Nobility by Walking in the Spirit

I have pointed out in earlier posts that Nobility is anchored in our creation. Nobility is attached to things based on their birth or some other special quality. There is no more special origin and quality than to be made in the image of Almighty God. We are Imago Dei – made in the image of God.

Thus we are spirit beings, with profound spiritual significance. Our destiny is to express all that God is by our actions and lifestyle. We are to be like God, who is holy, loving, creative, totally faithful, responsible, forgiving, just, and so on. We must also recognize that we are created by a moral God and placed in a moral universe. We are therefore moral beings, accountable to God for what we do with our lives.

At the same time we are ‘flesh’. This means we are made of natural senses that empower us to engage with the natural world in which we have been placed. Those senses can, of themselves, provide us with delight, in taste, touch, sight, sound and so on. Humans, then, can choose to pursue the delight that human senses provide. When they do that they are now living out of their natural, sensual being, rather than their spiritual qualities.

Since nobility is based on our special-ness, when we live out of our spiritual value we have unparalleled nobility. When we live out of our natural senses we lower ourselves to the level of an animal in pursuit of natural experiences.

So, mankind’s nobility is tested by the fact that he is ‘also flesh’, as God described us in Genesis 6:3. Man is not to look out for opportunities to indulge the flesh but is to live by God’s spiritual destiny on his life.

The Apostle Paul put it this way, “do not use freedom as an opportunity to indulge the flesh, but serve one another out of love”, Galatians 5:13 (author’s paraphrase).

The challenge for humans, however, is that their natural senses can become quite obsessed with gratification. This is especially so if those senses have been awakened and indulged.

When the Israelites were fed supernaturally in the wilderness for 40 years they were fed a substance that sustained their bodies, but which did not indulge their appetites. The miracle ‘manna’ would form on the ground each morning and be collected for their sustenance. They made bread and other food from it. The food was physical but its essential quality was spiritual.

The Bible described the manna as “angels food” (Psalm 78:25). Angelic food would be sufficient to feed a spirit being, since angels are spirit beings. It was able to sustain natural bodies because people can be sustained and kept alive by having their spirit fed. Yet spiritual food would do nothing to pander to human appetite, even though it miraculously sustained human life.

As a consequence the people loathed the food, which they called ‘light bread’, and they lusted for meat, onions and other things their taste buds craved (Numbers 11:4-6,21:5). They said “our soul loathes this light bread”. While their body was sustained by manna, their appetites were unsatisfied with it. It did nothing to appease their natural cravings for strong flavours and tickled taste-buds.

The historical experience is metaphorical of the way humanity despises living for spiritual values. In order to walk in the Spirit and live out of our spiritual realities we have to put our flesh to death, dying to natural appetites.

The issue is not staying alive or sustenance, but the human pleasure derived from the natural senses. And therein is the nobility challenge for all humanity. When we turn our focus from the divine to the natural we are the ones who abuse our own nobility and degrade our own existence, selling out our true potential for such temporary and meaningless experiences as the gratification of our human appetites.

Let me put it another way. We are made in the image of God, imago dei. So we have divinity stamped in our being. This is the basis of our highest nobility. Yet we are made with natural senses that can feed appetites of lust and self-gratification. When we bring out body under control, and die to our fleshly appetites, living to fulfill spiritual destiny, we achieve our highest nobility. When we abandon spiritual focus and seek gratification of our appetites we degrade ourselves and can totally destroy any self-worth within us.

The Bible truth of our special creation by a loving God to whom we are accountable, is a solid basis for appreciating our nobility. The lie of evolution, baseless in science, defying proof or even a workable theoretical base, yet pushed as essential dogma for acceptance into many corners of western society, strips humanity of its nobility.

I call you to rise to your true nobility. I call you out of the trough, where the pigs wallow. You are created for much higher destiny and nobility than the pub brawl, seedy back alleys, hollow halls of human vanity, vain and baseless ambitions of self importance, and so on. You are created for the throne room, where your mentor, the Living God, waits to tutor you in eternal authority and global significance.

Fellow noblemen, please stand. Stand in the presence of God. Stand in your created destiny. Stand in your nobility. Stand against evil. Stand in freedom from human appetites. Stand in the glorious liberty of the children of God. Stand, because He has called you to stand for His glory.

The Lost Taste of Sex

I’ve talked a bit about how we lose the taste for things, so now I’ll turn your attention to sex. (I smile at this, since some people already have their mind turned too far in that direction.) I have pointed out how people end up unable to enjoy the natural flavours of life and of God’s glory, because they have become addicts to sensual stimulation.

One of our problems is that we adapt to the stimuli, so anything that is tantalising becomes normal as we continue to experience it. We can find ourselves adding more sugar, more salt or more spice, because we keep adapting to the flavour sensation we have created.

