Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Several Spiritual and Scriptural Satori*

Satori: a flash of sudden awareness, or individual Enlightenment.

I've recently had several Satori concerning Scriptures. Call them epiphanies or revelations if you'd prefer a Judeo-Christian jargon rather than a Hindu/Buddhist one. Point is, I feel like God has opened my eyes to layers of possible meaning in a few things that had never occurred to me before. Let me share some of them:

  • "Give us this day our daily bread..." like most people, I've always taken for granted that this portion of the Lord's prayer refers to God's provision for my material needs. But Jesus calls Himself the "bread of life." Surely we should be praying for the true manna from Heaven, which is fellowship with Him and spiritual nutrition from His Word.
  • "Whatever is good, whatever is right, whatever is praiseworthy,...(Philippians 4:8)" For years I've assumed this meant to think positive, to try to focus on what you have, not on what you don't have, thereby fostering an attitude of gratitude. But it can mean SO much more than that. If we "fix our eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2)" then we're REALLY thinking about "whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable." Duh. Why didn't THAT one ever dawn on me before?!
  • "Be fruitful and multiply... (Genesis 9:7)" Wouldn't most people just assume that God's telling Noah and his family to get busy repopulating the earth? But what if He's not talking about sex or having babies? What if He's speaking spiritually? What if to be fruitful, means to produce the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)? To "multiply" is to augment, to spread or propagate.- to increase. I don't think you have to have kids to spread love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Which brings me to my next point-
  • The fruit of the Spirit is not just something to HAVE, it is something to SHARE. People have said for eons that "love isn't love unless you give it away," but I think that its also true that the more of all the fruit which you offer, the more you have. Kind of like the 5 loaves and 2 fish (Luke 9) miraculously feeding the 5,000. (and sharing Jesus is the same way, after all, He is the bread of life). If you're kind to others, guess what? They're likely to be kind to you. Showing patience? Same deal. Faithfulness, treating people gently? Guess what?
  • This last one also has to do with the same Gal 5:22 spiritual fruit- but it will sound pretty "out-of-the box..." A couple of weeks ago my wife and I attended a Christian marriage retreat in Kansas City, during the segment on intimacy, the speaker suggested an idea that most of us probably wouldn't ordinarily consider- (probably because even though we say that God created sex and wants us to enjoy it within marriage, we still tend to think of it as carnal or "naughty," not something to include God in.) The speaker suggested that men touch their wives while focusing on the fruit of the Spirit. Before you clench up and freak out, just consider a massage or caress in which your partner touched you gently, kindly, lovingly, patiently, with faithfulness, joyfully, and... difficult for us guys, with self-control (so that a back rub doesn't have to become more than a back rub, if you catch my drift). Amazing concept, huh? God-touch. Pretty sexy for being so holy, don't you think?
  • I haven't started reading 'Love & Respect' yet, but I have been reading a really good book lately. At my brother-in-law's funeral a dear cousin urged me to read 'The Shack' by William Paul Young. I never got around to it until last weekend when another cousin offered to loan her copy to my wife &/or me.

    It's really good. One of the parts that struck me today really seemed to encapsulate a lot of that they were teaching us at the "Weekend to Remember" marriage retreat.

    It's about the curse in Genesis 3:16-17, how woman's "desire will be for your husband" and how man will have "painful toil" all the days of his life because the ground will be cursed. If I understood the book jacket for 'Love & Respect,' this really says a lot about each of our genders' needs.

    In chapter 10 of 'The Shack,' Jesus to the main character, Mack, "Women, in general, will find it difficult to turn from a man and stop demanding that he meets their needs, provides security, and protects their identity, and return to me. Men, in general, find it very hard to turn from the works of their hands, their own quests for power and security and significance, and turn to me."

    Young has Jesus go on to explain to Mack that we all need to repent and turn back toward Him and follow the model for relationships that God gives us- in his words, "Submission is not about authority and it is not obedience; it is all about relationships of love and respect."

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3:13 PM

    1 Corinthians 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.