Posts Tagged ‘Christian living’

Often when we think of Satan we think of a spiritual entity that is at war with God and humans. While I am not writing to dispute this, I am writing to dispute the idea the actual devil is around every corner, and or filling our heads with Satanic ideas. My argument is that we are Satan. We cannot remove Satan from our lives when we do not realize that we are the very driving force of his existence.
Let us look at why Jesus used the name Satan. In the Hebrew the word means “adversary, someone who resist” The Greek is similar although the writers of the New Testament give him more personality. He is known as the master of destruction, one who sends wrath to sinners, an accuser, someone who opposes the gospel of Jesus, ultimately Satan is found bound and thrown into an abyss in the book of Revelation.
Examining Satan esoterically we can certainly find within these quick definitions that we are our own Satan. Let us look at the basic definition again.
1. Adversary
2. Master of destruction
3. Accuser
4. Opposes the gospel
I argue that these four elements of Satan are found within each one of us. I believe
The key to living a victorious Christian life is to ultimately control Satan, binding him and sending him to the pit of the abyss. We must first understand what Christians call the sinful nature of man is Satan within us, the “flesh” so to speak. We are our own adversary, we create our own destruction, we accuse ourselves, and we reject the good news of Christ because that is the very thing that will send Satan, our egos to the abyss.
We have this major tendency to be hard on ourselves, to live a life as a defeatist, to self-destruct. We accuse ourselves, blame ourselves. When the guilt gets bad enough we pick up habits that often cause harm. We overeat, drink to much, indulge in drugs, sexual promiscuity, and any number of destructive behavior. In my opinion this is the ultimate cycle of destruction. First, we accuse ourselves, then we try to run from the self-accusations with destructive behavior. We are the enemy and the enemy is us. We pray to God to help us in our struggle without knowing who or what we are struggling against. The actual evil spiritual forces have an easy job when we do all the work for them. Or, maybe part of the test of spiritual growth in our lives is to face the Satan that is us, call him up, bind him, and cast him into the abyss.
Realization and acceptance. We must understand that our very satanic nature is cunning and baffling, we must let go of ourselves. This is the importance of the gospel of Christ. Through faith in Christ we let go of what is within and take on our divine nature through the advocate. We learn to see past the Satan and see the Christ within. We do as many say, “let go and let God.” I am also sorry to say that this is not a one and done. This is a journey of faith, a lengthy battle that we all share, some with more victory than others.
How exactly can one live a life of victory? The best answer is to examine how Jesus did it. The story of the temptation of Jesus found within Matthew 4:1-11 is a battle within his own mind, which is also our own battle. Jesus bathed himself in prayer, he used his knowledge of the scripture, and he then allowed God to comfort him. We too must bathe ourselves in prayer, we must understand the scriptures, this also involves understanding ourselves, and be humble enough to allow our divine nature to increase, gaining the knowledge of what some would call our Holy Guardian Angel and by doing so throw Satan into the Abyss which we then cross as we find who we really are within God.
On a final note as I mentioned this is a journey of faith. The book of Revelation is clear that Satan is thrown into the abyss, the text is also clear that he finds his way out of the abyss as well. Eventually we will leave this life finding our eternal victory, until then we will be “fighting the good fight of faith.”

 

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Jesus denied Satan’s offer of the kingdoms of the world.  Jesus reminded Satan he was to only worship God, he denied the world to eventually save it.
Later Jesus once again alludes to this. “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?”
I know as a Christian I have been tough on my fellow believers especially due to the political climate.  I feel based on observation many evangelicals and I count myself a modified version of one. That they are willing to give up Christian values for power.
Many have looked the other way despite Trump’s unrepentant actions, are supporting a very questionable candidate for Senate Roy Moore, even here in Iowa we have a Representative Mr. King who openly states “Diversity is a bad idea.”  The bottom line is many Christians especially those of the dominionist and absolute theological positions seem to say yes to corrupt power and deny the Kingdom, the people of Jesus.
Jesus did not come to create an earthly Kingdom. Not a Kingdom of earthly power at all cost.

