Of the Earth, Earthy
(A practical word to the brethren)
John R Gavazzoni
It requires a secure anchoring in revelation--revelation with understanding-- to maintain a genuine faith-affirmation of our completeness in Christ in the face of our present earthiness. We are called upon to, by faith, lay hold of the already accomplished transformation of our entire being, spirit, soul and body, by the power of the glory that raised our Lord Jesus from the dead, but we grapple with this divine assertion while being subjected to existential contradistinction.
The relationship between our past, present and future inclusion in the New Man and the contradistinction of the visible and felt "human condition" is something I have addressed on several occasions in print and in verbal messages. In short, I have explained the contradictory things as elements of an incarnation of the lie which attempts to counterfeit the mystery of godliness, which is God manifested in the flesh.
I have maintained that what is Real is Real; that is, that the whole of humanity has been effectively brought to its divine destiny in Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, who is the totally inclusive New Man, the One-Vessel totality of all mankind, in whom we have our true personhood, but that, as God demonstrated the victory of Life over death, Truth over delusion in Christ singularly, He is now giving double testimony to that victory by confirming it in the corporate Christ, the church, in spite of the appearance of defeat. Remember, there was a period of time when it appeared that our Lord had been defeated by death.
The purpose of this article is to discourage the practice of psychological denial concerning our very fragile and vulnerable earthen vessels in the name of confessing our perfection in Him. We presently are one with the Man from heaven, the heavenly One, while being subjected to that which is of the earth, earthy, an earthiness which hides its own constitution of glory beneath the testimony of its five senses.
Practicing denial does not work psychologically or spiritually. We must deal with the earthen dimension of our being as it presently presents itself to our consciousness, and it will keep presenting itself quite stubbornly for the very purpose of making us face the Truth that, in Christ, we enjoy, and are the union of heaven and earth, divinity and humanity, a new quality of humanness, perfectly mingled with deity.
Now, to get to the practical stuff: A well-known 19th century evangelist (whose name now escapes me) was inclined--when Christians came to him with what they considered to be spiritual problems in the lives--to ask them about, of all things, what their diets consisted of. What a wise man! He had found that what many Christians felt were spiritual problems were actually chemical or hormonal imbalances that, at least in some cases, could be greatly helped by a balanced, nutritious diet.
Our bodies are powerfully affected both by external and internal stimuli. We can undergo an almost complete change of personality given certain electrical, chemical and/or hormonal stimuli whether administered from without or arising from within our own physical system. You are not, as it has been taught, a spirit, who has a soul and who lives in a body. You are a complete being of spiritual, soulical and physical dimensions, all sanctified in Christ Jesus. If you prefer, you are spirit, inclusive of soulical and physical dimensions that are intrinsic to your being.
Great confusion results from failing to take into consideration the full spectrum of our personhood. You may find yourself in a highly charged Christian meeting where sights and sounds in the form musical style, practiced vocal inflections and general appeal to emotions play upon the physical dimension of who you are, and induce certain psychological and emotional states that you confuse with pure spiritual reality. But they aren't.
Often the pure spiritual element is the least of what is going on when actually the same crowd hysteria that occurs in a rock concert is at work in religious clothing. These effects can be most powerful. In my very young days, I was into body building and weight lifting. We knew of fantastic stories where the rush of adrenaline could, for instance, enable a petite woman to lift a car from off her trapped child. Among those reading this article, many could attest to the fact, that in the heat of athletic competition at its fiercest, injuries can occur, but you feel little of the full pain until you've cooled down. It's a chemical thing.
Likewise, in the excitement of a healing campaign where soulical forces are powerfully at work, people can be temporarily enabled to do things that they could not otherwise, and they end up being exhibited on a platform running back and forth to "prove" that they've been healed when they couldn't walk, or could hardly walk a few minutes before. The problem enters when someone comes to check on their "healing" two weeks later and finds them back in their wheel chair again. It wasn't a genuine healing, IT WAS AN ADRENALINE RUSH.
Of course, the healing evangelist explains it differently. There's something spiritually wrong with you, and because of that you lost your healing. I must say, if that's the root of the problem then they may as well quit holding the campaigns because almost no one seems to be able to hold on to their healing these days. Don't get me wrong. I believe in the power of God to heal. I've seen it. I've been a ministering participant in genuine healings----THAT LASTED A LIFETIME, and there was no particular spiritual superiority about the person that was healed that would make him more able to "keep his healing."
I often have to put a guard on my lips lest I injure some dear brother or sister who is suffering physically because I know that they're in effect poisoning themselves. I want to say, "you've been eating wrong, you've got to quit stuffing sugar-filled junk food and drinks into the temple of God. You're starving yourself of nutrition because the main elements of your diet are made of refined white flour that hardly qualifies as real food and you're begging to join the multitude in our nation who will become diabetic in the days to come."
Am I saying that we can not look to the Lord for healing if our sickness has, in many respects, been self-induced by ignorance or carelessness? No, not at all. God is rich in mercy and grace and does not limit what He will do for us to our ability to perfectly care for ourselves. Besides that, there are afflictions that we all bear that are beyond our control. What I am saying is that you need to factor in the sensitivity of your physical and psychological dimensions in determining what's really happening in your life.
As many as are addicted to junk food are those addicted to religious excitement that passes for the work of the Holy Spirit. You may not be addicted to sugar-highs to get through your day, but are you addicted to the high that platform performers can induce in the guise of stirring you to greater spiritual heights? As sure as a sugar-high leads to a corresponding drop in energy and inordinate craving for another sugar-high, there is an equivalent pattern when we accept soulish tomfoolery for the true energizing of the Spirit
John R Gavazzoni
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