NOTE: The first part of this part gets a little "teachy" concerning prayer. The closer you are living to God the less these scriptural instructions concerning prayer will mean to you because you will already be doing them. BUT: They must of necessity be included so new Christians and weak Christians can learn to develop a better prayer life.
At the end of this part is an astonishing, scriptural creation sequence. These three parts are an amazing trip through the Christian experience into the heart of God. Did you know scripturally there were three curses placed on man in the Garden of Eden and Jesus' redemption from them takes place at three different times in each Christian's life (Rom. 1:16) from salvation (1Cor. 13:12 & Rev. 22:4) to meeting God face to face.
(Romans 8:31-35) The intensity of God’s loving relationship with His people is described in such detail and clarity it must be explored one verse at a time. (V. 31) If God is for us nothing can stand against us. Think of that! All we have to do is keep trying. Would you throw your child away if he was trying his best to be the kind of child you wanted him to be? I RECKON NOT; NOT EVEN IF HE OR SHE FAILED! (V. 32) God loves us so much he gave His own Son so we could be born again into His personal family and He will freely give His children all things.
(V. 33) Who has the authority to charge anything against God’s children and the rest of (V. 33 and all of V. 34) bluntly states such things are God’s business and for everybody else to keep their nose out of it because God is perfectly capable of taking care of His people and (V. 31) God has the power and authority to do it too. Then (V. 35) God triumphantly claims no person and no event can take even one of His children away from Him.
(Matt. 10:22) Jesus said; “he that endureth to the end shall be saved” and that proves the only way to backslide is to simply quit and all you have to do to stay a Christian is to keep trying. That’s why God said it is an enduring way. Only God and the individual Christian know exactly where that individual stands with God. Sometimes all of us wonder exactly where we stand with God and all the time some of us wonder exactly where we stand with God. If you don't know; its time to start praying and find out isn't it?
(Jas. 4:11-12) Who is capable of judging one of God’s children? Who dares to judge one of God’s children? How insulting is it to God when someone, (Rom. 14:4) even one of His own, has the gall to try to judge one of His children? (John 7:24) Jesus said “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”
The only place to find righteous judgment is in the Holy Bible, (Rom. 2:1-6) a person had better be very careful how they judge someone because those same scriptures judge the one who is doing the judging and (Gal. 5:22 thru 6:10) tells exactly how to try to help a Christian who has sinned and (6:1) your attitude had better be in meekness (6:2) and you need to be ready to carry your brother or sister's burden (6:7) because whatsoever you sow that is what you will reap.
WOW! If you sow mercy God gives you mercy! If you sow love God gives you love! If you sow kindness and compassion God gives you kindness and compassion. YOU GET JUST YOU WHAT YOU GIVE! Read about Grace in “The Holy Spirit and You” commentary.
(Matt. 7:1-5) Man’s judgment is a dangerous thing and must be explored one verse at a time because: (V. 1) “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” (V. 2) “For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” Mete means (to measure in size by a fixed standard) and the only fixed standard is God’s Holy Bible.
(V. 3) “And why beholdest thou the mote, (straw) that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam, (timber) that is in thine own eye?” (V. 4) “Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye: and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?” (V. 5) “Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”
That is as plain and straightforward as “shut up” can be said. Do you really think you are so perfect you are qualified to judge someone? Please consider this aspect of judging: How much pride does it take to think you are qualified to judge another Christian? Said another way: How much “better” do you think you are than the Christian you are having those thoughts about or speaking those words about?
(Gal. 6:1) If a Christian is overtaken in a fault (sin) other Christians, in a spirit of meekness, are to help the one at fault to recover because it might very well be me, or you, at fault the next time. It is wrong for Christians to use their tongue to attack sin wounded Christians with words instead of helping them recover in the spirit of love, kindness and meekness because (Matt. 7:12) “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so to them:” paraphrased, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Romans through Jude is written so a Christian can learn, grow in faith, become more like Jesus, witness to the lost and perform good works because (2Tim. 3:16-17) “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” A lot of congregations are hung up on getting people saved, and they should be but then they neglect the growth principal and young Christians fail to grow and spiritually starve to death, and that should not be. Sin, in Church, by Christians, is real.
