Between Myselves

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Trinagle

Before this sounds like the memoirs of a psychiatric patient, let me just say that my selves and I are not crazy. Recently, I have been making forays into the field of Christian Anthropology. My rummage has blessed me with a better understanding of just who I am and who we all are. My whole perspective on the human person, identity, vice and virtue, beauty and character, has been radically re-thought. Man is tripartite, which is to say, he possesses a body, has a mind and is a spirit. I’ll share a little of what I’ve learnt.

Body

We tend to identify and define someone by their physical attributes. But the person is not their body. A person merely inhabits or possesses their body. It is the home, shelter, shell, vessel  in which the person dwells. Referred to as flesh, our bodies are driven by sensual impulses; thirst, hunger, sex, comfort and pleasure etc. Originally made from the substance of the earth we are likened to jars of clay in scripture…”Remember that you molded me like clay. Will you now turn me to dust again?” ~ Job 10:9. What makes a body significant is not its form but its function. It houses a thing most precious; the human soul.

Soul – Heart and Mind

The soul, the inner man, the man in the middle, call him what you may. The heart and mind are the consciousness of man; the seat of reason and will, desire and affection. This is where the beauty of a person shines through (or doesn’t). Each soul is as unique as a finger print and wonderfully complex. Ultimately, notwithstanding the influences that abound from within and without, all decisions are made within the soul. This hidden part of man is revealed in action and word. The soul is the conscious part of the life-force called the spirit.

Spirit

Now, to be clear there is spirit and there is the Spirit. Both are from the Lord, God Almighty. The spirit is that mysterious part of us that gives life to the person. It fuses body and soul which allows man to become a living being. This part of man eludes the scientific scope. Now, the Spirit is the very spirit of God; “poured into” those who have, in unwavering belief, accepted Jesus Christ as their master and savior. On a side note, we should be mindful that every spirit has a mind of its own but not necessarily a body of its own. Bodies are temporary (tents) while the spirit it eternal.

Between Two Minds..kind of

The impulses of the flesh and the appeals of the Spirit/spirit are all directed toward our soul. Both fight to have its desires satisfied. Our soul (seat of will and desire) is head of government and decides which influence to allow. The flesh yearns to satisfy itself even (and usually) at the cost of disobeying the Creator, God. The spirit is from God and is willing to completely obey its author. But since the beginning of man, our nature has been to yield to the rebellious, self-pleasing and sinful demands of the flesh. That`s before the Spirit of God steps in. For the convinced, convicted, converted and committed, the Holy Spirit of God empowers the soul of man to overcome the influence of the flesh; enabling us to possess our bodies in holiness and righteousness. The Holy Spirit also brings our soul to a heightened knowledge and experience of our Creator and Savior. Indeed we are fearfully and wonderfully made, in the image and likeness of God Himself. Selah.

Word Power pt. 1

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Let’s bust this can of worms wide open. There is power is the spoken word! Power, really simply, means influence, control, authority, the ability to produce an effect. A word is an expressed thought. Consider both words and what we have is an expressed thought that has the ability to produce a particular effect. If you are anything like me (brilliant, charming, dashing uhm…humble) then you may not fully appreciate just how significant and spiritual the matter is.

So just how powerful are words? The Earth, nay, very reality was spoken into being by the Lord, God Almighty. With the words “Let there be…” everything that is, was created by the spoken word. Big-bangers stay with me; it gets better. In proverbs 18:21 the wise man says that “death and life are in the power of the tongue…” And Jesus Christ claims that faith-filled words have the power to move mountains, literally. That’s all interesting and heavy stuff but how does it all work?

There are words then there’s the Word. The Word refers to the divine authority, wisdom and love of the One who created all things created which is manifested in the physical realm. The Word is the infallible truth, its the measure by which all other words are judged. The more our words agree with the Word of God, the more effective they become. The greater the belief or the faith that is pumped into our words the more potent they become in altering our reality. This is why Jesus taught “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” -John 15:7.

This would be but a fragment of the book that could be written on the topic and, if writer’s block would cut me a break, I may just write that book one day. Until then we’ll explore Word Power from a more terrestrial and social perspective in the next post.

For no word from God will ever fail.~ Luke 1:37

The Proverbs 31 Man

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I prayed for insight and “slapsh-bam-ping! (the sound of inspiration)” I got it! Proverbs 31, often titled “The Virtuous Woman,” is commonly viewed as a checklist for biblical womanhood. And for that purpose it is very useful. But here’s what I’ve seldom appreciated from the chapter: the wisdom shared here was intended for a man, King Lemuel, from his mother. So I considered for a moment, “I’m a king. I could use some godly insight and advice from an over-protective queen mother.” I began to look deeply into the passage.

Lemuel’s mother was raising a king and so she impressed upon him the values, principles and standards be-fitting God-honoring royalty. When closely examined and understood contextually, Proverbs 31 shares great wisdom in biblical manhood. So who is the Proverbs 31 Man? What does he do? And Where is he?

Firstly, who he is. The Proverbs 31 man is a man of God then a King. This means his moral constitution is firmly founded in the word of God and in faith. He is sober-minded, being acutely aware of his responsibilities as public servant, chief priest, role model and leader.

What he does. The Proverbs 31 man diligently, prudently and faithfully fulfills his role in the home and community. In verses 8 and 9 of the Proverb the young King is encouraged to give himself in support of the cause of the voiceless and marginalized of society. And judging by the expected spending habits of his future wife (for the welfare of her family), he provides. He brings home the bacon or the kosher as the case may be. He also appreciates the value of a woman. This smart chap leads his children in singing the praises of the woman of the house (v.28).

Finally, where he is. Verse 10 asks “A wife of noble character who can find?” The same could be asked of her male counterpart. It is noteworthy, however, that kings and queens have never been in abundant supply; not many possess the royal credentials. As for me, I’m taking all of Mama Lem’s advice and giving myself to growing to fit its mold. I’m owning it. The Proverbs 31 man is right here. The Proverbs 31 man is me!