November 10, 2011

Spiritual Disciplines XXXI: Demolishing Arguments & Every Pretension

The Ability To Stay On Task

Without serious distractions, my focus and ability to maintain attention is not difficult. I can focus fairly intensely on tasks at hand. When I am stressed this ability diminishes. Too much stress is usually because of too many distractions. There are always the unpredictables like loss of jobs, deaths and other life changes but there are also the piling-on of the small irritants and stuff that is just uncontrollable. It’s the nickel-and-dime stuff that often adds up under the radar and doesn’t show up on radar until the issues have piled up high enough to be seen and recognized.

The Best Time To Focus

As mentioned above, the opportune time for me to focus and meditate is when I am free of serious distractions (emergencies). I do try to divest myself of small things that tend to accumulate in life. I am convinced Satan never tries to be purposely obvious when distracting me. The subversive moves by this clown are always subtle and inconspicuous as to be nearly unnoticable. I try to pay attention to them and maintenence them so that these small things do not build into an unwieldy and incontrollable monster. One big problem usually has one big issue or root cause to contend with but stuff that builds over time, over many different areas usually has many smaller root causes that are harder to weed out and fix. It’s better to treat the small wound before it festers. Once dealt with I can dedicate myself wholeheartedly to the Lord and my relationship with Him.

Quick Does Not Mean Good

Things that are done quickly are things that are usually done shoddily. I believe moderate steady speed is the gearing necessary for climbing an arduous hill or to accomplish a given work. To race through things to the next task builds a work that is a house of cards doomed to eventual failure. They are projects, ideas and tasks that collapse under the weight of their own stupidity and carelessness. This mindset has lent itself well to “slowing” in my walk with God. A God who could snap His anthropomorphic fingers and make things happen instantly like He did with miracles during Jesus’ ministry but instead allows the passage of time. The passage of time that is slow even by human standards. Slow because it helps His creation (mankind) learn. Slow so that His creation, which He loves greatly, can grow like a seedling…into a towering oak of the faith. Things like spiritual oak trees take time to grow just like real oak trees in the forest.

My Gut Reaction To The Word "Meditaion"

My first reaction to the word meditation is always this: “What kind?” Modern culture and society have bastardized this word into something pagan and non-Christian. In the world and culture it is usually associated with a complete self-emptying mentally. It is an emptying in an eastern mysticism sort of way. I do not mean it in a way that forces one to continually repeat a hypnotic mantra to reach a transcendental state either. This is exactly what it sounds like, it is a form of hypnosis and is spiritually deadly. It opens one up to a myriad of demonic activity that is better avoided. It is a mystic form of emptying that allows other things to enter. We are not to be self-seeking either, we are to be God seeking. Christian meditation is God focused, not man-focused or nothingness-focused. It is more akin to a Kenosis type emptying like Jesus in Philippians 2. You empty the trash of the day and life to allow room for the One True God. How do you do that? It is the mediation on the things of Jesus Christ, the God of the Bible and the Bible itself. The spiritual realm abhors a vacuum if we look closely at Scripture. Wherever God isn’t the powers and principalities of this world are. We as humans are either slaves to Christ or slaves to sin and the twisted fallen nature of the world. I opt for the former. Anything that is not of God and the Bible superimposes itself in God’s place. This my and idol. Anything that exalts itself before God or tries to exalt itself over God is to be torn down. Period, end of sentence.

“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

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