Another problem is that we must avoid crossing moral boundaries. We are moral beings and many of the things our body craves must be kept within moral bounds as well. If we indulge a human appetite we become a slave to their thing. Our body then makes demands of us and will not be satisfied unless we indulge it. We are in a moral bind. What was supposed to simply be a delightful additional experience becomes a slavery and an acid hole in our being.

In our sensualised western culture we are constantly prompted to indulge our appetites. In so doing we begin destroying our taste for those things and we come under the power of the sensuality. We find that we are spoiled for the ordinary, not because we have transcended the ordinary, but because we have damaged our taste buds and can no longer taste the flavours God created for us.

So, how does this apply to sex?

Most westerners do not know how to enjoy sex that is not sensualised. Sex has been so immersed in pop-culture sensuality that many people think their sexual experience is a failure if it just ordinary.

Sex is packaged for us in song, books, movies and TV programs as a highly sensualised experience. Pornographic or sensualised images, eroticised stories, voyeuristic entertainments and immoral lifestyles have so swamped our appreciation for sex that most westerners are permanently damaged goods.

In my Straight Talk on Sex seminars I point out that sex is often fused with adrenalin in the experienced of sensualised people. Those people don’t want sex without the accompanying adrenalin rush as well. The taste of sex has been lost to them.

I recall talking with a new Christian who had recently dealt with his pornography problem. He had begun to use pornography to give himself a sexual excitement. However, the consequence was that he found himself unable to enter into natural sexual relations with his wife. He finally resorted to keeping pornography beside his bed and using that to get himself worked up enough to be able to have intimacy with his wife.

The wife in that situation felt horrible demeaned. She felt that she was so deficient as a woman as to be incapable of attracting her husband’s sexual interest. The problem, however, was not with the woman but with the man. He was spoiled for the ordinary. He could no longer enjoy the natural and sweet intimacy God gave him in his marriage. What he had indulged in, in order to give himself an upgrade in his sexual excitement, actually did the very opposite. It ate holes in his sexuality.

Thankfully, through becoming a Christian, this man dealt with his sin and addiction.

The devil’s deal just never gets any better. He keeps promising the earth and delivering mud. He promises excitement while he is stealing your ability to taste anything at all.

If you have been damaged in the ways I describe in these posts, I encourage you to deal with the issue. You are welcome to use the Steps to Release which are my main ministry tool in helping people. I have already posted on the topic, giving a summary of those steps, so look for the post titled Steps to Release.

Nobility Challenge

In an earlier post (Nobility – Imago Dei) I introduced you to the notion of our true nobility being anchored in our unique created status. Since we are made in the image of God, imago dei, we have remarkable nobility built in to who and what we are.

Our nobility is challenged, however, by our tendency to live below our created status. Instead of living as God’s children, made in God’s image, we are tempted to live like animals, bent on the indulgence of animal instincts.

This post on our nobility challenge seeks to focus your attention on the choices you make the impact those choices have on your nobility.

As humans we have two dimensions. We have a spiritual dimension based on our being made in God’s image, as moral beings accountable to a moral God in a moral universe. We also have a natural dimension. Our natural dimension is based on our natural environment and the physiological make-up which enables us to engage with that world. Our five senses enable us to enjoy this life, but can be elevated to the place of our main purpose for life. When we choose to live out of our natural senses we effectively abandon our spiritual dimension, in order to indulge our natural dimension.

The measure of our nobility is the degree to which we live for spiritual realities versus our fleshly interests. This does not mean that people become dead to their five senses, but they put to death the self-serving lusts that spring from those senses. The body has bodily appetites but is not synonymous with bodily appetites. It is more than the sum of our bodily appetites. It is possible to be dead to human appetites and to simply enjoy the pleasures of taste, touch, sight, etc, without being sold out to those things. It is also possible to be highly disciplined and to deny bodily pleasure yet to be internally preoccupied and distracted with gratification. An absence of sensual engagement does not mean that a person is living out of their spiritual dimension. They may simply be highly disciplined in their flesh.

The nobility challenge is to live as the image of God, imago dei, rather than as a craven animal distracted by natural experiences. When you step away from your divine origins and calling you trash your nobility. Every addiction to your senses and sensual experience is evidence of your lost nobility. True nobility involves freedom from the demands of your natural, flesh self.

I pray that God give you the grace to walk into the glorious liberty of the sons of God, out of the quagmire of darkness, slavery and oppression that devours your nobility and mocks your existence.

