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9.28.2005

10 practices of the Christian, described, and shown how they relate



  1. Separation
    Separated unto the Word. Separated unto the Kingdom of God. Separted from the Kingdom of Satan (the flesh, the world, the devil). Practically, the way you separate in the moment, in the midst of an event, in any situation or circumstance, is to take nothing more seriously than the commands of God.

  2. Vow
    A vow gives an effort parameters and contains the effort with boundaries enabling the effort to accumulate force within those boundaries. Vow is aim. Formulated aim. Make vows carefully because completed vows glorify God (a vow is made to God) and build upon one another; while failed vows deplete your credit with God and weaken you in the spirit. Be wary of yourself, and savvy, in making vows. You want to provoke your limits so as to extend your limits, yet you don't want to vow to do something that is altogether currently beyond you.

  3. Repentance
    Faith is a given (these are practices of the faith), but faith is something you have (that God has given you) rather than something you do. Repentance, on the other hand, is something you do. Repentance is, practically speaking, new thinking. It requires active reasoning in the moment. Remembering motivation, for instance. "Why am I doing this?" Because God's Word commands it, and it will enable me to glorify God and develop my being further into the image of God. Because my goal is heaven, not anything to do with this world. New thinking requires you to stop in your tracks and draw into memory God's Word and wisdom. Forgive others... Why do I forgive others? So God will forgive me my debts. This is an example of new thinking. Repentance.

  4. Zeal
    Zeal is the portion of your effort you give to God. Like a portion of the harvest devoted to God. It is paid in effort. Zealous effort. Beyond normal-level effort. When you pay God this He shows favor on the rest of your effort (or project, or vow). Effort with zeal is more than, or different from, regular effort, because it is acknowledgement of God and payment to God.

  5. Watchfulness & Prayer (prayer includes reading and meditating upon the Word of God)
    These are the engine of sanctification. The main practice of a Christian who is doing the teaching and commands of God. Watchfulness and prayer accumulate into you the Spirit of God. In the Old Testament the phrase is come across: "I am here, Lord." Or: "Here I am, Lord." This is spoken by an individual in a state of watchfulness in the moment. A person who is as if in the presence of God, or in the court of God. A person who is more awake, more circumspect, more aware of himself and his surroundings. More awake to what is higher than him. Watchful to be separated from his carnal self, and the imagination and illusions of the carnal self, the world, and the devil. Prayer is communication with God, at all levels, including simple talking to God. Reading and meditating upon the Word of God is prayer as well because it is communication with God (it is God talking to you). The Holy Spirit comes into you from the Word of God as well. This accumulating of energy from these practices set up a battle in you between your flesh and the Spirit. This battle is inevitable and very welcome to a Christian because it gives the Christian the opportunity to do battle and to glorify God on the battlefield and to extend his limits which means increasing level of being and capacity for new understanding and ability to glorify God more.

  6. Mortification & Fasting
    This is the battleground set up by watchfulness and prayer. Killing the old man in you and the features of the old man in you (these features can be listed, and I have done it in a separate post in the index); and fasting from the desires and fears of the flesh, and the illusion and temptations and intimidations of the world and the devil.

  7. Not fearing man
    Man and the world will provoke you, accuse and shame and deal wrongly with you (as you perceive it). Slight you, sting your vanity and pride; not show you the respect you think you deserve, etc. Not fearing man is an inner state, an inner orientation, where you maintain a separation from these forces and events involving other human beings, i.e. coming from other human beings, as you perceive it, real or not. Basically this is part of the biblical teaching on not worshiping idols (which includes just not giving reverence or undo importance to the creation rather than the Creator.)

  8. Fear of God
    This is a general orientation. It takes one above the level of man and the world (and the fear of man) and the devil and the carnal self and anchors one's thoughts and words and deeds in the recognition and glorification of God. What is above vanity and worldly pride and self-will, and what is above the world and the devil.

  9. Love thy enemy
    This is, practically speaking, everything to do with putting yourself in the other person's shoes. Love your neighbor and love your enemy are somewhat synonymous in the teaching of the Word of God. Loving those it is easy to love is...easy. The teaching is to love those it is not so easy to love. Love your enemy. It is not a command to pacifism (or turning your neighbor's cheek) or giving up personal safety and self-defense and common-sense. It is simply the practice of putting yourself in another person's shoes. It's a simple thing, but it's difficult to do in the heat of a moment when we are asleep and mechanical and acting on old, ingrained habit.

