Sunday, November 22, 2015

Just a Thought "85"

Philippians 3:20 - Satan and his forces are playing a cover up game with Paul’s good news message, because they have a desire to keep people lost. For example, Satan and his forces have deceived a great many people into believing a negative view of the body in contrast to the soul, and a concept of salvation as interior experience rather than total transformation.

A great many people have been deceived into believing that their nature is dualistic, that is, consisting of a material, mortal body and a spiritual, immortal soul. Dualism has done such a serious harm in weakening our blessed hope of Christ ‘s appearing and in distorting our understanding of our citizenship in heaven.

The Bible never sees the flesh and the soul as two different forms of existence. Rather, they are manifestations of the same person, the ancient Hebrews could not conceive of one without the other. The two are indissolubly connected because the body is the outward form of the soul and the soul the inward life of the body. The body and soul are an indivisible unity; people are seen from two different perspectives.

The body is the physical reality of human existence; the soul is the vitality and personality of human existence. The fact that a person consists of various parts which are integrated, interrelated and functionally united, leaves no room for the notion of the soul being distinct from the body and thus removing the basis for the belief in the survival of the soul at the death of the body.

2 Corinthians 9:8 - Achieving God’s goals for our ambassadorship is learning to distinguish his goal, from his desire. It is a critical distinction, because it can spell the difference between success and failure. His goal is any specific result reflecting his purposes for our ambassadorship, that does not depend on people or circumstances beyond our ability.

The only person who can block his goal or render it uncertain or impossible is us, and if we adopt the attitude of cooperation with his goals, his goal can be reached. His desire is any specific result that depends on the cooperation of other people or the success of events or favorable circumstances we cannot control.

We cannot base our self-worth or our personal success on our desires, no matter how godly they may be, because we cannot control their fulfillment. When a desire is wrongly elevated to a goal, and that goal is frustrated, we must deal with all the anger, anxiety, and depression which may accompany that failure.

Dealing with the disappointments of unmet desires is a lot easier then dealing with the anger, anxiety, and depression of goals, we would do well to distinguish goals from desires. When we begin to align our goals with God’s goals for our ambassadorship, and our desires with his desires, we will rid our life of a lot of anger, anxiety, and depression. 

Philippians 4:6-7 - We can know on a moment-by-moment basis if our ambassadorship is properly aligned with his truth. God has established a feedback system which is designed to grab our attention, so we can examine the validity of our goal.

That system is our emotions. When an experience leaves us feeling angry, anxious, or depressed, those emotional signposts are there to alert us that we may be cherishing a faulty goal. When our activity results in feelings of anger, it is usually because someone or something has blocked our goal.

Any goal which can be blocked by forces we cannot control (other then God’s goal) is not a healthy goal, because our success in that arena is out of our hands. Feelings of anger should prompt us to reexamine our ambassadorship, and the mental goals we have formulated to accomplish God’s message of reconciliation.

When we feel anxious in a task, our anxiety may be signaling the uncertainty of a goal we have chosen. We are wishing something will happen, but we have no guarantee that it will. We can control some of the factors, but not all of them.

When we base our future success on something that can never happen, we have an impossible goal. Our depression is a signal that our goal, no matter how noble, may never be reached. Depression often signals that we are desperately clinging to a goal we have little or no chance of achieving, and that is not a healthy goal. 

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