellow blogger and it… excited me. Read the story and i’ll tell you why.

Booker T. Washington tells a wonderful story about his mother. Every morning of his young life, he, along with all the plantation slaves, was awakened by the crow of a rooster. Long before daybreak the unwelcome noise would fill the shanties, reminding Washington and his fellow workers to crawl out of bed and leave for the cotton fields. That rooster’s crow came to symbolize a life of long days and backbreaking labor. But then came the Emancipation Proclamation. Abraham Lincoln pronounced freedom for all slaves. The first morning afterward, young Booker was awakened by the rooster again. Only this time his mother was chasing it around the barnyard with an axe. That day the Washington family fried and ate their alarm clock for lunch. Their first act of freedom was to silence the reminder of their slavery.

The why. Through out the Word there are stories of God’s people being directed by their own flesh verses God’s plan. i relate to them because i have been there and done similar things. The Israelites were not satisfied with God’s provision (manna), they wanted meat.  Their desire had nothing to do with their freedom but had everything to do with feeding their flesh.

The roosters crowing for me symbolizes my long days of struggling with my flesh. my flesh wants meat, not manna. Galatians 5:17 says ed, your flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.

my flesh like the rooster is just doing what it does. The roosters crowing is just the symbol of a much bigger problem as is my problem with my flesh. See i just want the crowing to stop without having to cut off it’s head, although i have no problem with a good fried chicken dinner. But that’s been tried over and over. No, i’m fairly certain there must be a death, a crucifying of my flesh to put an end to the crows of my flesh, “those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” Galatians 5:16 “ed, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”

“ed, you were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh, rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command, Love your neighbor as yourself. If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” Interesting, of all the things that the author could have written he says, ed if you bite and devour others with you words and actions, the only thing that will be accomplished is that the rooster will keep on crowing.

The first act of my freedom is to silence the reminder of my slavery to my flesh. Again, “those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh (CUT THE HEAD OFF THE ROOSTER) with its passions and desires.” One more thing ed, since you live by the Spirit, keep in step with the Spirit.

i posted about the seven deadly sins according to Mahatma Gandhi and now i ’m posting the seven Knightly Virtues. i know it’s a little dated as we don’t have knights today, but… but i think that inside every man is a desire to be a knight in shining armour and inside every woman is the desire to be rescued by a knight in shining armour, that is if she hasn’t been already.

Number 6 is Nobility. This word is sometimes confused with “entitlement” or “snobbishness,” but in the code of chivalry it conveys the importance of upholding my convictions at all times, especially when no one else is watching.

Nobility according to the dictionary is, nobleness of mind, character, or spirit; exalted moral excellence. The body of persons forming the noble class in a country or state .

Unlike yesterday’s word which ranked very high in the Webster’s Dictionary of searches, this word ranks near the bottom.

“Whatever career you may choose for yourself – doctor, lawyer, teacher – let me propose an avocation to be pursued along with it. Become a dedicated fighter for civil rights. Make it a central part of your life. It will make you a better doctor, a better lawyer, a better teacher. It will enrich your spirit as nothing else possibly can. It will give you that rare sense of nobility that can only spring from love and selflessly helping your fellow-man. Make a career of humanity.Commit yourself to the noble struggle for human rights.You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country and a finer world to live in.”   – Martin Luther King, Jr.

In Philippians 4:8 Paul tells us, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is lovely, whatever is excellent, whatever is praiseworthy: think about such things” He goes on to say that when i “think on these things” the “peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus.”

My mind grasps the concepts of true, lovely, excellent, and praiseworthy. The Bible and the world God created provide examples from which to learn true,
lovely, excellent, and praiseworthy, but what about “noble?” If the Bible provides examples and instruction on “true, lovely, excellent, and praiseworthy,” then certainly there are models for “noble” and nobility.

What does “noble” mean in today’s society? For me, noble had always been some notion in the back of my mind born out of my high school history class or classic literature. How could i—an average “nobody”—sincerely follow Paul’s admonition to “think about such things” as nobility without a biblical understanding of what it means to be noble?

Romans 5:17 “Because we belong to the family of the King, we can ‘reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.” In other words, if
i am of the household of faith, then i am of noble re-birth, and that is heritage worth celebrating!

There is an overlooked passage in Isaiah: “The noble man devises noble plans; and by noble plans he stands” (Isaiah 32:8). When i first read this verse, i was fascinated with its implications. Paul’s admonition in Philippians—to think on noble things—was made clear in a new way as i thought on Isaiah’s words. There are many more references to “noble” in the Bible that may be woven into a majestic tapestry.

It is my hope today that God will plant in me noble plans and that these plans will see me through all my days.