Creature Comforts

Posted: April 14, 2010 in Book Excerpts
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I was born in January 1985, to a woman and a man. Scientifically speaking, I’ve got my traits, and my predispositions which come from them. They decided to raise me in the suburbs even though they were immigrants from far away Caribbean islands. I grew up in a particular environment with a particular set of rules. I grew up, the best I could with what I was given, and I became what you would call a regular red blooded American. The way I handle conflict and confrontations are also governed by these rules I abide by.
I thank God for the new eyes and new heart he gave me when I decided to follow his ways.
Life in the world is tough; I find it difficult to imagine my life moving without Christ, without direction and headship. Every person breathing, thinking, and interacting in this beautiful world operates the same way I do, deciphering between right and wrong, and navigating in the relationships we choose on a day to day. My life is not predicted by these philosophies, but all in all, most productive citizens try very hard to drive on the right side of the road, and not run through stop signs when anyone is looking. My personal passion and desire in life is to be accepted, while maintaining some of my more quirky features. Along with that, I want to be successful at whatever God calls me to do, I want to be a great father to my daughter, and be a husband that pleases my wife and especially God. On the exterior, I am no different than any other man. My personality, the size of my bank account and the school I went to are only some of the things that make me different. Deep down, I want to be loved, and as a man I especially crave respect. In their last days in the garden Adam and Eve were good, that is, what God had created including them was deemed good. The word good denoted that they were in good working order, and were able to relate to each other, relate to God, and perform their basic functions properly. The old serpent came on the scene, with all his crafty ways, and his forked tongue, he had all sorts of lies on his tongue. God had specifically told the two knuckleheads that if they ate the fruit they would surely die. There was no maybe, or an if clause there. At that present state, before they ate the fruit, it seems they had a predisposition to a humanness we know today. They were naïve, and could easily be deceived by only the use of words. God knew this, and still called them good. I’m sure in that state, before the fall, they wanted to please God, and take orders like good little people. The term ignorance is bliss applies here, for once the two ate the fruit they suddenly got a rush of information they didn’t need. Their knowledge of their nakedness signified that they could see difference; they could also understand pride, shame, and even the emotion of defensiveness. In Genesis God curses them, and changes up the rules on them a little bit. He makes it so the serpent is their enemy, he makes it so the man has to painfully toil, and he makes it so the woman will have pain when she bears offspring. God allows us to know what he wants us to know through the scripture, but if we take a close look we can infer that the man and the woman could have been interacting sensually already. When God says that the woman’s desire would be for the man, and he would rule over her, the man then got put into a role of authority. The bible is not completely clear about their understanding of truth at the pre-fall point, but we can assume they were in harmony. It wasn’t until this all happened that he gave her the name Eve, because then she would become the mother of all the living. From that point on we got all of the things we humans are not proud of. In the later stories of Genesis we see clearly what this knowledge of good and evil really can do to us. We can kill our brother in anger, and we can live for centuries forgetting God ever created us, forgetting what happened in the Garden. When the scripture talks about the flesh, this is what God refers to. Not our physical stature, and our condition that is human, but the inner dwellings of the man that makes us understand jealousy, pride, joy, happiness, anger, hate and everything else that makes us wonder where our parents went wrong when we were children.

1 Corinthians 15:49-50 reads:
And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we[a] bear the likeness of the man from heaven. I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.
What I’ve seen through my own life is that the flesh can be evil, and appear to be good at other times as well. This is why we have “good” people on earth, who do good deeds in the eyes of men but will never get past the gates if they do not have true relationship with Jesus. It’s a sad but true scenario, and deep down inside the problem is not just about our actions we commit, the ones that people see. It’s the things that lie in our heart, it’s the things we do on behalf of our human nature that make a difference in this journey. Our flesh can make us do some crazy things in the heat of any moment. When I came to a better understanding of my flesh, I started to see the world in a different way. This was much different than my new view of good vs. evil, and right and wrong. I started to see a battle that had been waged within me for my entire life. At the point of becoming a Christian nothing changed except for the fact that I pledged allegiance to Christ. I started to play by a new set of rules, and I started to notice the spiritual warfare I was entering in started with my decisions regarding my walk. Our flesh is weak, and has always been impulsive we saw that through our ancestors Adam and Eve and their decision to act based on feeling rather than through the truth. When I came to Christ I knew that truth would lead me to a place of freedom, but it was quite a difficulty totally understanding this new way I was called to live. The first things I put to rest were my fleshly ways. They were the things that I used to do to gratify my flesh, my compulsive ways of giving it what it wanted.
Galatians 5:16-21 states clearly:
So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
The acts of the flesh are numerous and can crop up at anytime. Some of them we notice right away and we can battle them accordingly. Some of them crop up later in life, or we notice them just because our sin nature starts to create problems in our relationships and with our own selves.
The life by the spirit is our way out, in contradicts our creature comforts, the things are flesh has been used to operating with all along.
In going into this battle we need to be aware of our most vulnerable places. This is sort of like a once in a life time chance for us to start making headway against those things that have plagued us for so long, the simple things as well as the major things. Again I will be clear this is probably one of the most difficult things to do, to recognize our problems and fleshly ways but then battle them head on. It’s sort of a like a 180 our hearts take.
John 14:26 states:
But the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
Our creature comforts have been a false mirage of ways that have us in contradiction to God. Moreover, these ways have us living not fulfilling or purposes and they have us missing out on the enjoyments of a spirit filled life. We have an advantage now, a gift from God that speaks truth to us in times of despair and in situations where our flesh is trying to be gratified. As we start to walk with new eyes, we start to understand what this battle looks like and we start to see the difference the Holy Spirit plays. The Holy Spirit teaches us to be kind, joyful, loving, patient, and to ultimately to act in a manner that pleases the Lord. The comforter shows us these things over time, by Gods grace, and through these trails God is merciful. It is imperative that we remember that the flesh battles the spirit that is within you. As time goes on, more and more of your old ways will fade, and soon you will no longer turn to your creature comforts as a way of dealing with problems or getting what you want out of this life. We will no longer have to rely on old ways.
Through faith, prayer and obedience to the Holy Spirit we can conquer what seems like a goliath.
When I first started doing this it sounded crazy, I had no idea what this Holy Ghost would be able to do for me, but started to understand that this battle was almost of a psychological form. Our thoughts can come from places according to scripture. We obviously know that the enemy can speak to us, just as he spoke to Adam and Eve and even Jesus as he was on his 40 day fast in the wilderness. Our emotions come from an inwardly posture, so that means that our reactions and predispositions to situations either come from our condition of the flesh. The Holy Spirit is our insider so to speak, and ultimately God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit can speak to us as they see fit.
1 John 4:1-3 reads:
1Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.
We must test that our thoughts, our inclinations to act on them and that the source of those thoughts line up with scriptures.
Mark 13:33 says:
33Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.
This scripture refers to the day and the hour of the end, but I think it is fitting to remember that we need to be in line with God, Christ and the Holy Spirit. Let us be weary of our creature comforts, and let us be even more aware of what the Holy Spirit and God require of us. During each and every precious moment the Holy Ghost is a friend, who knows our present situations and the inward struggles we face daily. Knowing the Holy Comforter helps us to get closer to God and farther along in this journey we call life. God Bless.

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