25 January 2022
The biblical viewpoint is that human nature is not all one thing. We have a fallen and sinful fleshly nature, always trying to get us into the trouble with God. It resists submission to the divine Presence in our spirits.
Let's take a quick moment to remind ourselves of the biblical cosmology along with a biblical anthropology. There is a Spirit Realm and there is a physical realm. Where the two overlap, there is a moral realm. We can belong to the Spirit Realm, but as long as we have this mortal flesh, we honestly cannot consciously touch the Spirit Realm with our awareness. However, we can climb into the moral realm. That is, with our conscious awareness, we can rise above our fleshly nature (which includes the intellect) and occupy the moral realm of our hearts. It is our hearts that hear from the Holy Spirit; He does not speak directly to flesh except moments like meeting Moses on Mount Sinai, or when Jesus was baptized or transfigured.
The hardest thing to get across to non-spiritual people is that the intellect is fallen; it is part of the flesh. Everyone seems to believe that the intellect is the highest level of awareness. At the very least, a very solid plurality, if not a majority, of church folks who seem to believe and act as if the intellect is our contact with the Spirit. That's flat out wrong. The Lord speaks only to a heart that belongs to Him.
Keep in mind that the nature of the Fall was the choice to rely on human intellect and talent and to shut off the heart and faith in God. Keeping your conscious awareness in your head guarantees you cannot commune with the risen Christ. We have enough church folks choking on this; we should never expect the non-believers to grasp this. It's just possible that folks with a good education in Ancient Near Eastern cultures and intellectual backgrounds to grasp intellectually that the ancients did view their world that way. But getting folks to actually embrace that this is the way God wants us to view things is harder than pulling fangs from unrestrained and snarling tigers.
In practice, it's exceedingly difficult to get believers to move away from the worldview of secular Western society. The idea that we have a fleshly nature that isn't really our true selves is very hard for Westernized minds to embrace. Way too many people seem to read Galatians 2:20 as some kind of hard discipline of the mind. They don't realize that we are not required to live from the flesh, but that we can rise above it. And that language of "rising above" is closer to literal than most Americans can imagine. The "heart" in the Bible is the part of you that can operate from the moral sphere.
Your heart is in your chest, but your "heart" is far above your brain. Your brain is going to die and stay with your body in the grave. It is your heart consciousness that is eternal. If you never awaken your "heart" while in this life, you'll be a total spiritual infant when you stand before the Father in Heaven.
It's while you are here below that you need to migrate your conscious awareness from your brain into your "heart" -- which the Bible uses a symbol for a totally separate faculty. Your "heart" is the seat of the will, the part of you able to commit in feudal love to the Lord. It's where your convictions reside, that part of you that God wrote in your soul with His own finger. It is not part of the brain, but it does speak to the brain. Your brain already knows how to submit, but it's too arrogant to voluntarily do so. That's why you must move your conscious awareness first, so that you force the flesh to submit.
Your intellect and your fleshly lusts are not the real you. The real you is in your heart; it's your convictions. You have the choice to awaken it and to explore it in this life. You cannot possibly know God any other way.
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