IF YOU MUST JUDGE; THEN JUDGE THESE THINGS:
#1) Nearly everyone has seen the TV shows or read articles about the "lost gospels" or the "rejected books" that "they say" were supposed to be part of God's Holy Bible. There are ancient writings such as Sumerian, Elamite, Egyptian, Cretian, Mesopotamian and etc. that have their own version of creation and etc. and thus cast doubt on the truth of God's Holy Bible. See "Who is the Holy Spirit" segment of "The Holy Spirit and You" commentary for a more complete discussion of this subject. Many books not included in the Bible are mentioned in the Bible such as (Josh. 10:13) "book of Jasher", (Num. 21:14) "book of the Wars of the Lord", (1Ki. 11:41) "book of the Acts of Solomon" and etc.
A question: (Num. 11:4-34 esp. V.23) Is the Lord's hand so short (to dock-cut off, curtail) that He cannot deliver His word to you just the way He wants you to have it? But you have to want it too; but it will be His way. Someone said there are about 200 different types (versions) of Bibles in America that are based on the original King James Bible.
Question: Do you think it is possible that every time someone produced their version of the King James Holy Bible the original text was "watered down", or "changed", or a meaning was "obscured" in small but terribly significant ways? Question: Did you research where the KJV and all the other versions came from? Comment: If you didn't think about it; start thinking about it now! If you simply didn't care; shame on you!
Now judge this: How much effort did you expend, there at your beginning with God, to inquire of God which Bible He wants you to use; OR: did you choose an easy read version just because it's easier; OR: did someone simply tell you what type Bible you should read and you meekly started using it; OR: do you hardly ever read the Bible?
#2) (Ex. 20:1-17) The ten commandments: #10) (V.17) "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's----": Covet in this Hebrew usage is (chemad-pronounced khaw-mad and means desire something to delight in). Neighbour's in this Hebrew usage is (shaken-pronounced shaw-kane and means a fellow citizen, inhabitant). Written using the definitions and the last line of (V.17): "Thou shalt not desire an inhabitant's any thing". SO: It means just what all of us thought it meant. Don't desire anybody's stuff.
THINK ABOUT THIS: (Luke 5:21-22; 1Cor. 3:20 & Heb. 4:12-13) Coveting happens inside us where it can't be seen by anyone but God. If you or I, since we have been Christians, have ever really wanted something someone else possessed we have coveted. BUT: If we didn't perform an act to fulfill the coveting we didn't sin.
If we did take it or do it we did sin according to some other commandment. EXAMPLE: (James 1:14-15) A Christian covets; his thoughts dwell on the desired thing; the devil sees the weakness in that situation; the devil talks to the Christian in his thoughts just like he did Eve; the Christian wants it more and more until he just has to have the forbidden thing, then he takes it or does it and he has sinned.
(Mark 7:20-23) Paraphrased: Jesus said we are what we think. BUT: THINK ABOUT THIS: Why then is coveting forbidden in the tenth commandment? ANSWER: It is a sin of attitude. WHY: (Gal. 5:17-26 & Eph. 4:14-32) Because the carnal mind (soul) is (Rom. 8:7 & James 4:4-10) "enmity" (hostility, a reason for opposition) against God. Now judge this:
"Thou shalt not covet" is actually a CAUTIONARY (to warn against danger) commandment to control your thoughts and defeat your emotions with Holy Spirit inspired reason (2Tim. 2:15) based on God's Holy Word. EXAMPLES: "How am I going to feel after I have taken it or done it?" "How am I going to explain to God why I did it?" "How will it feel if I get caught with it or doing it?" "What will the person feel like that I do it to; OR: how would I feel if it was done to me; OR: what will my family and friends think of me if they find out I did it OR: I didn't get caught but the only way I can get back right with God is to confess the whole thing before my whole congregation on Sunday?"
THEN THE MOST HORRIBLE QUESTION OF ALL: "Oh my dear God; I'm a Christian; why am I even having to ask myself these questions?" THINK THIS THOUGHT: (Rev. 3:14-17) What if I am rejected at the judgment and am sent to the lake of fire with Satan? "Now its time to pray!" BUT:
#3) There is a question all Christians ask themselves. How do I pray? Have you noticed that, according to the Bible, Jesus never taught his disciples (the inner circle) how to raise the dead, heal the sick, or cast out devils? #1) Have you noticed that, according to your exposure to spoken, denominational, traditional, televised, radio broadcast, or written types of prayers, these prayers somehow just don't seem to get it done for you? #2) You've heard it said; "Oh yes, God answers all prayers; you just have to find out what the answer is." or words to that effect! Then when they do not get what they asked for they say; "Well, God's answer to my prayer was a no!" #3) (Matt.6:9-13) Have you ever repeated the Lord's Prayer and that didn't get it done either?
