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Spiritual Intelligence: Walk This Way

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

Good morning friends. In our opening verses Paul explores the contrast between living in the flesh, and living in the spirit in a letter to friends in Rome. He explains the war between the two states, and their motivation; the flesh being selfish, and the spirit, selfless. The flesh can be defined as humankind before regeneration, and the spirit, humankind after the process of regeneration. In a letter to friends in Galatia, he went to list some indicators that can help in determining our spiritual state at any point in time. Let’s have look:

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Looking through this exhaustive list, one might be inclined to ask who then can inherit the kingdom of God. Well, we can find consolation in the words of Jesus:

With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible

Sadly, whenever we turn on our TV, pick up a movie, read the papers, or just listen to conversations; we hear these words spiking up at an ever increasing rate. In recent times they have become the norm, so much so that one is perceived as a social misfit whenever they are lacking, even across gender lines.

Then he went on to list character results we should truly desire:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

I can hear “modern man” yelling, “BORING”, “These are softy stuff”; not pub talk, not office or changing room banta, not what real men or sassy women do. “Get with the programme preacher”, “We were born into the 90s”, “This is how we roll in the 21st century”, “It’s only natural”, “Don’t be a kill joy”, “God understands”, “I am a free spirit”, “I can’t help myself”, “It’s the me I need to embrace”, “You are not going to survive in this world”; and on, and on, and on…

Yes, dear friends, He does understands. Remember, we were not created to be slaves to these desires, but rather to have dominion over them. Hence the reason why He sent His only begotten son to die for our sins, and to enable us to live above these things. But ultimately, the choice is ours; we can choose true freedom or “uber cool” slavery. With this in mind I am drawn to these words by Paul as an epilogue for today’s thought:

If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Dare I say, walk this way?

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~ Sabali

*Help make my new book (Echoes of Mercy, Whispers of Love) a success by supporting my fundraising campaign using this link: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/echoes-of-mercy-whispers-of-love

Be part of something awesome!

Much love,
Clem

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Spiritual Intelligence: Ring The Alarm, Another Sound Is Dying

Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Good morning friends. Our opening verses were extracted from Paul’s second letter to his friends in Corinth. In these verses, he toys with the concept of present and future self, with a view to encourage his audience to be faithful to their new found faith amidst pressure from popular culture, and persecution. Like today, these new converts were suddenly faced with their; old life, new life and future life, each one demanding enormous amount of resources from their being. They were experiencing fluctuating waves of spiritual and emotional signals; for a season they might be operating with their new supernatural gifts, then without any warning they find themselves switching back to doing the same old things they did in their pre-regenerated state.

Does this sound familiar? If it does, do not despair dear friend, you are in good company. The same writer continued his fight with this beast as he tried to make sense of it all in a letter he later wrote to his friends in Rome:

For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.

Wow… What is he saying? Most mentors are not likely to be this open with their audience, especially spiritual mentors. But Paul had reached a point in his growth were he was dying to his ego. His life experiences and relationship with God had brought him to a point were his love and empathy for his friends was experiencing an increased measure, thereby enabling him to better understand their challenges.

Unlike Paul, most of these Christians didn’t have a Jewish heritage. Even those with such heritage had lost it through integration and secularisation, also they were not privileged to have had the theological training he got from Gamaliel. They were learning again, and still trying to make sense of it all. This process was even more challenging with the intervention of Jewish teachers that had a different concept of how these “hybrids” should be living their Christian life. Should they keep the law? Should they be circumcised? Should they tithe? Should they keep the sabbath? Should they observe the feast? And on, and on, and on…

In my humble opinion, not so far from the questions Christianity faces in the 21st century. But in-spite of it all, I draw strength from a statement Jesus made when Peter identified Him as the Christ, the son of the living God, after he asked the famous question; “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” In quick succession, Jesus replied with these words:

Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

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~ Sabali

*Help make my new book (Echoes of Mercy, Whispers of Love) a success by supporting my fundraising campaign using this link: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/echoes-of-mercy-whispers-of-love

Be part of something awesome!

Much love,
Clem

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Spiritual Intelligence: Our Y and X axis

Friends in order to effect meaningful change in our lives and community we need to consider our Vertical (Up to Down) and Horizontal (Side to Side) points of influence. What I crudely refer to as our Y and X axis.

Both are of equal importance, therefore a shift in one affects the other.

Our vertical pull denotes the things or people that motivate or shape our lives, in other words our upward pull. These include things we live for, people we model our lives after, our values and beliefs, books and media, aspirations etc.

While our horizontal pull; people or things around us – in other words our side pull. These include our; peers, friends, colleagues, environment, social network, family, social trends, popular culture etc.

In the prophet Isaiah’s epiphany while mourning the death of king Uzziah (a man he greatly admired), he made this profound statement;

Mourn for me; I’m ruined! I’m a man with unclean lips, and I live among a people with unclean lips. Yet I’ve seen the king, the Lord of heavenly forces!

Yet I’ve seen The King, and that was the catalyst for a vertical shift  – resulting in a shift in his horizontal sphere. He was completely transformed, and his sense of purpose and destiny – turbo charged!

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~ Sabali