Come, I pray you, and we reason, saith Jehovah.Isa 1:18
God asks us to reason with him.
For many years, especially when I was part of the charismatic movement, reason was almost deemed demonic. Reason as a part of the soul had to be put to death, while the other part of the soul – emotions – had to be revived, as it was essential for worship and experience.
For some more years, reason has to be subdued together with emotions, to the leading of the spirit. And this is true. Remember that we have been saved, are saved, and will be saved – first the spirit, than the soul, and in the end the body.
Yet I have come to think of this as Greek thinking. Thinking in compartments. It helps us understand, yet does not give us the full picture – and sometimes even hides it from us.
If I look at the Hebrew word for soul (nephesh), it embodies the whole human being. The word can mean breath and by implication a living creature as well as appetite and cravings, character as well as the body, all expressions of life as well as the Spirit – both with capital and small s, the soul, and even “me”.
What I have come to learn is that our salvation works from the inside out, starting in my inner most being, flowing from there like a river, and finally breaking through the shell of the body into the world – more and more. until we fully break through like Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration.
I also learned that it is me that is in charge of the amount and speed of that process. Not by rushing it. But since Jesus has done it all at the cross, we are a new creature, a new creation already. But as I have told you so many times: we do not believe it to be true. It is but an outworking and manifesting of what already is.
But if that is true, our mind and our emotions are changed, or as Paul puts it:
For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he should instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.1Co 2:16
We think like Christ. And since Christ is He the head and we the body, we think like Jesus.
It’s memories of a past long gone, imprinting of a world that portray otherwise, echoes of our old nature and sinful life that tell us otherwise.
God sees us as we really are: perfect (in the sense of mature), redeemed, sinless and blameless, and therefore he wants to talk to all of us – spirit, soul and body.
As much as Spirit talks to spirit, as much as he wants to meet you emotionally, as much as he wants to heal and use your body, he wants to challenge you and converse with you intellectually.
How can your mind be changed – slowly come to the realization that it has been lied to and lied to itself that is – without using it? Without challenging it? Without having it challenged by the purest mind there is – God himself?
God wants to reason with you.
I do not mean that we should try to find God using our mind, being very suspect towards our emotions, because they lie to us. There was a time for this. It is called outer court experience without the baptism of the Spirit. We tried to understand. But it is not about a primacy of understanding – it is about believing.
But it is also wrong to shut the mind off because thoughts lie to us – and depend on experience and emotions instead. That is called Holy place experience. It is where we try to – very selectively – die to self and become like him.
We are not like him. We are him. We are Christ, the anointed – he the head and we the body.
Reading a book will strengthen our thinker. It is said that a three week vacation at the beach without a good book lowers our IQ by 10 points. We also know that it is not what leaves our mouth that is sin, but what we take in – through our mouth, eyes, and ears. Because it shapes our thinking. We either feed the memories of the past and strengthen the lies we believe from our imprint – or we start to believe more and more what is true. Just as a reminder: read the bible.
There are other tasks that will do similar good to your mind. Taking decisions, speaking, challenging yourself, reasoning.
Reasoning. But remember: it is not about right or wrong – no verbal fighting. Remember the trees in the garden? The tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil? The first one is union. There is no contrast or antipode. The antipode of life does not exist – it is just the absence of life we call death, the absence of light we call darkness. Interestingly enough, the word for mind (nephesh) is used for life and dead bodies – spirited and once spirited, thinking and feeling or once thinking and feeling, breathing or once breathing beings. The other tree is the tree of antipodes: good and evil, right and wrong, good and bad.
Pope Franziskus has said that a good person will inherit the heavens while a person that lived an evil life and comes to Christ on his death bed will not. He is eating from the wrong tree! How can one live without partaking of life? Pile up as much good as you want, it will not become life. Things flowing from life will on the other hand bring forth good fruit.
Therefore, reasoning is not about me being right and the other being wrong. Wrong tree. It is about discovering and bringing life.
It is not even about truth or lie in the common understanding. The only truth is Jesus – who is life.
Let us reason together! (Hint: comments are a good place to do so.)