Come on now, you are by yourself, nobody will hear or see except God and He already knows. The Lord's Prayer is what this whole thing is about. #4) Have you ever seen or heard where prayers are said to heal a "dying of deadly disease" child; whatever medical treatment the child is taking works for a few weeks or months; everybody rejoices because their prayers "got it done"; then the child takes a turn for the worst and then dies. Sure, this is brutal, terrible truth but it does happen and it happens all the time. So what is the answer?
Please read this scripture in your Bible as you read this paragraph.>>>(Mark 9:17-29) Three things had to happen for the following event to be successful. #1) Jesus had to be there! #2) The man had to get to Jesus! #3) The man had to speak so Jesus would listen! (V.17-18) The nameless man brought his evil spirit possessed son to Jesus and told Him the disciples could not cast the devil out. NOTE: The man was already talking (praying) to Jesus. (V.19) Faithlessness causes Jesus to suffer. (V.20) it appears as if the evil spirit (devil) is actually challenging Jesus to try to do something; because "the spirit tare (convulse violently) him;" right in front of Jesus! (V.21) (based on Matt. 12:25) Jesus already knew what was going on but:
The POINT IS that Jesus is engaging the man. (V.22) This nameless man answered Jesus' question and then commits what we would consider a horrible sin with his words "but if thou canst do any thing," LESSON: Christians do the same thing, "IF", with our prayer attitude and expectations by just saying words and not expecting results? To continue with (V.22): "have compassion on us (two) and help us." He knew Jesus was compassionate; he knew he was desperate for his child to be healed; he knew his darling child was in that precious body someplace but his son was trapped in there with an awful, destroying, horrible, evil thing.
SO: The man was fully, 100%, INTELLECTUALLY (reason, thinking) engaged with THEIR problem and with Jesus. (V.23) In the man's awful, dire, trembling time of desire for desperate haste Jesus took the time to question the man's faith. Jesus knew that both the man and his child were in need (HELP US); the man with his weak faith and the child with his devil. Jesus said; "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth."
QUESTION: Have you ever thought you were questioning your faith in your thoughts and you didn't have the (1Cor. 12:10) spiritual discernment to realize it was Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, questioning your faith? Please, please take time to think about that for a minute! Read it again if you need to because Jesus is in command of your situation right there, right now; just like He was in command of this situation with this father and child; and things will be done His way or they will not be done! His darling child was worth more than the nameless man's own life and the man was powerless!
Then the father, the Daddy, became fully, 100%, EMOTIONALLY (soul) engaged with his problem and with Jesus; see, hear and smell the passion! (V.24) Can you see the man's twisted, contorted, pleading features; there on his humble knees in the dirt, in the abject poverty of his weak belief; his skinny arms holding the convulsing, threshing, eyes rolled back white, foaming at the mouth, drooling body of the love of his life?
It was worse than a grand mal seizure because it was devil induced! Can you smell the sweat, fear, and excrement? Can you see the man as he bursts into silver tears that flood down his wrinkled, dirty face and pour through his beard to trickle through the wrinkles of his loose, filthy neck skin? Look at that wretched face!
The man is on his knees in the dirt, filth and weeds; looking up at the Son of the Living God; begging! Can you hear the grating, sobbing, hoarse, desperate, choked, self-despising voice; "LORD, I BELIEVE, HELP THOU MINE UNBELIEF." Can you hear what the man's soul is screaming? "LORD, OH GOD, I'M DOIN' THE BEST I CAN AND I AIN'T GOT IT! I CAN'T DO IT! IT'S THE END OF THE LINE; I'M OUTTA HOPE. LORD, YOU'RE MY LAST CHANCE; YOU'RE THE ONLY CHANCE I'VE GOT! HELP ME, OH GOD, HELP ME!"
(Mark 9:24) The soul sobbed words, like a well placed dart;
(John 10:11) Pierced deep, the tender Shepherd's heart.
(Psa. 111:4) Compassion without end, (1John 4:8) love beyond measure;
(Psa. 103:7-13) limitless pity, grace, mercy; he's touched heaven's treasure.
(Psa. 104:3) He who walks on the wings of the wind and lays moonbeams upon the sea.
(Luke 8:23-24) He whose rebuke the raging waters stilled and the howling winds flee.
(Acts 3:15) The Prince of life (James 5:11) filled with pity ((1Pet. 5:10) and matchless grace.
(Mark 9:25) Rebuked the foul devil (Mark 9:27) and smiled into the freed child's face.