The Greatest Scam

We are all aware of scams and there are many horror stories of people who have been ripped off in the most shocking ways. However there is a scam which has taken in more people than any other. The scam is based on a deceptive promise which has drawn in so many suckers that this truly is the greatest scam of all time. It is also the oldest scam. Every scam that has operated since has followed the basic model of this one.

Here’s how it works. A person is introduced to a possibility with enormous promise. The promise goes to the very heart of their deepest personal ambitions. There is no immediate guarantee, but the lure is dangled in front of the investor while they evaluate their options and weigh up the costs and risks. The cost is simply something of themself. It may be time, energy, commitment or some level of personal application. Usually, however, it involves a compromise of some kind. The investor will sense that they are crossing a line by buying in. But then there is the pay off.

The return for the investor is often non-specific. It isn’t usually in a fixed dollar amount, but a more general promise of high return. The return will usually be in terms of intangible personal benefits which are hard to put a firm dollar value on. Once the offer has been made it is usually just a matter of time before the sucker buys in. They do so out of greed, ambition, self-interest, lust for a better situation or a better life.

This scam usually bites very quickly. It bites with much the sting of a mafia entrapment. Once the investor buys in, committing him or herself to the deal they can know quite quickly that they have been caught. But, like an entrapment situation, the investors can’t quickly extricate themselves. They now have too much to lose, so they are held in the deal, even though it might be clear that they are being ripped off.

For some, the scam stays hidden a little longer. The payoff is deferred, but the sense of promise persists. The investor hangs in there, throws more of their resources into the deal, digging themself in deeper, hoping against hope that they will get a huge return, as they were promised.

When things go belly up, and they review the deal, they realise that very little was every actually guaranteed or promised. They were drawn in by smoke and mirrors, hints and suggestions, not solid empirical data. The sales pitch suddenly seems very empty, and the buyer realises that they just about talked themself into the whole deal – without anything of substance from the scammer.

Greed and ‘fear of loss’ created a whirlwind of lustful ambition and inner impulse. Hopes and fears danced as phantasms in the investor’s imagination, pushing them to the inexorable outcome. The person was duped as much by their own lust for better things than from any seduction by the scam itself.

Now, millions of people, throughout human history have been bitten and destroyed by this oldest and greatest of scams. The damage done by the Ponzi’s of this world is insignificant when compared with the scale and scope of the scam I am talking about here.

So, what is this age-old scam? Have you been taken in by this greatest of all scams? How do you know if you have been scammed?

Let me tell you what this greatest scam is. It’s what I call the “Flesh Scam”. It works like this. You were created by the Living God to live in perfect fellowship with Him, under His command, fulfilling His will and enjoying His blessings in your life. But you were built with a ‘flesh’ component. That’s your five senses, your appetites and your ability to enjoy life as a human being. Those senses are given to you so you can enjoy what God has created for you. However those very senses can become addicted to their own gratification and you can become enslaved to them.

That’s where the “Flesh Scam” comes in. Your humanity, your ‘flesh’, your natural senses, make a promise to you. The promise is a lie. It is fraudulent. It is a deceptive scam. The promise is that if you will serve your appetites, indulge your lusts and give in to your natural cravings you will delighted, happy, fulfilled, enriched and blessed. That’s the promise behind all lust – whether it’s for food, sex, pleasure, thrills, power, possessions, dominance, control, revenge, freedom of expression or anything else. Your body says, “Make an investment in me and you’ll receive a fantastic yield on your investment.” Your flesh scams you by promising to make you ever so happy, ever so blessed and ever so much better than you are.

But as soon as you choose to give in to your natural impulses they spring a trap. You become enslaved to the lusts you gave in to. You become an addict to sex, food, self-will, indulgence, anger, cursing, or whatever you gave over to. Instead of you being a better person, you are now a broken person. You are damaged goods. You are a slave.

The marketing campaign for this scam is very impressive and it pulls at the strings of everyone. Everyone has flesh and natural appetites which cry out to be indulged. So everyone is perfectly susceptible to this greatest of all scams.

The scamming comes from the fact that the flesh doesn’t pay any interest on the investment. Instead, it steals the very capital that’s invested. The very life of the person who gave over to their lusts is grabbed by that thing and made to serve the rest of its life under the demands of lust, shame, degradation, guilt, weakness, brokenness, resentment, failure and so on.

Six thousand years ago, Eve was the first to buy into the scam. The lie promised her a High Yield Return on her commitment. Instead of giving her anything of value at all, it took from her just about everything she had of value. She lost her innocence. She lost her paradise resort. She lost her close relationship with God. She lost her self-respect. She ended up with a tarnished reputation. She was powerless to undo her wrong. She was cursed for her actions. She lived out her days knowing she had blown it.

