8 Dec 2002

The Real Expression

Submitted by theshovel
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In the last Shoveletter I left off with some questions, "What if God's mouth, God's word, God's hands, God's eyes, God's ears, etc are the real deal while ours are merely dim reflections? In other words, what if man had been made in the image of God ... and not the other way around?"

Do I suggest we haven't been sufficiently schooled in the Biblical truth that tells us God made man in HIS image? Not at all. Instead, I suspect the Biblical phrase has found a comfortable niche within our religious sensibilities -- one that has little connection to the real lives we live. We have adapted our perceptions around certain words and phrases that help convince us we actually believe the very truth we often contradict on a daily basis. Let's face it, if I adhere to a Biblical truth that states God created man in His own image, but I otherwise insist He operates according to MY perceptions, what do I really believe? This could be the source of much confusion, don't you think?

But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, Matthew 15:18

The truth we actually adhere to shows itself all day long despite attempts to restrict our beliefs to controlled statements. We simply cannot get around it because it's part of our make-up. For we were made in the image of God, who from His own heart spoke, and that which came out of His mouth -- His word -- perfectly expressed His true desires.

You see, the form of man does not define the form of God. Instead, humanity is a witness to the image from which it was fashioned. In other words, the understanding of God was built into man's very existence. However, if God's spirit is not the life of the thing created in His image there remains only a desperate attempt to redefine the incomprehensible mysteries demanded from within. Knowing this, we should not be at all surprised by the conflicting explanations of life and theories of God expressed by such a conflicted creation -- even those explanations we who have received God's spirit may have adopted.

What makes us think we can come to a better understanding of God through various Christianized versions of those same worthless attempts that kept God incomprehensible? The very concept of a better understanding of God originates from the former blindness, for it demands that God can be learned incrementally -- that is, a little bit at a time. Hmmm, maybe our religious sensibilities have taught us that the difference between finite and infinite is a quantity, so that we have assumed the one can get more of the other.

Is there anything inherently wrong with finite knowledge? Not at all. But the measurable is only a shadow of the immeasurable. The one can be categorized and numbered, the other cannot; and so the structures formed and achievements made in the finite have no translation nor value in the infinite. And yet it pleased the infinite, immeasurable one to reveal Himself to us within this framework. He must have had good reason -- and that reason is found in Christ.

I suspect we get pulled off the simplicity of Christ because we strive after it according to the familiar premise of understanding we learned in this world -- the one that gives the illusion but never the reality. And it is right here that we have been distracted from the inherent understanding of what God's word really is. For the spirit of Christ witnesses within us, who were made in God's image, as to the reality of that image who is now our life. But we are continually being lured away by the spirit of this world to join the circus in hopes that we might rid ourselves of the heritage we are falsely taught to despise.

Humanity's ability to express its desires through words -- and even its attempts to conceal them by the same means -- lingers as an enigma to the very nature of God. Whether ancient or modern, religious or irreligious, young or old, wise or ignorant, the sense of divine power in the spoken word AND the mystical connection between word and being has possessed us from the beginning. Every time we speak, every time we utter a word, a witness is made to the word of God. Even the denial demands the truth of God's word to the one who speaks it -- and to those who hear it -- for it cannot be avoided.

In the beginning God spoke, and His word accomplished what He desired. And the crowning achievement of all creation was the formation of man because he was made in God's own image. I often wonder if a lot of our frustration comes from the absurd attempt to rid ourselves of our humanity? It seems we have been duped into the assumption that Jesus is the replacement of man -- instead of the fulfillment of man. In him, the relationship between word and speaker finds its full meaning.

More to come ...

Comments

These comments were all transferred over from the original website


Posted: December 12, 2002 by Joanne Anstine

Dear Jim,

PTL and blessings, and this particular shovel letter is truly thought provoking. The one paragraph, "In the beginning God spoke, and His word accomplished what He desired. And the crowning achievement of all creation was the formation of man because he was made in God's own image. I often wonder if a lot of our frustration comes from the absurd attempt to rid ourselves of our humanity? It seems we have been duped into the assumption that Jesus is the replacement of man -- instead of the fulfillment of man. In him, the relationship between word and speaker finds its full meaning," says it all. At least, in one sense. Too often, I hear that I am to be rid of who I am so that Christ can be all. Yes, the 'old man' is dead, truly dead, (PTL), and I am a totally new creaton in Christ. Therefore, I am not to be rid of who I am; rather, I rejoice that 'who I am' is Christ in His Joanne form (Gal. 2:20). Therefore, Christ IS all in me, as me, through me.

The part, "....and His word accomplished what HE desired..." rejoices my heart. Yes, He who is the Creator of all, who is Lord of all, is working all - ALL - according to HIS will, not man's (Eph.1:11). As the Psalmist says, the Lord does whatever HE pleases, whatever HE desires. He made each of us as we are - and as you said, He is not replacing us; He is fulfilling us, in Christ. Amen.

Thank you for what you share. Even when I do not reply, am blessed, and challenged.

God bless always,


Posted: December 12, 2002 by Bob Schumake

Bravo!

Hi Jim!

Wow, what a thought "man created in God's image"

All kidding aside, great words of wisdom here in these last couple of shoveletters. Really have been enjoying giving my old brain a work out as I try to envision all the various applications in my own life.

I was thinking, if all of us could really begin to see this more clearly then, death, sickness, sin, as well as the removal of the same, would be so much easier for us to understand.

