Saturday, September 29, 2007

# 220: Inwardly Satisfied

What are some of the things, attitudes, etc. that could satisfy us inwardly? This is an extremely complex question that will not be easy to answer. In fact, this may be the most challenging post I have ever attempted to put together.

When we are dissatisfied inwardly, we will be groping and grabbing, without even knowing it, at whatever in order to somehow find satisfaction. This could be the genesis for much of the world’s problems. Most of us don’t consciously think about whether we are inwardly satisfied or not. Instead, if circumstances are going our way, we are happy and we feel satisfied. And when things are not going our way, we feel sad and unfilled.

The problem could be that we are attempting to cater to a spiritual part of us with worldly events and things. Even though we can see only our physical body, we are just as much a spiritual being (in our cognitive, emotional, reasoning, etc. attributes), which is extremely elusive in pinning down. In order to function in a way that leaves us inwardly content, we must feed that invisibly spiritual part of us.

The secret to actively accessing the inner self comes when a person is discontent with one’s life to the point where there is a desperate need for something—anything that sounds like it may relieve the disappointments and “humdrumness” of life.

To the contrary, like the song says, when "Everything’s going my way," there is little or no hope of tapping into real life (life’s spiritual enigma). The reason for that attitude is because our spirit being demands/requires to be “front and center” in one’s life, with little or no competition. That is where the difficulty comes in and never seems to end.

The reason that spirit is all-demanding is because it will be God’s Holy Spirit which will be activated. And that Spirit insists all our love and devotion go to Him and His Son Jesus Christ. This type of tough talk, which is prevalent throughout the New Testament, is what will disqualify many from tapping into the source of real life. "We want to have our cake and eat it too," or as some of the masculine gender would say, "We want our Kay and Edith too."

In reality, this puts humans between a rock and a hard place. We want to be content inwardly, but the price we must pay may seem much too high even though, through God's grace, entering into God's heavenly kingdom is a free gift. Here is the reason why: Our physical bodies were created in the likeness of animals (primates) whose nature is sinful (me first), while our spirit was created in the image of Almighty God, whose nature is love. For that reason, when a person desires to allow the spirit being to come to life, there may be a continue struggle: What is good for God’s Holy Spirit within us is usually distasteful to our physical instincts. And what is pleasing to our physical being is most often contrary to what our spirit desires.

That doesn’t seem fair. That is the very reason living the Christian life will be difficult; the closer we get to Christ, the more demanding our lives will be. 1st Peter 4:19. "If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and sinner?" For that reason, in the eyes of the world and those who just take on the name Christian, there is no logic in living as Christ commands.

The earthly reward for living as our spirit life requires is a satisfied inner being. Living as our human nature demands gives transient satisfaction, if even that, while always searching for something better or more of whatever.

So what are we to do? Is it worth it to sacrifice many of our worldly joys and activities in an attempt to achieve a lasting inner contentment? In order to answer that question, we have to look at the whole picture concerning God’s plan of Salvation. Our satisfied spirit is only a fringe benefit, or a windfall; the main object of our Christian life is to allow God’s Spirit, through the holiness and love in our lives, to draw as many people as possible to Him, but more importantly, it is to live our holy lives of faith in obedience to Christ’s commands. And yet, the greatest blessing of all will be the eternal benefit of spending eternity with God and Christ.

The answer to the above question is yes, it is worth it, and here is why: The joy and satisfaction of living the spiritual life will eventually make the worldly joys we used to indulge in frivolous and a waste of good time. In fact, there is no comparison between the two forms of satisfaction. And the only way I can describe the difference is that worldly satisfaction is dependent on what happens, while the spiritual contentment is lasting in all circumstances. That doesn’t mean the Christian life will be easy. Temptations and hardships will continually be around, always trying to trip us up, and we will be hated by many because we will no longer conform to their way of life, be what it may. Matthew 10:22-23. "All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another."

Here is the crux of having a satisfied inner being: Luke 11:13. ". . . how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" Matthew 7:7. "Ask and it will be given to you. . ." Those who actually receive God’s Holy Spirit will have God living in them. This is not such a great mystery. You have heard of people who are possessed by demons or even the devil himself. It becomes clear by their demonic action. They are tormented by their inner spirits.

Therefore, when we are indwelt by God’s life, our desires, actions, life and inner being are allowing Jesus Christ to control much, if not all, of what we do and desire. That Spirit is a serene Spirit, and that is where our satisfied inner being comes from.

We must remember that there is a multitude of people who claim to have been baptized with God’s Spirit, but live and act like worldly people, and have anything but a contented inner spirit. Anyone can tell when God’s Spirit is in us; it becomes evident through a dramatic change in who we are being controlled by. Matthew 7:20. "Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them."

As previously mentioned, the main reason God gives us His Spirit is not to give us only a placid inner being, but to continue the work that Christ started 2,000 years ago. Regardless of what gift we have received, it is every person's job—by those who call themselves Christians (disciples of Christ)—to actively make Christ known as He is described in the New Testament. Other than the Holy Scripture, I believe this blog is invaluable in making our mission clear, and gives the reasons for such action which sometimes Scripture does not give. But don’t take my word for it; find out for yourself.

Read or listen on your CD player to large portions of New Testament Scripture daily, and put into practice what you read. Luke 8:21. "He [Jesus] replied, ‘My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.’" Better advice could not be given, even though there will be many verses that cannot be understood or make no sense. Don’t be concerned with them: Just obey the ones that can be understood. Then we can be more certain of how to live, love and believe. Don’t take the opinions of the professionals who get paid; they must preach what sounds pleasing to our worldly ears. Don’t even trust what this blog says. You be the judge of how to live according to your understanding. And if one is truly sincere, regardless of what Scripture commands, the correct meaning will be given to whoever continues to seek God’s truth.

In conclusion, the human benefits of being obedient to all that Christ commands are contentment and serenity under all circumstances, which human words cannot accurately describe; it must be experienced. For whatever reason, God has blessed this author with that gift, which makes for a complete person. Believe the above words, since this message is coming from the horse’s mouth, as it were. God will expediently bless with a Godly contentment all who have a wholehearted desire to actually—not only in word—live in a way that is in accordance with the New Testament.

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