Friday, August 8, 2008

Blinded by the Light

As a result of man choosing to live separate from God, and because there are no vacuums, a whole new ‘reality’ plunged us all into a world where the flesh became the dominate ruling force.

All of us are born separated and alienated from the Life of God. Every person comes into the world with a flawed life—a life directed by the flesh, or as the Scriptures say, “All have sinned and fallen short of His glory.” True to our newly acquired nature, everything in man’s living was now directed after the flesh. Most people refer to this as ‘human nature’, but there was nothing ‘human’ about this nature! Jesus said, “a good tree cannot bring forth bad fruit and a bad tree is powerless to bring forth good fruit.’ Because of the nature of the beast (Satan in our flesh) and the sophisticated shape-shifting ability this liar has as a maniacal master of illusion, we have all equally been blinded to what is real.

I like what Kent shared
here, as I see it pertinent to my thoughts regarding this reality of the flesh and how an erroneous identity has been formed in us all.

“Who knows, maybe I would have been a drunk, a drug addict, a flaming liberal, a Muslim, a Communist or a thief, to name a few possibilities, had I been born somewhere else to different parents and shaped by a different environment? These might be barriers humans rarely desire to cross over if they are vastly different experiences than what they have ever been exposed to....but Jesus knows no barriers and grace and love have no rivals.”

All of these descriptions Kent has used here are expressions of the nature we all have been born with, and yet there are so many other features of this nature that are misunderstood. It is very easy to see the overt expressions of the flesh in many people: liars, cheaters, killers, abusers, etc. but what about the slick, polished expressions of this same nature such as politeness, morality, kindness, consideration, caring, dedication to one’s community, volunteering at the YMCA, becoming a Big Brother/Sister ad infinitum? These are the ‘socially acceptable’ expressions of the flesh, or as Bob George put it in “Classic Christianity” U.S.D.A. Choice Flesh – but it’s still flesh, nonetheless! Some people have explained away this ‘socially acceptable’ flesh as being some sort of remnant of God’s goodness in mankind, but this is a bogus assumption. Without God’s spirit indwelling the human spirit, there is no ‘remnant’ of God whatsoever. We are lost and irreparably depraved, desperately needing a Saviour to set us free. Yes, we needed forgiveness, but much more to the point is the fact that we needed LIFE and within that life was the very nature of God.

Is it possible that the father of lies within all of us has established within our thinking a categorizing of those who are good and those who are evil? Since we’ve all been born with a faulty nature, any expression of our flesh is totally void of any goodness.

It is only the one life, the Life of God the Father that is good, and it is that very life that has been made available to all who were born lifeless. When we accept the gift of life through Christ we are made new by the transforming power of a new life in our spirit. In salvation we have a replacement of our old life situation by a new life opportunity. This is entirely Christ’s work and none of our own.

I am convinced that apart from the goodness of God the Father opening our eyes - especially those who still see themselves as being ‘good’ apart from His life - those who didn’t get hammered into the overt ugly fleshly expressions, might see grace as being something they have earned by their own ‘goodness’.

Consider the Prodigal Son story in the Scriptures (Luke 15): the older son, who faithfully stayed home serving the Father, looked with horror and disdain when he saw his father lavishly pouring out his deep affections upon his way ward brother. How could bad behavior merit His favour, what he with his good behaviour had worked so hard to obtain? To further illustrate this graphic picture, what was obscured in the life of this self-righteous older brother’s view was his failure to see that his very nature was no different than his brother’s, that when we give a mind to the flesh, we cut ourselves off from our only source of Life.

Read Addendum to this post here.



Free Spirit said...

Great again, Rich! Yes, how I so wanted to strut, and bank on, my good behavior, cause I doubt there are many out there who've lived a cleaner life. But it is the greatest deception of all, and I'm sure I still have not seen the full picture yet. Thanks for shedding light on the subject!

Rich said...

free spirit,

The independent-self is much like a chameleon or a shape shifter, in that the angel of light aka Satan working through our flesh, the independent self is able to manifest himself with the appearance of being most rightous and pious.

This fleshly expression is more tolerable to most than the in your face 'screw you' life style.
The thing is they are both but an expression of the same thing, the FLESH!