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PaulWest
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Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

Quote:
I was thinking about this also but I wonder wouldn't all these things you mentioned just be the fruit of "self"?


In a way, yes. To be more precise, I like to think of "self" as the "flesh". The giants come to conquer our hearts through the satiation of the flesh. If you'd like to think of your flesh as a giant, that is fine too: It's all semantics anyhow.

However, I personally see the flesh as a part of my being (a triparte of "self" which includes soul and spirit in the final 2/3); and as a dynamic that is automatically put down when I walk in the Spirit. When the flesh is subdued, the giants are still alive but I am dead to them. Our Adamic flesh loves the food of the giants. It wants the big grapes of knowledge, the wild honey of immorality, the fatted calf of the pride of life. We crucify the flesh with its affections and lusts so that the giants have no sway over its appetite during feeding time.


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Paul Frederick West

 2012/7/14 10:23Profile
MaryJane
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Joined: 2006/7/31
Posts: 3057


 Re:

by PaulWest on 2012/7/14 4:23:55

Quote:
I was thinking about this also but I wonder wouldn't all these things you mentioned just be the fruit of "self"?


In a way, yes. To be more precise, I like to think of "self" as the "flesh". The giants come to conquer our hearts through the satiation of the flesh. If you'd like to think of your flesh as a giant, that is fine too: It's all semantics anyhow.

However, I personally see the flesh as a part of my being (a triparte of "self" which includes soul and spirit in the final 2/3); as a dynamic that is automatically put down when I walk in the Spirit. The flesh loves the food of the giants. It wants the big grapes, the wild honey, the fatted calf of the land. We crucify the flesh with its affections and lusts so that the giants have no sway over its appetite during feeding time.

___________________

I often use the term flesh as another way of talking about self so I do see what your saying. I like the picture you painted of how the flesh(self) loves the food of the giants, really speaks to what I have been seeing on a personal level. I agree when we crucify the flesh(die to self) the world and all its distractions and attractions hold no enticement for us. When JESUS is LORD of my life and I am walking in fellowship with HIM then and only then do I have victory.

Thank you for sharing
God Bless
maryjane

 2012/7/14 10:36Profile
roadsign
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Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


 Re:

Thank you all for your insightful responses. They get me thinking. I too considered the giants in Caanan. These were mighty giants indeed! They were so tall that in comparison humans were the size of grasshoppers.
But were these giants truly that big? Why did these "giants" have such a profound effect on the Israelites that they didn't even want to enter the Promised Land? Obviously the people had exagerated the size of the giants. But not everyone saw them so ominously large. Why did Caleb and Joshua have a different perspective?

It seems that we have two kinds of giants to consider: The one we imagine, and the real one. We want to be sure to fight the right one!

The question remains: What was the real "giant" that needed to be conquored in the Sinai Desert - as in our contemporary lives?

A wee note on the word "self". I recall Ron Bailey recently challenging our use of that word. He noted that you don't see this use of the word in scripture. Interestingly as I read through Hudson Taylor's material I don't see the word either. But I would agree that there is something about ourselves that is indeed a potential giant - as you have noted!

I've been reading "Streams in the Desert" and see that it repeatedly addresses the "giant" I have in mind. Today I happened to pick up a book by A W Tozer - and there it is again- where the book fell open. I think Tozer is getting at the giant when he says:

"The problem that ever confronts Christian people in a world like this, is ultimately just the one problem of ____________" ?

I say, here is the stomping ground for our mighty 'giant". I also say, God is definitely trying to get my attention on this issue!

At this point I think it is best not to give it away - as it is worth pondering over some more. I know you all are aware of this. It's just that we aren't so good at labelling it for what it is - and linking it to so many of our difficulties today.

Keep guessing! We have an exciting adventure ahead yet.
Diane




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Diane

 2012/7/14 11:55Profile
PaulWest
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Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

Quote:
A wee note on the word "self". I recall Ron Bailey recently challenging our use of that word. He noted that you don't see this use of the word in scripture.



