11 December 2021
My convictions say that it is time to emphasize convictions again.
Your convictions are eternal, written by the finger of God in your soul. Not static, they are alive just as God is alive. Until you awaken your awareness of them, you cannot possibly know God's will for you. This requires that you shift your conscious awareness into your heart, and out of your brain. It means that you must subject your flesh, including your intellect, to the divine will of God as revealed in your heart. Your heart must lead.
There is no clinical discussion of this possible. For most people, it's enough merely to read or hear someone tell you that it's possible to move the focus of your consciousness that way. The biblical symbolism says that the heart is the seat of faith, of will and commitment. That's radically different from the Western assumption that the heart is a symbol of sentiment alone. Christians must consciously reject the Western view of things, and this issue in particular. You must reject the notion that "faith" is something in your head. Faith is your commitment to the Lordship of Christ, and it requires that you walk in your convictions, not the religious rules someone decided for you.
This is the biblical Hebraic approach to living. It means you don't trust your flesh (or anyone else's). You don't trust your emotions and are very cynical about your own intellect. Your reason and logic will always lie to you, pretending that they are fact-based, but inevitably impelled by unconscious fleshly lusts and human pride. This is why debates can never solve anything. No one is capable of being objective; the intellect is always driven by the desires of the flesh.
It's not as if your fleshly doesn't know how to submit to the Spirit. It does, but is unwilling. This is why you must allow your heart to rule, because the heart alone is the one human faculty that can be redeemed. This is the locus of the Holy Spirit's Presence in your soul, in the sense that He speaks through the heart of conviction. He has never spoken through the intellect, because it is foul and irredeemable. It must be left behind when you die. Your heart is the eternal thing in you.
Yes, you also have a spirit, but you can't be aware of it consciously. So far as your consciousness is concerned, it's hidden in the heart. All you can know in your current state is what your heart requires of you. When your spirit is active, it dominates your heart. It drives you to become aware of things you should and should not do. It is moral in nature, not factual. It operates in terms of moral obligations. The only thing your mind is good for is to organize and implement the ineffable drive of distinguishing what is good and evil.
You cannot know whether someone else is a child of God. What you can know is whether you should fellowship and work with them, and in what ways. In general, you can become aware of whether you should treat someone as spiritual family, or as an ally, or as an enemy. There will be people who play no significant part in your life, so they remain neutral. They are background, as it were, until the Lord brings them into your awareness. There is nothing insulting about this frame of reference. You do not have the capacity to regard the whole of humanity as "real" to you.
Once you have established that frame of reference, you are in a position to apply your convictions to dealing with them. God is in control of all the random events in your life; you concern yourself only with what He puts in your hands. With your heart of conviction leading the way, you consider in any given context what is His will. Reason and intellect are incapable of getting it right, because the Lord will never reveal everything pertinent. All He will allow you to see are cues an clues for your convictions to see. Everything in your experience is a test of faithfulness.
Over time, your desire to obey will condition your mind to a moral norm. Your fleshly nature won't like it, but it can handle it. The whole point is to develop instincts that trust your convictions and disregard your fleshly lusts.
A key marker of the dominance of the heart is that you will "hear" things in the natural world that others do not. People of conviction can sense God's divine moral character directly, and it is rather loud in the natural world. The Bible refers to this often, particularly in places like the Psalms. Those references are more literal than Western society teaches you to expect. The trees do clap their hands, and the rocks and stones do cry out. If you stop and focus on sensing things with your heart, you'll hear that noise on a level different from your five senses. Everything around you echoes of God's moral character. It feeds you and empowers you to obey.
It's way past time to restore this frame of reference.
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