23 July 2010 (Sheshi/Kippur)|
Day #130, 5934 AM
The Higher Spiritual Life
Understanding Your Part and Yahweh's
Echoing words spoken in Romans 8:9-13, the apostle Paul warns of the danger of allowing the physical body to fall into bad habits which arise because of choices to yield to the ungodly influences of the fleshy or carnal nature. Paul is not, as some would have you believe, giving the green light for asceticism or masochism - no whips of self-flaggelation or forced celibacy allowed! Rather, by the power of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) - which may only be obtained through genuine surrender to Christ followed by a spiritual rebirth - we are to put to death all fleshy bad habits. If we don't, then we are guaranteed an untimely spiritual death - what we gained in coming to Christ initially will eventually be strangled just as weeds infest and eventually choke to death a bed of cultivated plants. The Christian life is, you see, a kind of spiritual horticulture. Nothing of an everlasting nature results from simply allowing yourself to remain, or become, 'wild'.
"It is those who are (agitators) setting up distinctions and causing divisions; merely sensual [creatures] - carnal, worldly-minded people - devoid of the (Holy) Ruach (Spirit), and destitute of any higher spiritual life. But you, beloved, build yourselves up [founded] in your most holy faith - make progress, rise like an edifice higher and higher - praying in the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit); guard and keep yourselves in the love of Elohim; expect and patiently wait for the mercy of our Master Yah'shua the Messiah, [which will bring you] unto life eternal. And (refute [so as to] convict some who dispute with you, and) on some have mercy who waver and doubt. [Strive to] save others, snatching [them] out of [the] fire; on others take pity [but] with fear, loathing even the garment spotted by the flesh and polluted by their sensuality [Zech.3:2-4]" (Jude 1:19-23, Amp.V).
But what of the positive news of mastering and conquering a bad habit that stems from the Adamic nature? A "higher spiritual life". Admittedly, such a promise seems remote while a soul is in the thrall of bondage to the fleshy nature, but once attained will be something you'll never want to let go of. To attain it requires faith, self-discipline and patience. And if you don't have these virtues, you need to urgently pray for them! And once the means for their attainment have been provided, don't run away from them because invariably the means will hurt at first. It's like pulling out a bullet - the lodged bullet is painful (and life-threatening) and its removal will be even more painful, but once removed and the onset of healing takes place, then comes peace.
The construction or building of anything worthwhile takes time and effort, sweat and tears, and endurance. However, the promise we are given is that in any project which seeks as its goal obedience to Torah, there is the promise of divine empowerment. Yes, you will experience little miracles along the way as Yahweh reveals His hand in what He is doing in you. But such miracles do not happen until you have made the choice and started the journey. Faith always preceeds the miracle, not the other way round.