Back to (Mark 9:17-29): Of course the disciples were in awe and wonder at the gentle Galilean's authority and power over devils and disease. (V.19) Jesus had already sharply criticized them for their lack of faith (faithless) but they could not contain their desire and curiosity and (V.28) in private they asked the Master why they could not cast out devils and the answer was the same as always. "ONLY BY PRAYER AND FASTING!" The disciples didn't notice; have you noticed, that Jesus did not pray during the whole event? That was because Jesus' praying and fasting had already been done!
FASTING: (Mark 9:29) The Greek word for fasting, nesteia pronounced nace-ti-ah, simply means (to abstain from food for religious purposes). In the physical sense food is life. When you give that up to show God you mean business He draws near. Yes, it is that simple. The practical side is that every time hunger pain hits or that uncomfortable rumble of emptiness occurs you are reminded that it is a special time with God and you are reminded to pray.
(Dan. 10:3-14 esp. V.12) Fasting is a time of self chastening to achieve understanding. The whole period of fasting is just special; "finally, I can show God I'm serious." (Dan. 10:2-3) "I ate no pleasant (to delight in, delectable thing) bread (food), neither flesh (from its freshness) nor wine (as fermented) in my mouth, neither did I anoint (smear over with oil) myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled (be at an end)." It sounds like Daniel ate hard, common bread and drank water but nobody here knows how much or how often. (Matt. 4:1-11 & Luke 4:1-13) You will note that the scriptures did not say Jesus didn't drink water.
Practical advice: Drink water or you will die. Don't bite off more fasting than you can chew. Start with missing a meal, then two, then a day; if you fast for three days you'll have to start eating again with something mild and soft like soft scrambled eggs or mashed potatoes. If you take medicine that requires the consumption of food with the medicine then eat food with the medicine. You won't be much benefit in the hospital with ulcers. There are different fasts and they work; "I won't eat lunch for three weeks."
OR: whatever you choose, no sweets for three weeks, whatever it takes to make it work. EXAMPLE: If you are a diabetic try electronic fasting such as no TV or computer for three days; you will be surprised how difficult that is! Fasting for religious purposes is just that; God knows when you are trying to upgrade your digestive system or lose weight; God also knows when you are trying to get closer to Him and trying to understand Him better. When you understand God better you will understand His will better and your prayers will have better results.
There are Biblical conditions that must be met before a CHRISTIAN can successfully pray. QUESTION: Does God answer all Christian prayers? Has anyone ever told you that there are lots of Christian prayers that God refuses to hear? (Psa. 66:18) "If I regard iniquity in my heart (soul), the Lord will not hear me:" Regard means (approve, consider, enjoy, look upon another, respect, stare). Iniquity means (wickedness, vanity, evil, unrighteous). (Psa. 66:18 AGAIN) "If I regard iniquity in my heart (soul), the Lord will not hear me:
REMEMBER THIS: To the church: (2Cor. 12:20-21 keyword repented) To groups within the church such as denominations or local church: (Rev. 2:5,16,21,22 and 3:3 &19 keyword repent) OR: To individual Christians: (1John 1:1-2:2 esp. V.9 keywords confess and forgive): If YOU OR ME as a Christian are guilty of sin we must confess (acknowledge) our sins, repent (reconsider, think differently) from our sins and ask God to forgive (lay aside, put away) us for our sins.
I wrote this scriptural way out of our troubles here so you will not lose heart before you read the rest of this part 1 and parts 2 and 3. You are not alone. All of us Christians fumble fuzz and stumble bum along and somehow manage to sin despite our best intentions!
SO: Think before you pray! Be honest with yourself about yourself. If there is sin, failure, weakness, uselessness and/or etc. toward God, admit it to God, repent of it, make up your mind to do better as a Christian, ask God to forgive you and then go on with your prayer about whatever concerns you! Yes it is that simple if you really mean it.
(READ***Matt. 18:20-35***the key: Jesus/God will not give us a commandment He Himself will not keep: 70X7!) GOD'S HEART IS ALWAYS OPEN TO THE PRAYER OF REPENTANCE FROM ONE OF HIS BLOOD BOUGHT, BORN AGAIN CHILDREN EVEN IF THEY HAVE SINNED AGAINST HIM, OR EVEN IF THEY HAVE SLID BACK AND BECOME SPIRITUALLY COLD TO GOD.
