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.

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.

Individualism as the Satanic Theme

Satanism openly admits its link to individualism. I only observed that fact recently. The connection between Satanism and individualism makes sense and is probably plain to any serious thinker, but I had not given the subject much thought. What made this observation stand out to me is my recent consideration about what a true ‘son’ is. Observations about the prodigal heart as compared with the heart of a son focus the idea of being ‘individual’.

In my book, “Family Horizons – Creating Families of Destiny”, I point out that individualism in the western culture has been promoted at the expense of family. In reality, people are not individuals in the way they like to think of themselves. They are members of a family and a society. God takes those family and broader connections very seriously, even if the person does not.

The rejection of family, such as we see in the example of the Prodigal Son, is based on the idea of being separate from the family connection. The prodigal demanded to get what was his, then he headed off to live without the constraints his father and family would have imposed on him. This is individualism.

In the context of a prodigal who pulls away from his family to live an independent life, being an individual is an act of rebellion. Such ‘individuals’ are rebelling against the place God put them in within their family. And the Bible teaches that, “rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft” (1Samuel 15:23)! It is no surprise, then, that being ‘individual’ is a strong point for satanists.

A quick web search of the terms ‘satanism’ and ‘individualism’ comes up with the following quotes. “Its teachings are based on individualism”. “Polish Satanists are individualistic oriented”. “Modern Satanism preaches individualism”. “Satanists treasure individualism”.

Satanism stands counter to worship of the Judeo-Christian God and it celebrates each person’s personal pursuit of self-interest. The ‘individual’ is promoted, over family, society and community values.

Individualism prompts a person to think of self first. Instead of loving their neighbour as they love themselves, individuals are more concerned about “what’s in it for me?” Self-interest takes centre stage of the individual’s life.

The rampant individualism of western culture deserves closer scrutiny in the light of its anti-Christian values. Rather than celebrating the individual, we are wise to be suspicious of all promotion of individualistic themes.

Now, God clearly deals with individuals. His call is to “whosoever will”. God has called individuals to step out in faith and to obey Him. However, these individuals are not to despise their family connection, but even to fulfill family destiny.

God called Gideon. No one else in his family was given that call. He was the individual who God chose to deal with. Yet the first task Gideon was given was to pull down his father’s altar to the false God, Baal. The ‘individual’ was given a ‘family’ assignment.

Each of us is a uniquely created person and we each stand before God as master of our own destiny. Yet, each one of us is to live for others, within the context where God has placed us. We are to honour our parents and to love our neighbours. Our unique, personal identity includes our family heritage and a destiny connected with the community in which God has placed of called us.

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.

Blood is Thicker Than Water

People are bound together by many things. Family ties are an important and valuable link between people. The saying goes that ‘blood is thicker than water’. This is often quoted when someone acts in a nepotistic fashion, giving advantage and favour to a family member at the expense of others who should have been considered.

But the blood bond is not the only bond, and at times it is not a good bond. King Solomon advised that a near neighbour is better help than a brother who lives a long way off.

Neighbourly support is a sweet benefit for those who enjoy it. My 99 year old neighbour, Howard Perkins, at home caring for his 92 year old wife, Marion, gets plenty of support from others in the street. Patricia drives him to the local market so he can do his shopping. Kalliope calls around regularly to cut Marion’s hair. And so it goes. Up until just a few years ago Howard was cutting the lawn of an elderly lady who is just a little older than he. She is now in a nursing home and will beat him to the ‘century’.

Then there are the networks of church and social groups. These provide long-term friendships and support bases for people. Social research during the great depression found that those who survived unemployment and loss the best were those who had a strong family network and who were well connected into a church.

Then again, there are the less obvious connections of such things as secret societies. In these, people make vows to others and are bound to fulfill them. The connection may be ideological, such as we see with religious fanaticism, or it may be entered into from some lure of privilege, such as may attract some to the Masonic societies.

Where these secret connections exist they are often called upon by covert signals, such as handshakes, stance postures, and so on. A man in the docks can signal to the jury by assuming a prescribed posture. Anyone in the jury who is a fellow Mason is thus obligated to rescue the defendant, even if he is obviously guilty.

Now, having given than elaborate introduction, here is my point.

Blood is thicker than water and secret alliances may hold greater sway, but the Fear of God is thicker yet again!

When a person acts in the fear of God they are willing to uphold justice and righteous standards for all. They will not give leniency to their family, as that would mock God. They will not give special consideration to their neighbours, as that will rob someone else of justice. They will not let off an offender because of secret vows made to the secret society.

The answer to any request for such treatment should be “No, you have violated a higher moral ethic than my secret commitments with invocations and vows. My responsibility to the living God is of a higher rank than the promises of my lips, my subscriptions to secret collusions and vows, my care for my family or the members of my society.

Whenever the fear of God is not the ‘thickest’ thing in our life, we end up compromised and morally damaged. I challenge you to be in thick with God. Let the cord that binds you to Him be the thickest of them all.