"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me."(Luke 9:23)

I find a daily denial of "self" most certainly pervading NT scripture. This is one example, but there are plenteous others in the teaching ministries of Christ and Paul. But I don't hold "self" to be a giant in any case. The giants cannot be slayed by you or me, but we can become dead to their influence through walking in the Spirit. The powers of darkness (aka giants) seek to quicken the flesh and domineer the heart via the establishment of strongholds of fear, lust, unbelief, contention, greed, hatred, doubt, religious pride, etc. They seek to "draw" out the lusts of the flesh and stir our autonomous desires to rise and war against the influence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. But the giants themselves cannot be slayed, and there is no mention in scripture of us killing giants or demons or devils or any other extraneous angelic power. We resist them and they flee. It is only the flesh that must be crucified, by virtue of our collaboration with the Holy Spirit.


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Paul Frederick West

 2012/7/14 12:39Profile
pilgrim777
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Joined: 2011/9/30
Posts: 1211


 Re: The Giant is Unbelief

Quote:
Thank you all for your insightful responses. They get me thinking. I too considered the giants in Caanan. These were mighty giants indeed! They were so tall that in comparison humans were the size of grasshoppers.
But were these giants truly that big? Why did these "giants" have such a profound effect on the Israelites that they didn't even want to enter the Promised Land? Obviously the people had exagerated the size of the giants. But not everyone saw them so ominously large. Why did Caleb and Joshua have a different perspective?



I think there actually were bigger and taller people and this illustrates how men look on the outward and walk by sight and not faith (in God's promises).

Quote:
A wee note on the word "self". I recall Ron Bailey recently challenging our use of that word. He noted that you don't see this use of the word in scripture. Interestingly as I read through Hudson Taylor's material I don't see the word either. But I would agree that there is something about ourselves that is indeed a potential giant - as you have noted!



That is true, "self" was never a word that stood alone or was used alone in those days. It was always connected to someone's attitudes, actions or speech and was not an independent concept.

Mar 8:34 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny HIMSELF, and take up his cross, and follow me.

To understand what it means to "deny ourselves" it requires the awareness and admission of our selfish tendencies patterned in the "flesh". And it does not refer to a subjective, psychological denial, but a volitional denial whereby we choose to disallow the expressions of selfishness in our behavior.

Titus 2:12 - "deny ungodliness and worldly desires"
Phil. 2:3,4 - "do nothing from selfishness...do not look our for your own personal interests..."

Denying ourselves is not a "work" of self-effort and performance whereby we overcome and get rid of the "flesh"

Gal. 5:17. Such is a denial of God's grace.

Gal 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

Gal 5:18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

Then, Paul goes on to talk about the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit and then...

Gal 5:24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

Denying ourselves is part of the process of sanctification.

But the biggest problem that we all contend with is UNBELIEF.

Heb 3:12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.

It is always unbelief that will keep us from entering into God's promises.

Heb 3:19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

Heb 4:6 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:

Heb 4:11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

Pilgrim

 2012/7/14 14:07Profile









 The giant is unbelief!

Then in addition to all these things there were troubles also arising from within the church, and this second Epistle of Peter is particularly concerned about these problems. For the problem that ever confronts Christian people in a world like this is, ultimately, just the one problem of unbelief. We can therefore understand why the great message of this second Epistle of Peter was written to strengthen Christian people against various forces and factors that were tending to shake and to unsettle them in their faith. Certain doubts and queries were insinuating themselves into their minds. Peter tells us at great length in the second chapter that false teachers had crept into the churches and that these, with their false teaching, were trying to undermine the faith of these early Christian people.

 2012/7/14 19:23









 Re: The giant is unbelief!

Let us examine again what Hudson Taylor wrote.

"All the time I felt assured that there was in Christ all I needed, but the practical question was how to get it out. He was rich, but I was poor; He was strong, but I was weak. I knew full well that there was in the vine, in the root, the stem, abundant fatness; but how to get it into my puny little branch was the question.

As gradually the light dawned on me, I saw that faith was the only prerequisite to laying hold of His fullness and making it my own. But I had not this faith . . . I strove for it, but it would not come; I tried to exercise it, but in vain. Seeing more and more the wondrous supply of grace laid up in Jesus, the fullness of our precious Savior - my helplessness and guilt seemed to increase. Sins committed appeared but as trifles compared with the sin of unbelief which was their cause, which could not or would not take God at His word, but rather made Him a liar! Unbelief was, I felt, the damning sin of the world - yet I indulged in it. I prayed for faith but it did not come. What was I to do?