(1John 1:1 thru 2:6) (1:9-10) If a Christian tells you or himself they have not sinned they are a liar! (2:1-2) Talking about Jesus: "And he is the propitiation (atonement) for (#1) our (Christians) sins: and not for ours only, (here is where God's word splits humanity into two types of people) but for (#2) the sins of the whole world (the lost, who are the unsaved people)." The numbering is mine to illustrate that this scripture is written to two types of people.
If you are a lost person and it is your time to obtain salvation God will hear your prayer of repentance because Jesus has already paid the price for your salvation and His blood is the atonement for your sins. See the commentary: Breath of Life for further details concerning salvation.
The sins listed below are mentioned in the Bible and according to the scripture, (Psa. 66:18), the Lord will not hear the Christians who do them or approve of them. REMEMBER THIS: (Mal. 3:6) "For I am the Lord, I change not;" SO: that means the things God is against in the Old Testament He is also against in the New Testament. Here are some things that will cause God to not listen to Christians. (Ex. 21:22-23; Psa. 10:8, 94:21, & 106:36-40; Prov. 6:16-17; & Isa. 59:2-7) abortion,
(See the "The Holy Spirit and You" commentary; the "Christian War With the World" segment; paragraph #3 for this next one) addictive drugs and alcohol, (Matt. 5:28) pornography, (Luke 18:9-14) prejudice, (Num. 12:1-16 & Acts 8:27-38) racism, (Lev. 18:21 physical & Matt. 19:13-15 spiritual) child abuse, (Rom. 1:18-28) homosexuality, (Matt. 15:8-9) political correctness, (Is it possible to gamble and not have at least one of these six emotions?) Prov. 21:25-26 covet & greed; Titus 3:3 envy & malice; 1John 2:16 lust & pride:) gambling, (1Cor. 6:9) prostitution and (Gal. 5:13-21) (V.13) plainly states this set of scriptures are written to "brethren" so that means they are written to Christians.
(V.19-21) This scripture names a whole list of sins and it answers, plain as day, why God will not hear the prayers of Christian's who (V.21) "shall not inherit the kingdom of God". (1Pet. 3:1-7) When a husband and wife are "not getting along" (quarreling and brawling) their prayers are (V.7) hindered (to frustrate, cut down, cut off, hew down). Why would a Holy God listen to the request of someone who is angry, rude, full of malice, selfish, proud, desiring to do hurt, and has hatred in their heart? You say; "I love my husband/wife; I don't hate him/her."
Hatred has divisions of greater or lesser intensity and they are dislike, despise, detest, animosity, hostility, enmity, and etc. As you can see it is very easy to have a degree of hate and not even realize it. (James 4:6 & 1Pet 5:5) God resists pride. If God is resisting you because of your pride He sure won't hear your prayers! (James 4:3) God will not hear selfishness. (Luke 18:10-14) God will not hear self-righteousness because (Luke 17:10) God does not owe us anything; (Col. 1:9-17 esp. V.12) we owe Him everything.
Never forget this aspect of prayer. Sometimes God does not answer prayers the way we want Him too because it is not good for us. Remember this: God thinks in terms of forever and man thinks in terms of now, or tomorrow, or next year. EXAMPLE: (2Cor. 12:7-9) The apostle Paul had a (thorn in his flesh) which was a problem. The Bible does not say if it was a physical malady, a bad habit, or what.
The Bible does not say if it was from his birth (parents made), a person who was tormenting Paul's ministry (man-made), or something the devil was doing to Paul (remember the story of Job) but the Bible does say the devil was mixed up right in the middle of it. God would not take it away from Paul. Paul recognized that it kept him humble; (Prov. 6:16 & 16:18 and 1John 2:16) God hates pride so Paul realized the thorn kept him from being proud. Pride will cause a person to be lost so God was protecting Paul from himself! SO:
Obviously the thorn itself would not send Paul to hell! When we do not get what we ask for then we need to try to determine why we didn't get it. IN OTHER WORDS: God will not give us a "good thing" if it will eternally destroy us in hell. AND: He will not remove a "bad thing" like Paul's thorn because we may need it to keep us where we need to be. Simply put: These trials are a test of faith for us just like it was for Paul. In times like these WE MUST seek God's will to get Holy Spirit revelation and WE MUST seek a reason in His Holy Word and WE MUST be honest with ourselves about ourselves!
In my personal Christian experience I have found that God is always, 100%, right and I am wrong far too often. My biggest deceiver is me and that fellow in the mirror, whom I shave, is my worst enemy. (Rom. 7:14 thru 8:18) Paul also knew all about this war with self. God's loving mercy toward His children, Jesus total sacrifice through His shed blood, the communion with God through the Holy Spirit and God's Holy Word is the only way you can be a winner.
