(continuing) NOSAS Preface, sections 24-32
24- In the realm of man, because of our natural vulnerability to complacency, deception, and delusion, we must continually fuel the fire of investigation of our understanding of man’s truth and God’s Truth. We should never be afraid to test the things we have accepted as truth. Authentic Truth always confirms authentic Truth. God’s Truth is never in danger of failing; only our perception, interpretation, use, and presentation of that Truth can fail. Are we willing to investigate; or are we too afraid of being wrong in what we have accepted as Truth, in spite of the risk that being wrong could result in our eternal catastrophe? We always have opportunity, and permission from God, to test our understanding of the personal practical application of God’s Truth in light of our advancing understanding and pursuit of Truth and true security. It is to our advantage to continually re-equip [retrofit] and empower our ability to accurately test, and interpret the test results analytically and impartially, in order to confirm or discredit the validity of our perceived truth and security. Let our ‘right’ be that which is actually right, and our ‘wrong’ be that which is actually wrong, by God’s standard.
25- Complacency and stagnation are enemies that live in the carnal nature of humanity. They are constant hindrances to the advancement of our personal understanding of this present life, and our understanding of the way spiritual maturity, or lack thereof, affects it.
Spiritual/mental stagnation is a form of arrogance that assumes we know all we can, need, or want to know, and that our understanding and application of what we know will never need to improve.
Spiritual/mental complacency is the attitude of not caring whether stagnation is present.
26- The continuous battles for righteous control of our mental imagination and spiritual Vision [the major ‘cities’ in the ‘nation’ that manifests as our personal life] having to do with Truth and our relationship/fellowship with God and humanity, are the greatest battles we could ever lose to the anti-Christ philosophies of the world. An anti-Christ philosophy is any concept contrary to the completeness, power, logic, and practical application of Christ’s authentic gospel. Preparation for winning these battles hinges upon our accurate understanding of the organizational authority and process, knowing the tactics, and possessing and understanding how to use and maintain the weapons described in, the Master authority’s battle manual [the Christian Bible], as revealed, reinforced, and empowered by the Holy Spirit. [2ndCor.10:3-5]
Position, strength, courage, and enthusiasm [which sadly, and to the shocked dismay of the recently defeated, are usually (in the non-maturing Christian) at their highest when a person is first born-again], along with superior leadership, determine the advantage in, and length of, these battles. Because of poor advice and lack of preparation, frantic scrambling after a battle has begun, or bewilderment and suffering after it has been lost, is the sorrowful ‘reward’ [recompense] of complacency and stagnation in our relationship/fellowship with God. Struggling to regain freedom from a position of weakness is much harder than the fight to retain it from a position of strength; but, if true freedom and security have never been achieved, or have diminished or been lost, the battle to gain or regain them is worth any cost and effort. Just as the time Noah spent building his Ark in preparation for the coming worldwide flood was a time of transition [Gen.6:11 – 8:14], we are living in a time of preparation and transition for a great time of ‘flood’ in our life, and the life of the world. There are times coming in our earthly life, and a time as our life relates to eternity, when the time for preparation will be over, and it will be time to ride the ‘flood’ – or ‘drown’. [Gen.7:16, “… and the Lord shut ‘the door’.”]
27- Our perception [if any] of the type threat we face, determines the type ‘weapons’ we prepare to use [if any]. Do we face an external battle because of an external threat to our eternal security [the pressures from the world around us, or some threat from an external ‘devil’], or do we face an internal battle to establish authentic eternal security [battles against our own fears, pride, and selfishness, and the ‘religious’ and worldly lies we have wished and imagined to be true (Rom.12:3; Prov.11:2, 29:23, etc.]? The answer to this question usually comes as a late and rude awakening to the fundamentals of who we actually are, and what life is actually all about.