When my agony of soul was at its height, a sentence in a letter from dear McCarthy was used to remove the scales from my eyes, and the Spirit of God revealed the truth of our oneness with Jesus as I had never seen it before. McCarthy, who had been much exercised by the same sense of failure, but saw the light before I did, wrote (I quote from memory): "But how to get faith strengthened? Not by striving after faith, but by resting on the Faithful One."

As I read I saw it all! "If we believe not, He remains faithful." I looked to Jesus and saw (and when I saw, oh, how joy flowed) that He had said, "I will never leave you." "Ah, here is rest!" I thought. "I have striven in vain to rest in Him. I'll strive no more. For has He not promised to abide with me - never to leave me, never to fail me?" And Dearie, He never will!"

It appears that Hudson Taylor's problem was solved when he saw the reality of his union with Christ.

So now the REAL question - how to open the eyes of the blind or those that only partially see the reality of this union in Christ?

 2012/7/14 19:47
Compton
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Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re:

Quote:
We may not see how this giant is playing havoc with every imaginable dimension of life



The most pervasive giant I see playing havoc with every dimension of life today is fear.

It's a simple answer, but afterall, we are simple creatures:)

MC


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Mike Compton

 2012/7/15 2:34Profile
roadsign
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Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


 Re:

Pilgrim said:

Quote:
But the biggest problem that we all contend with is UNBELIEF

That’s it. This is the word Tozer uses: unbelief, as tuc quotes:
Quote:
…. ultimately, just the one problem of unbelief



Of course it’s easy to pull this word, “unbelief” out of the hat – or rather, the Bible. But what do we mean? “Unbelief” says something is NOT present. And what’s that? The word “belief” is often used as the assent of a body of propositional truths. In that sense, “unbelief” is not necessarily the problem. Yet there is a problem – a very serious one at that.

In the psalms we find a word that helps us. It is the word TRUST. The human problem then is an inability to TRUST God for his word and his faithfulness (as tuc notes, quoting Hudson Taylor). The Bible gives us many examples – for a good reason. This is a serious problem - considering that that humanity lives in a world filled with threats. We face threats continuously – though we are not aware of many of them till we experience them.

What happens to us when we cannot trust God in this threatening and fallen world – when belief is deficient? Just as the natural world abhors a vacuum, so does our own inner world. A GIANT fills the vacuum that is created by the absence of trust.

Quote:
The most pervasive giant I see playing havoc with every dimension of life today is fear.


This is it! FEAR is likely to undo us far more readily than the threats we perceive around us. Fear causes us to enlarge the threat to supersize. (as the Israelites did) Fear drives our world. It makes many people rich and it robs many. Fear threatens our relationships. It builds barriers. It keeps God at arms length. It keeps us from entering the Promised Land and enjoying the fruits.

Fear is the antithesis of restful TRUST in God.

Fear, like water, seeps through the cracks in our faith – into the areas where we have yet to learn trust. And God knows where the cracks are.

I’ve begun a project: I made two columns on a sheet of paper: The left side is labeled: DISTRUST. The right side is labeled TRUST. In each column I am listing words drawn from my readings that describe these two conditions. Then I apply my own thought life to this list – and low and behold – it’s amazing how often my mind dwells on the distrust side.

More on that later….

Can you think of some words I could add to my list?


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Diane

 2012/7/15 20:08Profile
Compton
Member



Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re:

Quote:
Just as the natural world abhors a vacuum, so does our own inner world. A GIANT fills the vacuum that is created by the absence of trust.



Interesting. If you have a bottle filled with poison water, how do you pull the poison water out without creating a vacuum? You fill it with clean water!

Likewise, "fighting against" fear and unbelief doesn't seem to work very well...in fact such a focus seems to stengthen our fears. The only real way forward from fear is to displace fear with something opposite.

Quote:
In that sense, “unbelief” is not necessarily the problem. Yet there is a problem – a very serious one at that.



Along these lines, I find it also interesting that the bible doesn't seem to say bravery is the the remedy for fear, but rather love is. "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love." (1 John 4:18)

What is the true nature of this love that John talks about, a love that liberates a once tormented heart from fear and unbelief? Why is the fearless heart described as a heart flowing with love, rather then courage or faith?

Quote:
it’s amazing how often my mind dwells on the distrust side.



Good discussion topic tonight:)

MC


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Mike Compton

 2012/7/15 20:50Profile





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