ATTITUDE OF PRAYER
This is "teachy" but very important because it is how to obtain positive results from God. Jesus said; (John 4:24) "God is a Spirit (Holy Spirit): and they that worship him must worship him in spirit (rational soul in the sense of vital principal; in other words: your whole life force) and truth (to be true)." SO: (Psa. 10:17 & Matt. 23:12) be Humble (lowly, needy, poor) (Heb. 13:15-16) give Praise (commend, laud, applaud): (Phil. 4:6) pray with Supplication (beseech as a beggar) and Thanksgiving and (grateful language to God as an act of worship, thankfulness, gratitude): (Matt. 4:10 & John 4:23-24) Worship God (prostrate oneself, do reverence to, to adore).
Biblically there is a physical prostration and a soul prostration that go together when worshipping God. Obviously there are times when you can't do the physical; driving your car, doing your work and etc.
(Eph. 5:19-20) BUT: you can prostrate your soul (self) anytime. (James 5:16) Effective prayer (to be active, be mighty in, show forth self): tell God what you really and truly think of Him. That is what Jesus was digging out of the man with the evil spirit possessed child. (James 5:16) Fervent (ardent, passionate, earnest) prayer is showing God your passion. (Heb. 11:6) Without faith it is impossible to please God. SO: how much do you believe and trust God? (Jer. 17:7-10 esp. V.9) How much do you trust you?
At this time please stop and read the 63rd Psalm. (Psa. 63:1-11 esp. V.6 keyword-meditate (to ponder, imagine, murmur in pleasure---In other words forget about the stress and hurry of your life for a few minutes and take time to really think about (to meditate) about God and you cannot help but murmur in pleasure): The whole Psalm is screaming; "If you are truly God's child you are a winner". SO: How much planning, creation, effort, anticipation, long suffering, emotional pain, and physical agony did YOU cost God and Jesus? Take time to meditate about that too. (Job 37:14) "Hearken (listen and ponder) unto this, O Job: stand still (tarry and dwell on), and consider (understand and perceive) the wondrous works of God." HERE'S HOW TO MEDITATE.
(Gen. 1:1-31): God did not consult Job, or you, or me, or any man when: (V.3-5) God came from a place called forever with everlasting in His power and looked into the great formless void of the darkness of nothing and said; "let there be light" and God named the darkness Night and the light Day: when: (V.6-8) God casually made the heavens and the waters and divided them: perhaps it was there that He said; (Psa. 33:7-9) "I'll set the bounds of the seas with bowls of sand;"
(Eccl. 1:7) "all the rivers of the earth will run into them but they will not run over; (Job 36:27-28) I will make laws that fresh water moisture in molecular structure will evaporate from the salt sea and form clouds, I will have the wind carry the clouds over the land to fall as rain and cleanse the land and take the trash back to the great salt seas to be destroyed and this fresh water from the clouds shall sustain life on land:"
"I am God, I said it and it will be so": when: (V.9-10) God contoured the land with His thoughts and gathered the seas with His finger: when: (V.11-13) God, with beauty and taste in mind, set the genetic profile of the plants and trees as He created them: That was when God said; "they will be self-sustaining with their berries, seeds and nuts: I said it and it will be so because I am God":
when: (V.14-18) God, with effortless ease, (Psa. 8:3) cast the lights (luminous body) into the great darkness to form the cosmos, our tiny universe, and our very own miniscule solar system: There God said; "I will hang the luminous bodies upon ropes of nothing, they will wheel across the sky on invisible roads and my greatest creation will stand in wonder and in awe at my power:" when: God thought the great gene pool into existence and went to work with a will.
That's when (Col. 1:16-17 & Eccl. 3:21) He said; "Let them figure all this out and when they figure it all out they will still know nothing because they cannot find the source of the life that throbs there!" when: (V.20-22) God filled the waters with an abundance of dazzling creatures and filled the air with breathtakingly beautiful birds; and He must have smiled at how our jaw would drop with breathless wonder at the endless variety, when: (V.24-25) God, with humor and ingenuity, filled the land, the grass, shrubbery, flowers, ferns, leaves, moss and trees and the mountains, meadows, valleys and plains with chirping, crawling, creeping, bounding, running, mooing life:
That's when God said; (Col. 1:1-17) "I will set instinct in all these creatures and they will do what I say because I am God and by Me all things consist. (Isa. 43:16) I will set the paths of the fish in the waters and they will go in those paths." (Joel 1:18-19 & Rom. 8:22) Perhaps God frowned a bit here when He thought how His greatest creation would rape and destroy this beautiful creation because of greed, lust for power and pride; but man must have the power of choice.
