Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Sunday, September 19, 2010

2 Corinthians 10:4,5

"Reasonable people will look with distrust upon too much reason."

"A man convinced against his will is unconvinced even still."

A logical and reasonable, perhaps implying an articulate and incomprehensible explanation or defense of a point of view, may leave a party in a position from which words or apologetics are unable to extricate them.

These types of persuasions are an attack to the heart via a humbling of the intellect or in this instance a shaming of intelligence. Reasoning is an activity through which humans acquire, organize and justify their knowledge, both the acquired and intuitive. Correct reasoning is not the province of intellectuals alone, all of a man's activities involve the engagement of reasoning. The verbs judge, argue, claim, show, prove, evaluate and persuade imply a presence of reason and logic. I do not mean to cast aspersions upon all thought and dialogue, however, in the plight of the simple man the Devil plays a monstrous role as an 'accuser of our faith."

Persuade has been defined as 'through sweetness' or 'seeking a person's favour'. 2 Cor. 5:11, "Knowing, therefore, the terror (fear) of the Lord, we persuade men; ..." Defending our moral integrity and sincere spiritual condition is a conflict against the hypocrisy of our sanctified position as children of God. Our condition is fraught with errors simply because we are men. A reasonable man can see that and exploit the failures we have as Christians. We are often left without excuse, devoid of a reasonable explanation for reactions or actions to circumstances and events surrounding us. We are impulsive creatures unable to tranquilize the urges and reactions inbred in us through our nature. This is the hard work of sanctification, the blood and guts of faith, standing in the forefront of the battle facing our own grime and infirmities and accepting the cleansing of God. This is not reasonable, faith in Jesus Christ is not logical. Read the story, it is ludicrous, it is foolishness to the wise and wisdom to the foolish, it is not sensible, ... But it is so real and true.

Reason fights its battles on the plains of the natural. Logic wars in the realm of our fleshly existence. Their strength and power are derived from the thoughts, imaginations, opinions, speculations and reasoning's of men. The weapons used are deception, falsehood and fear. Human passions and prejudices fortify the defenses of the natural man. Each strengthens and entrenches the other with a sense of the independence and fortitude enabling a man to live to express his own determinations and purposes. The methodology of human argument is to expound upon the pride of man in having the authority, sovereignty and dominion to assert his will.

No doubt the warring factions of our mind. heart and soul are able to conquer and subdue the natural enemy of man's will, that being God. That battle will be won in this life, but at what cost.

The belief in man's ability to determine the outcome of life or at least to placate the fears in this life of our eternal destiny relys upon the fortresses and strongholds we build as we grow older. Some of the building occurs without our full consent, they result from pain, apprehension, knowledge, the random and various experiences of life forging a stalwart and sterling bulwark against harm. Some times a barrier is not any different then a weapon, manipulation goes beyond control and is really a fortress, exploitation is a weapon  having ulterior objectives then mere personal gain, discerning weakness and vulnerability are means of avoiding conflict and pain, these are all avenues creating distance, holding people at 'arms' length', maintaining independence and/or creating dependence in others. All achieve the same goal, protection. At least, seemingly, protection in this life. God says 'it rains on the just and the unjust', life happens to all. What do these agencies of defence resolve when insurmountable events happen? What do these people place their faith in when their defenses have fallen? To what can you reach for when the pit is closing in on you and your walls have hemmed you in?

As so many Bible stories portray you must have faith in God, relinquishing your sensible, logical, reasonable mindset and grasping for the mind-blowing, inexplicable belief in God.

The woman with the issue of blood was not acting in a reasonable manner when she reached out and touched the hem of Jesus' garment ...
David challenging a giant with a slingshot was not good judgement ...
Elijah was not acting reasonably by dumping barrels of water upon a sacrifice to test the Prophets ...
Gideon was not acting logically when he continued to reduce the size of his army in the face of annihilation ...
Abraham's decisions were quite 'out-there' in relation to reason ...
Samson's foolhardy attitude is perplexing when viewed through the eyes of reason ...
and there are countless others.

True knowledge makes men humble.

The actions of the men of faith told in the Bible are not the actions of reasonable men, they are the actions of men gripped by belief in God, the only God. They may not have been as impressive as their opponents, not as eloquent, as formidable, as strong, as large, forever the underdog they choose to show up anyway. They knew they were not fighting fire with fire, they understood that they were warring in the name of the Lord and no stronghold, fortress, army, man or even the Devil himself could stand against the blood of Christ.

Reason will never justify faith in Jesus Christ, for that Jesus will justify Himself in the life of believers and His power will be known and all arguments will melt in His presence.

Stand firm in your belief, choose the weapons of God, faith, hope, love.

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