  10. Wait on the Lord
    This is a powerful teaching in the Word of God. It gives one an answer to the most difficult question one comes to when one begins to do the Word of God and not just talk about it. If your enemy gets the better of you then as a Christian you say fine. So be it. I have a higher goal than to eye for an eye with people in this world. Yet you won't be able to escape the feeling and thoughts of the old man in you. Until death and glorification you won't be able to. This is where the teaching of waiting on the Lord comes in. When you are in a difficult, emotional state, with unresolved stupidity over whatever churning in your mind (i.e. you've loved your enemy, but as time goes on the internal battle continues with the carnal self that demands revenge...revenge of any kind to any degree. Waiting on the Lord at that point is knowing vengeance is with the Lord, He will repay. (This is the most difficult practice to describe because you can only see it and understand it in the heat of battle, based on real effort to get into that battle. It's not about actually thinking people owe you or that you're right and their wrong, or wanting God to 'deal with your enemies' in any kind of dumb way. It's about literally waiting on the Lord knowing God takes care of everything regarding pay off. You may have more of God's vengeance coming than your perceived enemy, that's not the subject here, it is a practice - to wait on the Lord - that is the only cure or solution or reconciliation that is available in the internal battle between the carnal self and the Spirit. It is a powerful practice and the capstone to all Christian effort and practice in the process of sanctification. Waiting on the Lord is the capstone to all the above.)



Now, quickly, I said I'd show how each of the above relate, and I'll do that in a more focused way here: the first four above are the foundational efforts and practices. They come before anything else. The fifth and sixth are the main practices. They accumulate the Spirit and they contain the Spirit. They provoke the battle between the carnal self and the Spirit, and between the Christian and the World (and the devil). No battle without the fifth and sixth practices above. The seventh, eighth, and ninth practices are what you actively do once in the midst of battle. They involve your orientation and approach to man and the world and God. When Spirit wars with the carnal self it causes friction. That friction manifests as emotional energy channeled into resentment and anger and mental heat and negativity such as suspicion and jealosy and also depression (i.e all kinds of fake suffering); but all of it is, inevitably, one way or another, targeted at another human being or human beings. Either in real time, or in imagination, or from memory. It is always targeted (and always self-justifiedly so, from the point-of-view of the carnal self) towards a human being. This is why the seventh, eighth, and ninth practices deal with your approach and interaction with other human beings (Fearing God has to do with your approach to other humans in an implicit way). Then, the tenth practice consummates the effort (the battle). It is a total change of one's inner orientation and involves relying on what is higher rather than on oneself. You can forgive, but your old man will never forgive, but you can then wait on the Lord. That gives you a legitimate reason to set a grievance - real or not - aside. It is God's business. Again, this tenth practice is the most difficult to describe, and it really can only be seen (like all the others as well, but even more so) in the midst of experiencing the battle spoken of in all this...

All the practices together facilitate the fifth and the tenth. The fifth and the tenth are the warp and woof of active Christian effort in sanctification. They are both conscious, subtle (because passive) shocks to your system that can be described generally as a provoking and extending of limits, and the gradual, by degree, developing into (or recovering of the) full image of God lost in the Fall. It is never complete in life, but the more you make of the talents (silver) given you will have meaning for you (as Paul says very clearly) when the time comes (when time ends)...

[The above is all shorthand, of course, but it can be fleshed out more in posts taking on single practices... One note: as I reread the above I could see that the heresy hunters might zero in on the paragraph on repentance accusing me of mis-defining repentance, but I know what repentance is and the one or two examples I gave above were to describe an aspect of repentance that is not normally or often described. Repentance as new thinking involves recognition of sin, acceptance of sin (acceptance that one is a sinner), and mortification of sin as well...it involves alot. The above is shorthand...]

2 Comments:

Anonymous Moochie said...

"Love thy enemy

This is, practically speaking, everything to do with putting yourself in the other person's shoes. Love your neighbor and love your enemy are somewhat synonymous in the teaching of the Word of God. Loving those it is easy to love is...easy. The teaching is to love those it is not so easy to love. Love your enemy. It is not a command to pacifism (or turning your neighbor's cheek) or giving up personal safety and self-defense and common-sense. It is simply the practice of putting yourself in another person's shoes. It's a simple thing, but it's difficult to do in the heat of a moment when we are asleep and mechanical and acting on old, ingrained habit."


In what way to do you do this, CT? I've not seen it on your blog. But I have seen vitriol & hate. I have seen bitterness & anger.

In what way do you do this?

October 6, 2005 at 10:19 PM  
Blogger c.t. said...

The burden's on you, moochie. You learn from what I write. My mode of delivery is what it is. It's more than likely because you're a sleeping fool who needs to be shocked awake, if you even have that potential.

But just notice this: once again you use biblical knowledge to accuse and shame, just as the devil does. Biblical knowledge is worthless if you don't apply it to yourself. See the disclamor on the post I list as essential in the side margin of this blog. It applies to you.

Don't worry about my development or level of being, moochie. I'm the active force in this. You're reading my words and reacting. Stop playing the devil and apply biblical teaching to yourself...

October 7, 2005 at 12:28 AM  

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