(Psa. 50:10-11 & 104:11-25) God set the paths of the roe (deer) and hart (rabbit); "I am God and I said they will walk there. My greatest creation will marvel because My animals will follow the paths I have set; My greatest creation will build his puny roads across My paths; he will wreck his automobiles in collisions with My animals and spend his millions for repairs and he will marvel but My animals will still go because I am God and I said they would."
when: (V. 26-27 & Gen. 2:6-7: two keywords: watered (moisten) and formed (squeezed together, fashion, form, to mould especially as a potter) With "hands on" care, infinite patience, gentle kindness and the greatest loving detail God formed a skeleton of joints, cartilage and bones out of the never trod upon, moist, (Gen. 2:7 keyword: dust) dust (clay, earth, mud) of the earth. It was God's special time because this one, like none of the others, was in His own image.
With infinite grace and a Master's hands God worked, molded and built layer upon layer of bones, vital organs, muscle and connective tissue. God, the wise master builder, laid the endocrine, nervous, respiratory and circulatory systems. He filled the earthen skull with an earthen mass that would be a brain.
It was here at the base of and right in the center of what would be the marvelous, complicated, intricate brain the beautiful God of glory lovingly fashioned a small knob that sat squarely on top of the string of earth that would be a spinal cord housed, for right now, in its formed earth, protective housing of flexible un-jointed bones which were cushioned by discs.
That knob is where God placed part of the autonomic nervous system. Perhaps God smiled a bit right then when He thought how mankind would work, connive, theorize and study and try to figure out how every part of man's body operated and man would put a name on everything.
Man would eventually give names to all parts of this precious, wonderful brain so (Gen. 21:33) the God of everlasting simply placed the autonomic nervous system through all the parts of the brain just like an invisible overlay. Now, let them figure that out! With this autonomic nervous system man wouldn't have to consciously think to breathe, beat his heart, dodge an unexpected flying object by reflex, regulate his temperature, tell his glands to secrete chemicals, digest food and etc.
The Great God of glory already had His sacred scriptures written in His magnificent mind AND: (Matt. 13:10-16) He loved His secret things, His mysteries, His scriptures that many times had a depth of many meanings that He would reveal to those whom He chose. He would have the writer of Hebrews (Heb. 9:27) write; "And as it is appointed (reserved) unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:"
ALSO: (Heb. 2:9-14) "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man." God knew His children would think this concerned eternal life and eternal death and they would be right BUT: (Heb. 2:9-14 esp. V.11 keywords; "they who are sanctified") those who lived and believed in His Son Jesus would have a special surprise when they realized God's wonderfully tender mercy extended far beyond their expectations!
SO: God had a greater purpose for that autonomic nervous system. He knew His Son would make a promise to people who would one day be called Christians and that promise would be recorded by a faithful servant called John; (John 8:51 & 11:26)"And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?"
God knew, with this autonomic nervous system, the human body could live on its own for a while even though the soul had departed. After all, "I AM" is the God of Glory Who came from everlasting; those who lived and believed in His Son Jesus had an appointment with death but His precious Son would keep that appointment on the bloody cross at a place that would be called Calvary.
THEN: (1Tim. 6:20) God frowned a bit because He knew some men, those who believed in evolution, would call this part of the brain the reptilian brain and they would say the little knob had developed while man was evolving from some single cell bit of life in a sea side pool, through the reptilian stage, on into the mammalian stage of evolution. Yes, it did hurt that men could be so foolish but mankind MUST always have the power to choose what he wanted to believe. (1Tim. 2:4) It would be nice if all them would come to the knowledge of the truth and be saved BUT:
If He created them to love Him OR: if He forced them, against their will, to love Him it simply would not be the same; AS A MATTER OF FACT: it would be nothing! SO:(2Tim 3:7) Well, if that would be what they wanted they could go ahead and die, both here and there in their eternity. MANKIND MUST HAVE THE POWER, THE ABILITY, TO CHOOSE.
They could believe in His precious Son, (John 10:27-30) the God of life, and (John 11:26) go live with Him in ever living or they could accept Satan, (Heb. 2:14) the devil, the god of death, and (Rev. 20:10-15 esp. V. 10&15) go be with him in ever dying. After all, each and every person, every human, would be an eternal creation. Choices!
