Monday, March 3, 2014

Pastoral Pings ~ The Difference Between Worlds

          As we mature through life, we discover that there is a very big picture going on around us, much bigger than ourselves. We also learn that some things are more important than others, and we develop a sense of priorities. When we face circumstances, we do whatever we think is most important at the time.

          In first aid, these priorities are easily remembered as the ABC’s. A=airway, B=breathing, C=circulation, and, if it applies, D=deadly bleeding. Do those things in that order and we have the best likelihood of saving lives.

          In helping people with soul-issues, things we would associate with the mind, emotions, will, spirit, or any other descriptions of the immaterial parts of our being, we also must understand what is most important to deal with first. While I am not sure if there is an ABCD list to follow, I do know that a consistent issue is whether people are facing their life-problems in the flesh, or in their new heart.

          The flesh, which I prefer calling the “sark”,[1] is that part of ourselves that is independent of God, and is unable to ever have connection with God. Paul describes the flesh in great detail, with Romans 7 as his most extensive explanation. In that chapter he shows that the flesh is unable to do the good things we might want to do, and, instead, does the bad things we don’t want it to do. That applied to Paul as a non-believer even when he was doing all kinds of good religious things as a devoted follower of Judaism.

          On the other hand, the believer in Jesus Christ is given a new heart that is able to know God, walk with God, do his will, and enjoy fellowship with him by the Holy Spirit. God promised his people he would give them a new heart,[2] and Paul described this “new self” as created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”[3]

          Facing something in the flesh is doomed to failure every time, no matter how brilliantly our flesh has picked a solution, while facing that same thing in our new heart in fellowship with God’s Spirit gives us the very best experience of God no matter how much we feel like we are traveling through the valley of the shadow of death to get there.[4]

          Today I want to remind all God’s children that, through our faith in Jesus Christ, we have a new heart, we are “a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”[5] We have put the new wine of the Spirit into the new wineskins of new life in Jesus Christ.[6] We are alive in Jesus Christ rather than dead in our sins.[7] We are being transformed through the renewal of our minds.[8]And we have the words of Jesus to fill us with his joy, and bring our joy up to the full.[9]

          The difference in our well-being from one day to the next has nothing to do with the days of the week (TGIF), but everything to do with where we are fixing our minds. “For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.”[10] When we look to Jesus, fix our eyes on him, and consider him and all he has done for us, we will “not grow weary or fainthearted.”[11]

          I could say more, but my main focus is to encourage us to do what’s most important. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.[12] “All these things” are important to God, but putting these things first makes for a life of worry. When we seek first God’s kingdom and his righteousness, we experience righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”[13]And, since God makes such priorities known to us, we will have the best day and week possible if we join him in his way of doing first things first.

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”[14]

          From my heart,



© 2014 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8 ~

Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.)

[1] A transliteration of the Greek word.
[2] Ezekiel 36:26
[3] Ephesians 4:24
[4] Psalm 23:4
[5] II Corinthians 5:17
[6] Following the imagery of Luke 5:37-38
[7] Ephesians 2:1-10
[8] Romans 12:2
[9] John 15:11
[10] Romans 8:6
[11] Hebrews 12:1-3
[12] Matthew 6:33
[13] Romans 14:17
[14] Colossians 3:1-2

No comments:

Post a Comment