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Posts Tagged ‘warning’

It’s so much easier to speak of the spirit world in different contexts, fantasy for instance. In those circles, it’s the norm to speak of spirits, magic, miracles, powers, spiritual enemies and spiritual good guys. But we have lost our ability in this age to speak of the Spirit World.

I John 4:4
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

Despite the fact that numerous references are made to this spirit world in scripture; I am particularly thinking of Ephesians 6:12 as a good example, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms,” we hesitate to claim it as our own. It’s all woohoo stuff! And so, most folks shrug off spirit talk.

But I cannot. The epistle of I John speaks at length about spirit relationships: our own spirits, those of the “anti-christ” opposed to all Christ spirit, the spirits of the world, the spirits of believers, and the spirits of God followers. This is the unseen world and yet, more and more, I do believe it is the most important part of our existence.

We are multi-dimensional for a reason. And there are enough people, even in modern times, who have had significant experiences with Spirit that it seems foolish to disregard this aspect of our humanity, our spirituality, our essence.

I guess the big question is in the tension that arises when we refer to “good” and “evil” spirits. And I understand that hesitancy, but there is simply too much evidence to deny them. For me, the truth of evil places human depravity at the feet of its source: the realm within.

Do we really think that the battles we carry on in the flesh will change the spirit? Will our wars block the power of evil’s presence and influence? Will our gun laws prevent their distribution on the streets of our cities? Will our capture of kilos of cocaine prevent the fields of poppies from being grown again?

We are back to the single word that explains the Way of the Spirit realm: paradox. It’s not the very reasonable approaches to problems of our world that will change it, but the opposite. If not, if it’s all Pollyanna, then why did Jesus bother to say any of it? I know things are bad now, but things were bad then too: almost everyone was poor or under the iron fist of a dictator or slave owner, violence was the norm and so was hunger. There was no “upward mobility,” there was no middle class. Back then, it wasn’t just the 99% but 99.9% of the people who suffered under human indignity and loss.

They had good reason to look and wait for a revolution. Instead, Jesus proclaimed a victory for the interior life as the starting point for change. Do we follow? Do we believe?

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I know God is trying to get my attention: sometimes through people telling me of roadblocks ahead while other times through circumstances. But, like a bull in a china shop, I tend to charge right in. On occasion, the china escapes unscathed. But too often, there’s a great sound of shattering glass.

II Corinthians 12:20
For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder.

My independent streak started at a young age. My father died when I was only nine and I was a latch key kid for several years. My mother was a difficult woman who suffered from bipolar disorder (we only figured that out much later). She was unpredictable and ultimately, for me, unsafe. I told her as little as I could and I made many of my own decisions. These choices included getting married at eighteen (I was already a Junior in college), because I was sure I was ready to be out on my own, divorcing 5 years later, moving to New York City to be come “rich and famous.” These early years set up lots of walls.

It’s hard to hear or see warnings when a person is so doggone “capable.”

Somehow, I have allowed myself to believe that warnings are a negative thing. They are restrictions. They are penalties. But today, I have a new view.

God’s warnings are actually lighthouses. The beams of light give instruction and information: be careful, danger is nearby, be alert, watch! Everything is fine, just be on guard for challenges. Avoid unnecessary consequences. Change course if necessary. There is always another way to get there. I love you. I care about you.

As a parent, I have tried to be a lighthouse for my children. And don’t I do this out of my love for them? Would God do any less?

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Luke 21:11
And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven.

Jesus, like many of the earlier prophets, spent much of his teaching time warning people of what was to come, from his own death to the end time. I don’t believe the point of his warnings was to generate fear but a desire for change.

Prophets, futurists and fortune tellers alike base their predictions on what has been and what is now. They look at the trajectory. But the future can change if we change! We must pay attention to the warnings and the possibilities and if we want a different future, we must act.

With all of our wars, pestilences, famines, storms, and pollution, our earth’s trajectory is destruction. When looking at that “big picture” it is overwhelming and yes, even frightening. What can I possibly do to change this path?

If people’s hearts can be healed by love, then the earth can be healed in the same way. I know it sounds so corny, but truthfully, if we are not in relationship with our environment as well as our society, caring for them as we care for our own loved ones, who will? Koinonia (community) is not just the people, it’s place.

I am so small in this, but today, I will think on and do the small things that I can. I will bless my neighbor. I will bless my family and I will bless the earth, so lovingly given by God.

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