Sep. 13, 2017

Cross Purposes 14 / Of Brown Paper Wrappings

Controversy, conflict, conspiracy, coverups... so many things being revealed these days. Usually not the best things. But they have needed to come to light and to be exposed.

Then there’s that thing called “scientific” research. As good as it may be, the results and conclusions change weekly. What was today’s dream becomes tomorrow’s nightmare. 

But could it be any different, considering scientific method is subject to only the five senses and the finite intellect of men, without God’s Mind over the matter?

There is only one answer to these conundrums - to put on the mind of Christ, paying attention and giving singular heed, as Jesus did, to what the Father says and does. 

We are to be as Jesus was - in this world, but not of this world. We affirm with Him: “My kingdom is not of this world”, for indeed it is not. Attitude, thought, word, and deed ought to reflect something far higher than this world, if we claim His holy Name.

It begins with pure, simple devotion. “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God”. One cannot go it alone. First there must be a surrender of the life to Christ through the Holy Spirit. [A story for another day in itself.] 

Next is the necessity of devotion to the Holy Scriptures - the guide for life, the one “external” source of truth whereby our “internal” truth is guided. The Scriptures are our “North Star” whereby we navigate both calm seas and this life’s tempests. With the Holy Spirit as our Celestial Navigator, our confusions concerning scriptural subtleties, symbology, and stories are given understanding, as we we plummet these depths. Through the Divine dynamic of both the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit, we are led into all Truth and understanding for our life, both general and specific.

Yet Divine Wisdom and guidance are never forced upon us. We must ask for the Holy Spirit’s help!

And to do that certain “barriers” must be crossed.

The most friction free approach to life is in the surrender of oneself to God entirely, saying, “Not my will but Thy will be done” - surrender of self to God’s Will and Mind in every aspect of life. That, in basic practical terms, is what it means to put on the mind of Christ. 

Then we go to the Book of Books to familiarize ourself with what His mind and His attitude look like. We invoke the Holy Spirit’s help in discerning that. We associate ourself with people who are of the same mind and intention.

The Bible cannot be understood without the Holy Spirit’s ongoing help. I think it was designed to appear ridiculous and contradictory to the intellectually prideful who “know it all”, essentially a closed door to anyone unwilling to approach it with both open mind and willing heart. 

The Bible seems to throw down the gauntlet, “If you cannot get past this brown paper outer wrapping, offered to you as a gift, and you snub your haughty pre-opinionated nose at it, then you will never find your way into the “Presence” inside the package that I both conceal and reveal. How unfortunate for you! You judge me as you judge all else - with your mind, not God’s mind.”

When I hear people - especially young people whose parents never knew Jesus Christ or had any interest in God’s Word - criticize the Bible as some ancient tome no longer relevant to “today’s” problems, when they have never let themselves slip between its covers, I grieve! 

So often it is the irreverent who regard Scripture as irrelevant! This is genuine ignorance - to be caught up in the arrogance of intellect so as to cast stones at something you have never even considered!

But hand them a sleazy “love” story, or some sort of tale of magic, wizardry, and fantasy, they’re all about that. Yes, this is “fine” literature indeed - literary junk food which temporarily satisfies, but can never be to them as the sustaining manna of Divine Wisdom. They will see it only at face value, an interesting analogy, because what the funny looking brown paper wrapping, seemingly disheveled, mirrors back to them is their own spiritual confusion - with contentment in surface features appealing to finite mind and senses.

What they do not realize is that, with this view, they immediately exclude and rob themselves of the understanding of what life is really all about, why they are here, and the experience of opening the door to the Kingdom of Heaven within themselves. They will never discover that the many crazy stories, directives, and seeming contradictions are designed, one might say, as “secret codes” for unlocking their own spiritual prison cells. [This design also works well for keeping out those lacking humility and pure-heartedness, caught up in the pride of their own intellect and reasonings! My opinion is that God let it be laid down and preserved that way, as the “pass key” to those who ask and keep on asking, thus instilling great humility along with understanding.] 

A greater Mystery yarn has never been created! It is unsurpassed in all history, yet available to all.

May these provocative remarks so challenge that someone will pick up the gauntlet and begin to unwrap the tattered, controversial, brown-paper-wrapped package and look within it themselves. May they call upon the Holy Spirit to give them the insights and understandings needed as they read.

Above all may they be led to a close encounter of the best kind, in meeting their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

May they find and see themselves in Him and He in them. 

This Radiant One, the fullness of the Godhead in bodily form, makes His entrance into this world in a plain, course, borrowed, wooden box called a manger. His friends are fishermen, heretics, sinners, whores, tax collectors, and anyone to whom He can reveal The Narrow Way. These are the “poor” - spiritually destitute, in the severest bondage, the most needy. He winds up with His human life on a vulgar cross of wood, with a crown of thorns on His head, suspended between two brigands. Three days later He rises up out of a borrowed tomb, leaving behind His burial cloth with His features emblazoned on it by “mysterious forces yet unknown”. He never wrote a book. He certainly didn’t blog. He was involved in politics of neither synagogue nor state, but remains the Author and Finisher of our faith - the craziest story ever told.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t resist a Mystery like that - one that can only be approached with an open heart, but inaccessible to a closed mind.