We hear comments like: “Our spirit is against our flesh,” “Spirit is contrary to flesh,” and “Your flesh is bad.” Such declarations give us the erroneous impression that our flesh is an enemy and this natural life is just to be endured. Why is this imbalanced perspective detrimental?
Scripture provides ample proof that God designed us to live with a balanced approach toward life. He births us into this temporal realm to live ‘as’ both spirit and flesh beings, simultaneously (a) [See end notes for all Scriptures]. God intends us to receive His insight and flourish as fleshly people who are led by spiritual inclinations (b).
Detrimental Skewed Perceptions
What causes detrimental skewed perceptions? When Adam and Eve ignored God’s guidance and sought wisdom from the knowledge of good and evil (natural experiences) (c), fear was introduced into the human consciousness. This new emotion began to skew their perception of everything, including the balance between natural and spiritual realities.
Opposite from God’s intended balance, creation with all its complementary factors began to be seen as contrasts; AND’s became OR’s. The value of blends and moderates faded as contrasts became the dominant perception; white or black, right or wrong, positive or negative, good or evil. The complementary view of life gave way to no compromise; “you are either with me or against me.”
God’s undying love was even questioned as they thought; we have erred, God will hurt us (d). Consequently, trust in God and in each other became questionable. Faith in our heavenly Father and His insight took a back seat to what could be seen with the natural eye and proven by natural means.
Opposite from God’s intended balance, life is typically viewed as contrasts rather than complements.
Balanced Living Like Jesus
Jesus came to bring us back to a correct perspective, declaring God’s desire for us. We see it specifically when he prayed; “Keep them in thy name (identity – character and purpose)…that they may be one, even as We are” (e). God intends us to live in this natural world, much like Jesus did. He agreed with his Father and followed His insightful guidance (f).
Amazingly, God offers the very same ‘oneness’ in relationship with each of us. Everyone ‘can’ see and hear what God is saying and doing. We just need to be a little more attentive.
As heavenly Father, God desires to help us make it through each of our encounters, to guide, encourage, and strengthen us. Following His guidance helps us manage life’s good, bad, and indifferent experiences (g). God actually has better things in mind for us than we can even perceive both in this life and in the next (h)!
God desires to help us make it through each of our encounters, to guide, encourage, and strengthen us.
Eternal Quality of Life TODAY
God comes in Christ to invite us into an eternal perspective and quality of life! We overlook the fact that eternal life speaks of a ‘quality of life’ available to us in this life. Scripture says much about us experiencing eternal qualities of life today.
“This is eternal (quality of) life, that they may know You…and Jesus Christ” (j).
“Who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life” (k).
“Who beholds the Son and believes…has passed out of death into eternal life” (m).
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal (quality of) life” (n).
“The free gift of God is eternal (quality of) life” (o).
When we interact personally with God and allow Him to lead and guide, we intentionally experience the eternal qualities of God’s character, attitude and personality (CAP). Scripture identifies the added quality to our life as Fruit of the Spirit; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (p). This Spiritual fruit brings bountiful benefits.
We overlook the fact that eternal life speaks of a ‘quality of life’ available to us in this life.
Our view of life—how we see and respond to our heavenly Father and to one another—is so very important. Our fellowship with God permits His insight to improve our perceptions so we see and live as eternally minded people.
When Jesus said; “I am the truthful way to live” (r), he referenced his son-to-Father fellowship with God. Jesus’ life was an illustration of how we can actively fellowship with God as Father and experience more meaningful and balanced lives today (s).
When we allow God’s eternal light-giving insight to penetrate our consciousness, we are progressively transformed into His likeness. The abundance of spirit life is not just for an afterlife; God intends such richness for us today. I wrote about this in the blog “Are You Just Waiting for the Celestial Express?”
A balanced perspective replaces fear, anxiety, and anger with stabilizing peace, grace and mercy. We can trust God, treat one another in more godly ways, and be better expressions of God in all our relationships!
Jesus illustrated how we can actively fellowship with God as Father and experience more meaningful and balanced lives today.
a) Genesis 2:7, 15; b) Romans 8:14; John 1:12; 1 John 2:29; c) Genesis 3:6; 2 Corinthians 11:3; d) Genesis 3:8; e) John 17:11; f) Ephesians 5:1; 4:15-16, 20-24; g) Matthew 11:12-30; h) 1 Corinthians 2:9; j) John17:3; k) John 5:24; m) John 6:40; n) John 6:47; o) Romans 6:23; p) Galatians 5:22-23; r) John 14:6 RG version; s) John 5:19; 12:50