Sometime in the future, right on His schedule, God would (John 13:23-25 keywords: whom Jesus loved) have a much loved disciple named John write about lost people, sinners, dying forever with the devil in--> (Rev. 14:9-11 and 20:10-15). He would even have Luke write a tiny hint of it in his gospel--> (Luke 16:19-29 & 23:40-43). He would reveal that great secret to only a few of them.
All man could see were dead bodies and all the dead looked the same, no man knew when the soul (person, self, me) left the body; man had to have a word to describe everything and the only word he had for this state of being was dead; His Christians would have a pleasant surprise indeed!
While He was in there His infinitely gentle fingers gently laid the stirrup, anvil, and hammer that would be the hearing bones and He tenderly covered them with earthen eardrums. God set the teeth, voice box and trachea. Ahhhh, perfect hands and feet to feel and run.
Carefully, ever so carefully, the greatest sculptor fashioned the perfect features that composed the earthen face; the slightly bulging eyes beneath their earthen lids, the arched earthen eyebrows, the delicate sweeping eyelashes, the arch of the nose with its delicately flared nostrils, the curling whorls of the external ear, the slight bulges of the cheekbones, the flat planes of the cheeks that curved into lips that would someday smile and curse.
God lovingly covered the bare earthen skull with full, sweeping, earthen hair. (Gen. 2:19) God already knew he would call this first man Adam (to show blood in the face) as soon as He finished the creation sequence.
when: God sat back for a timeless moment and looked at the beauty of the dead, grey earthen body before Him; "in His own image". There must have been a trace of sorrow upon the face of the One who came from forever (1Tim. 6:9-10; 2Tim. 3:13; & Rev. 11:18) when He thought how this, His greatest creation, in lust and greed would fight, war, connive, hurt and steal so they could rape, rob and destroy this gorgeous planet God had made for them.
God must have thought of all the pain, suffering, sorrow, grief and yes; happiness and joy too, this man and all his progeny would bring (Psa. 145:8-9) to God's tender heart.
There was no other way though; (John 6:62-69) man must have the power of choice for God to obtain what He wanted most; (Mark 12:30) that some of them would freely, of their own free will, choose to love God with all their hearts. This one of a kind Earth God had made teemed with beautiful, surging life God had created and God was excited to give all this wonder and beauty to His greatest creation; this wonderful creation "in God's image" that was the centerpiece of God's creative efforts.
when: (Gen. 2:8) All of creation must have stilled and come to motionlessness because of the intensity of the moment when the Beautiful God of Glory started slowly and steadily bending, bending, bending; closer and closer to the lifeless earthen face. The forever face finally touched the earthen face that knew not and lived not. when: For a split second their faces touched and all life on planet Earth held its breath; then God gently breathed into the earthen nostrils the breath of life.
The heart began a faint pounding; the living man gasped and started to breathe; oxygen laden blood slowly started surging through the living arteries; the grey skin pinkened and became rosy with life; the heart steadied down and blood sang its song of life through the arteries and veins. The breathing deepened, slowed and became regular.
The man's eyes fluttered open, the pupils contracted from the sudden light; then the living eyes focused and God could see the conscious knowledge and the perceptive, reasoning, awareness of a living soul in their depths. Creator and created, God and man, stared into the eternity in each other's eyes. Do you understand; really, really understand, how important you are to God? You are worth the life of God's own Son. Take time to ponder (meditate) about it.
(Matt. 5:1 thru 7:29 esp. V.29) A great crowd had gathered on a mountain where Jesus taught them that: (Matt. 6:1-18 esp. V.9-13) (V.1-4) If you do your good deeds because of pride (to be seen of men) your reward will not be what you expect. (V. 5-6) If you pray because of pride (to be seen of men) your reward will not be what you expect. To be "seen of men" is self-worship. Sometimes it is plain as day: "Oh look at me! Oh look at me! I'm a super Christian!" Wake up! The lookers are not your judge; God is.
(V.7-8) Jesus said to not use vain (to no purpose) repetitions (to chatter tediously) and chant like the heathen because they think God will hear them because of their "much speaking". God already knows what we need. Then Jesus told them and us how to pray.
(Matt. 6:9-13) Jesus' model prayer appears to be a far cry from (Mark 9:17-29) the prayer said by the nameless man with the demon possessed child. Yet, as you have seen, the nameless man's prayer was answered with startling and wonderful results. SO: We must re-think exactly what Jesus is saying.
NOTE: For a real-life experience about how Jesus uses the autonomic nervous system please see the commentary The Holy Spirit and You and read the last two articles in the menu.