Many of the enemies of Christ, in fact the very ones who nailed him to the cross claimed to be moved by the laws of God.  They were the religious leaders.  Today many Christians support very questionable people only because they pray and mention God.
Let us not find ourselves giving into Satan’s temptation of gaining the world only to lose our souls.

 God is not some type of trickster, but we can certainly through our human eyes create great schisms through our view of God. Within Christian theology as well as other religions of the world, based upon our view, interpretation, experience and so on.
Let me tell you a short story.

God was walking through town one day and his left side was in the form of a woman, and his right side the form of a man. Later on, people at the local pub started talking about the goddess who visited the town. Others over heard the conversation of the group who saw the goddess and said no, no, it was a man.
Both groups grew heated and eventually began to fight forgetting why God may have came to visit them in the first place. 
When we act this way within our own faith system, let alone when trying to understand another, we never will be in unity.
I tend to beleive the best way to understand theology is to listen, and understand. Nobody has ever seen God, we can read about Jesus. We can say Jesus was this or that. We form groups called denominations and divide ourselves because we cannot allow our ego to possibly be wrong. 
Today as we head into this thanksgiving week let us be thankful for our differences. Let’s listen and understand one another. Maybe through our empathy others will also understand us.
The Backyard Preacher

 In the East they call it meditation in the West it is contemplation. Regardless of the terminology I believe it is important to relax our minds. Often as Christians we pray with our lips without giving thought to our ears. How can the Spirit speak to us when we are filled with thoughts of “us”?  
We can take example from Jesus. “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Luke 5:16. I highly doubt the Lord spoke all night during these times.  He took time to listen. He took time to remove himself from the cares of the world to be better prepared to accomplish his will on earth.  So if Jesus needed this strength, we do also! 
Take time everyday to pray, not with just words, but also with your ears.

To find the experience of direct conversation with the Spirit, bringing us closer to God, and in many ways equivalent to Jesus.  This is after all why we are called Christians. 
The Backyard Preacher

Nate talks about true, vs. false spirituality.  Specifically mind altering substances.  In Nate’s opinion the most spiritual people are those with or with past substance issues.  The people who are seekers of something outside of themselves.  Yet the substance method comes at a high price.  While True spirituality is found within yourself through natural means of journeying.

 Do not be the one. 

 When your days are done and your hands can no longer function, do not be the one who followed the rules, did everything you are told, and forget God gave you a brain to think for yourself.  Don’t do it!  Yes, being an obediant cog is probably the most safe way to navigate through life; only to end up just another gravemarker with little meaning.  

They say better to be safe than sorry. That’s a lie. It has always been the risk takers who have  made the greatest impact on our world.  As a Christian I can read the Bible and find it was the risk takers who God used. 

In human understanding faith and risk are very synonymous.  So what I am I trying to say?  I am saying chase whimsies, follow your bliss, don’t let anyone tell you “NO” if it is the desire of your heart. Seek it, keep knocking, make life happen. Do not let life happen to you!  

At the end of the day you may still become just an unknown gravestone. Yet you will be one who tried to defy the norm, who said the moon is to close, I am shooting for stars. On your death bed there will be no disappointment, only hope that those you leave behind follow the same path.  
The Backyard Preacher

In life everything cannot be learned by reading books.  You may say but Nate. You put great stock in reading.  Yes, I do. Yet I also understand that a child in southern Florida can read every book there is on what snow is like.  To view pictures of snowmen, sledding, and other winter sport, but without the actual ecperience, the value of the knowledge is unrewarding.  

The same is true for many things in ourlives, both knowledge and experience can bring both positive or negative consequences.  We must choose wisely.  

As a Christian I can read the Bible all I want and have great knowledge of the text, but without the experience of God it is just another book.  

It is no wonder that Christian and Buddhist monks seem to understsnd each other while the priest of their religions (the ones who went to school) lack in agreement.  See the monks have not just read, they have experienced God. They knocked on the door of heaven and it was opened to them.  
Who do you want to be? 
Have a blessed Saturday my friends!

Now What?  There is always going to be someone to tell you no, your not good enough, don’t have enough experience, don’t have enough education, or they do not like the decisions of your past.  Are you going to let others define you?  Or, are you going to allow yourself be defined by your God nature?