The Apostle Paul exposed this very scam with the following questions and observations… “What return did you get from that investment in your old life?” “What fruit did you have then in those things you are now ashamed of? For the end of those things is death.” Romans 6:21

“You don’t owe the flesh a thing! The only return it delivers is Death! “Therefore, brothers, we owe no debt or obligation to the flesh, to live by the flesh’s demands. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die: but if you through the Spirit put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” Romans 8:12,13

Jesus Christ confirmed Paul’s observations when He said, “There is no profit in the flesh” “It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I (Jesus) speak to you, they are spirit, and they are life.” John 6:63

This Ancient Scam has been marketed in many ways. There’s the anger scam. The sex scam. The pride scam. The jealousy scam. The independence scam. And so on. Each one promises to pay a huge return but actually rips off the investor by taking their life and giving them death in return.

So the Greatest of all scams is the Flesh Scam, where the flesh promises to deliver great outcomes but only burns holes in a person’s soul. It offers itself as the sweetest wine, but it proves to be acid as it eats through the very life of the person who yields to it.

Have you been scammed? Are you one of those who has been duped by the flesh? Have you given over part of your life to the lie that you can be happier and better off if you pander to your lusts? Are you one of those who is now a slave to sin and shame?

There is hope for all those who have been scammed! A very wealthy person has paid out your iniquitous rip-off so you can be restored to your original starting point. An awesome philanthropist has given His most precious possession so He can buy you out of slavery to the scammer. He has been to the slave trader’s filthy command post and completely routed that dirty devil, so you can be set free.

There is a catch, however. In being bought back from slavery you need to return to your original destiny, of living for God. Until and unless you are willing to live that new life there is no use buying you out of your chains and rags. You will only go back to them as soon as you can.

I present to you the facts of your situation. I call you to repent from your stupid choices and the disgusting slavery that has resulted. I offer you the forgiveness and restoration that is yours through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I call you to new life – not as a liberated sinner, but as a son of the Living God, fulfilling the purposes for which you were created, and living in the power of the God who created you and saved you.

I call you to be a liberator, who emancipates millions of slaves from the scam which has so readily seduced and destroyed them. I call you to build the Kingdom of God, and to fill it with liberated souls who have their dignity and freedom restored and who join us in living for God and enjoying Him forever.

Nobility as Imago Dei

The dignity with which you live your life is in your own power. It is based on your personal ‘nobility’ and your nobility is, in turn, based on your origins and the degree to which you embrace them.

I want you to discover the awesome significance of your personal nobility and to live it to the full. So allow me to open up this subject with you here. I will doubtless wax lyrical about it in the future, so consider this post as the primer for future explorations.

The starting point of true nobility is the fact that – Man is made in God’s Image. That is man’s source of true Nobility.

I use the Latin term, Imago Dei, which means “in God’s image”. This term is anchored in the first chapter of the Bible, Genesis 1:27 – the historical account of God making mankind in His own image. This fact, that mankind is made in God’s image – ‘Imago Dei’ – gives unique definition to humankind. We differ from all other creatures because, we, like no other creature, are made in the image of God. We have something of the divine about us, indicating our natural potential and our spiritual responsibility.

So now, let me take you again to the notion of ‘nobility’. Dictionary definitions speak of nobility as: privileged birth or rank, thus a quality inherited or conferred, based on prominence or some elite status, such as being rare or of exceptional excellence. Nobility also speaks of the character qualities appropriate to one who is of high rank or station, involving elevation of mind and exaltation of character, ideals or conduct.

Allow me to cut through the clutter of concepts again and state simply that “Man is made in God’s image, so mankind has a special nobility conferred on it.”

That’s the theoretical basis for my discussion on nobility. Now let me take that notion of nobility, based on our being ‘imago dei’, and apply it to the way we choose to live.

Let me tell you where I am going. Mankind has been created for special relationship with God and special status within the whole created realm. That special place is our true nobility. We can only attain to the highest expression of that nobility when we pursue our obedience to God, worship of God and experience of God. When we choose to downplay our “god-ness”, the truth of ‘imago dei’, we also downplay or degrade our nobility.

In the extreme, a person who sees themself as nothing more than an evolved super-slime has lost all sense for true nobility. That person will live a degraded life, far below the nobility for which they were created. They will live like an animal, not like God. They will become slave to human appetites, instead of serving divine destiny.

Nobility, then, springs from our place of personal privilege. To be created in the image of God is an elevated status that confers impressive nobility upon us. However, if we choose to abandon our status and live like a slave or an animal, we also abandon our nobility. My call to you is that you embrace the awesome reality of your created status, as imago dei, and live in the full force of the nobility that is yours.

I want to tease this insight out further with you, so look out for further posts on the topic of nobility in the next week or so.