I have taught many people with this illustration. "If we could only realize that what we see all around us is only superficial and somehow we were able to tear through or rip apart that surface like a curtain, and for a moment step into the world we were meant to exist within..." Well, some of us have and what a change and difference it has made in our lives.

On another avenue, so when are you and Sherri coming out to the left coast?

Loads of Love to you and yours,


Posted: December 12, 2002 by the shovel

Hello Bob!! The "left coast" you say? haha!! You know, my list of West-coasters is growing, and I would love to come out that way!!


Posted: December 12, 2002 by Dave C

hi jim, thanks again brother,

To be human is divine. (ahh blasphemy!!) God united to us, surrounded by human pain and fear (shadows of death). Jesus sweating as great drops of blood. I thirst. Why have you forsaken me? Then he rose again. And He has became our life. And we are still human, as he is. Still made in God's image.

It is the freedom of Christ that says "be real". Our life doesn't consist of what we wear or eat, nor is it controlled by the shadows of death, or pain or fear (that we each experience). The veil of his flesh was torn, and we have entered into rest... his reality. his humaness.

love


Posted: December 12, 2002 by Sherri

"... a comfortable niche within our religious sensibilities ..."

Religious sensibilites ... I love that! A wonderful distinguishment to be made more aware of! : )

"I often wonder if a lot of our frustration comes from the absurd attempt to rid ourselves of our humanity?"

You mean, something like the Vulcans who went sooo far out of their way to majorly suppress, deny, refuse, resist, withdraw-from, etc. their emotions? ; ) Ultra super-powers of 'control'? Learning to be in bondage to 'logic' alone, without the interferences of emotions, as if emotions were the evil, instead of what and how we 'think'? You know, the claim of being more 'spiritual' and less 'fleshly', worldly, humanly, etc?

I know emotions are only one part of our humanity, but they are probably about one of the biggest parts, and get all kinds of blame and misjudgements. Thus the Vulcans extreme measures, not to mention the similarity with various Eastern religions, or scientific, political, financial, experimental, social, etc. extremes to rid humanity of its various woes by trying to seperate to some degree from it, yet strive to maintain and sustain it at the same time? Like human robotry, only we call it 'spirituality' or 'self control' or ... fill in the blank?

" ... the crowning achievement of all creation was the formation of man because he was made in God's own image."

This is very encouraging to be reminded of!!

"... we have been duped into the assumption that Jesus is the replacement of man -- instead of the fulfillment of man."

"... humanity is a witness to the image from which it was fashioned."

I am very much looking forward to your 'expounding' on the above MORE!! : )

"... we were made in the image of God, who from His own heart spoke, and that which came out of His mouth -- His word -- perfectly expressed His true desires."

Again, very encouraging!

"The very concept of a 'better understanding of God ...' "

I used to be soooo bound up by the insecurity of always trying to do what was 'right' to be sure to 'manipulate' and 'convince' GOD somehow, someway, in order for Him to 'understand' me! I somehow confused this also with gaining a better understanding of Him! I have found it extremely comforting to know that HE has become my Understanding, and there is no need for such striving and/or insecurity in trying to convince Him of understanding me at all ...as if I ever really understood myself in the first place!! ha!

"I suspect we get pulled off the simplicity of Christ because we strive after it according to the familiar premise of understanding we learned in this world -- the one that gives the illusion but never the reality."

"But we are continually being lured away by the spirit of this world to join the circus in hopes that we might rid ourselves of the heritage we are falsely taught to despise."

"... it is right here that we have been distracted from the inherent understanding of what God's word really is. For the spirit of Christ witnesses within us, who were made in God's image, as to the reality of that image who is now our life."

This is ALL such GREAT stuff Mr. Shovel-dude!! "Join the circus" indeed!! No thanx! I do, however find myself in the midst of the 'circus' in my mind farrrrr more often than anyone would ever want to admit!! ha!

Love you!! Thanx!! Waiting for the continuation ....

In the beginning God spoke, and His word accomplished what He desired. And the crowning achievement of all creation was the formation of man because he was made in God's own image. I often wonder if a lot of our frustration comes from the absurd attempt to rid ourselves of our humanity? It seems we have been duped into the assumption that Jesus is the replacement of man – instead of the fulfillment of man. In him, the relationship between word and speaker finds its full meaning.

I used to adhere to a belief system that demanded that “words create worlds,” meaning whatever you talk about can become reality via a spiritual “tool” known as the Law of Attraction. Christians utilize this in their Word of Faith movement though they try to justify it scripturally. If we talk about something long enough, and maintain a strong emotional tie, that something will eventually appear in our lives.

But I wonder if this is all just a fleshly corruption of what it truly means to “speak” and “receive,” ie. “ask and ye shall receive.”

As those born again, we ask only for the things of God: Freedom comes to mind, and we receive this freedom instantly.

We see through the veil of material objects and ask only what our hearts know is already there within us. The relationship b/w word and speaker finds its full meaning in Christ because both word and speaker are interconnected.

I should say finally connected, because in the world, our words and the objects of our desires only have an illusion of being connected.

When God made Adam, He never intended Adam to be one with the Earth, but rather to till the ground. Meaning, mankind was always meant to be an alien to creation, in the world but not of it. Man's original blueprint was as we are in Christ, Jim.

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Random Shovelquote: Christ in us (view all shovelquotes)

Life in Christ is all about Christ in us and us in Christ because of what He did on the cross and through His resurrection. I will claim no institution of man, religious or otherwise.   source