Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Sense of our Senses

Did you ever consider the fact that YOU live inside a ‘house’ ?

I invite you to experience an imaginary exercise with me…….
Image that suddenly your sense of touch is gone – you cannot feel whether you are touching anything or if anything is touching you – without a sense of touch you also lose your sensitivity to pain.
Then your hearing shuts off… your world has gone strangely silent.
Now your sense of taste is gone… not only can you not feel if there is food in your mouth , neither can you taste it.
Your sense of smell goes next, and then suddenly your vocal cords are paralyzed – you cannot call for help.
Finally, your sight also vanishes. You are blind – the world around you has disappeared into nothingness.
Try to grasp the reality of life confined within your body with no outside contact or communication possible.
Close your eyes for a moment and try to experience it.

What terrifying emotions whelmed up within you ?

Though you are cut off from the outside world, you are still YOU! You are not your eyes, or your ears, losing your senses is not life threatening in itself. You are still alive, just held captive in a very isolated place, leaving you feeling more claustrophobic and panic stricken than you could imagine possible – not unlike being shut up in a tiny house without any windows or doors.

When God created man He created him an eternal spiritual being …but for the time of his earthly sojourn He placed him inside a physical body that effectively puts him under ‘house arrest’. We are not aware that we are confined to a ‘house’, we are quite comfortable – as long as we have access to the world around us through our senses.

They are the windows and doors that let YOU ‘out’ and allow information and others ‘in’.
Everything we know came ‘in’ through our senses.
Everyone we love or hate we connected to through our senses.
Our understanding of who we are , of where we fit into our world, our beliefs, our standard of right and wrong came to us through our senses.

Did you ever wonder if we were cut off from your senses, what would happen to our sin nature? Would it still find expression? Or do our senses simply reveal who we really are?

It is the end of winter and the beginning of spring. With the warmth of the sun and the soft rain, we see thousands of dormant seeds that lay all winter hidden beneath the soil, spring up and grow - some into beautiful plants and some into ferocious weeds !
So also our ‘sin’ nature is dormant until it is given opportunity to spring up into action and reaction and interaction with others.
Our senses allow us to do that. – it is through ours senses that we learn what we are really like.
I John 1:16 says, “for all that is in the world ( that comes in through our senses) the lust of the flesh, the lust of our eyes, and the pride of life are not of the Father but is of the world”.
It is through the windows and doors of our senses that we fill our ‘house’.
And it is what we allow in and what we do with what we allow in that makes us choose either good or evil – to live our life for God or by default – for the father of lies.

Hebrews 5:14 says , “but solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their “SENSES” exercised to discern both good and evil. "
So God gave us our senses for the purpose of exercising ourselves to be godly. They are the 'gym equippment', by which we can grow strong and mature - able to recognize the things that are good and the things that are harmful.

We could compare keeping our souls pure to how diligent we are to keep harmful elements out of our homes.
Some days a wind blows up from valley below us and the not-so-pleasant farm smells waft up into our house. Our response is to close the windows and doors to keep the offensive smell outside.
We have screens on our windows so that when we want to let in the fresh cool breeze of a summer day, the bugs and flies are kept outside.
We lock our doors to keep thieves and robbers out of our home.
We have a roof on our home to keep out the inclement weather and provide protection from the blazing sun.
We take every precaution to keep ourselves and our families safe inside the walls of our homes.

God has placed you in a protective ‘house’ where you have the power to choose what will influence you. YOU sit as a judge inside your ‘house’, on the throne of your mind and you decided if something is ‘healthy’ or ‘safe’ or ‘desirable’. You decide what you will allow to enter your ‘soul’ through your sense of hearing or vision.
That TV show – is it’s immoral theme polluting your mind? Is the language befitting a godly person? What about that book or magazine you are reading… what is it doing to your thought life? What message does the music you listen to write on your spirit? The places you frequent, how you spend your time – is what comes in through your senses beneficial or is it harmful? Pleasing or displeasing to God?

When you walk into someone’s home and look around, you can see what they value and whether or not they keep their home clean.
While you cannot ‘look’ inside someone’s ‘body-house’ you can see what they have filled it with. All you have to do is listen to what comes out of their mouth. Luke 6:45 tells us “for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”
Do the words of your mouth edify the hearer? Are they kind words, true words, words of comfort and encouragement? Words that soothe troubled waters or words that stir up strife and anger? Words that speak of God's kingdom or the kingdom of the world?
What you have allowed ‘in’ is what determines what will come ‘out’.

The bible tells us what standard we should use to decide what to allow ‘in’ ….

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true,
whatsoever things are honest,
whatsoever things are pure,
whatsoever things are lovely,
whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

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