28- Total preparedness for victory over all threats to our eternal [or any] security is our preferred condition; but through neglect and stagnation, fomented of ignorance and assumption, we often slip into denial, complacency, and hoping for the good will of others. Knowledge, defensive and offensive weapon accumulation, courage, and confidence in ‘friendlies’ are good things – but are no substitute for the preparedness and security provided through developing authentic Godly spiritual maturity. The preparedness inherent in spiritual maturity includes the wisdom to understand our correct condition and situation from all perspectives, ability to distinguish clearly between ally and adversary, the willingness and ability to nurture and battle alongside confirmed allies, and the courage to confront all external and internal threats to true strength and security. These things help us understand and take advantage of the leadership, wisdom, and power available to us through cherishing and utilizing the Holy Spirit within us: the ever-present implementer of the true security Christ Jesus provided for us from God the Father.
29- [An analogy] Suppose for a moment, that you receive indisputable evidence that a person you long perceived to be a friend, had a mutual defense agreement with, and helped to promote their public agenda [favorite doctrine], was actually working behind the scenes to undermine your business, destroy your family and way of life, and eventually kill you.
You decide to fight to preserve all you possess [your soul – The destiny of our spirit/mind ‘soul’ is the only thing we truly own.]. You also select the 9mm pistol [your most powerful doctrine: OSAS] to be your weapon of choice should all other avenues to preserving life fail. You take weapons bids from all local suppliers [spiritual expositors], and decide to contract with a supplier proven faithful by past performance in many services to the community [Pastor or favorite spiritual adviser]; with the stipulation that the weapon be fully loaded with appropriate ammunition when delivered. You receive the weapon as delivered [not validating the doctrine for yourself; simply accepting the word of your human teacher] and wait for the, hopefully avoidable, life or death battle.
After your many attempts at negotiation through friendly arbiters [doctors, hospitals, politics, ecology, etc.], the enemy [death and/or destruction] comes to take your life. You confidently step onto the battlefield, take aim, and fire – only to discover you accepted delivery of a well-designed and hefty, water pistol.
At that moment, it does not matter that the local supplier [the human(s) you have chosen to believe] ignorantly took delivery of a counterfeit weapon from their supplier [seminary, culture, rumor, wishful thinking, etc.], or that your supplier delivered the product to you in good faith – you are still dead.
Immediate and eternal Salvation are not issued based on cultural consensus or personally determined justification, but are issued based on the conditions decreed in God’s Covenant: His authentic Word. [‘the weapons of our warfare’ (Rom.8:28; 2ndCor.10:3-5; Gal.5:22-25; Jude 20-21, 24;), etc.]
30- A false sense of security is established when we count on strength [Truth] to be in a place where weakness [false doctrine] actually exists. This counterfeit security is established when we receive a product provided by those who promise the security expected of a faithful friend [Pastor, Evangelist, denominational hierarchy, family, social group, etc.], without personally examining it for ourselves, only to discover that they were duped into delivering a product incapable of providing the expected security [Truth, eternal Life].
31- The false sense of security produced through ignorance, complacency, delusion, or any other method, is the internal enemy of true security. Our ignorance or disregard of the alteration and dilution of Truth, discounting the value of educated and sound reasoning, acquiescence to ignorance, and dependence on emotion and wishful thinking, are enemies complicit in the establishment and maintenance of a false sense of security. These are also a primary cause of the short-circuits that run-to-ground our wisdom for understanding the necessity for, and stimulating the adventurous excitement of, discovering the True understanding and significant action necessary to produce the actual substance of security.
32- A sense of spiritual insecurity is the result of recognizing our vulnerability, ignorance of options, and perceived lack of ‘permission’ from our culture [church, or otherwise] to engage in personal and/or public examination of largely accepted ‘logic’ and ‘fact’. Because of that insecurity, we tend to jump at the first, or any, chance to develop some sense of security – or we lapse into the denial and complacency that result from abandoning or neglecting the search for Truth and True strength.
Denial puts us at odds with True solutions to our actual vulnerabilities. Ignorance of options and unwillingness to investigate can lead to denial, but often lead to conformity to current worldly [culturally] established concepts of, and methods of achieving, the authentic security we crave.
(to be continued) [I invite you to join me in my other ‘continuing’ blog at http://www.woodystonejournal.wordpress.com You can catch up at any time by clicking on the continuous links in the right-hand column.]