From the inception of “Religious Civilization” (check the meaning at the end of the article) a lot has changed pertaining to how rituals and services are conducted. Religion has relatively been imbibed with ethical human formalities; it is barely different from how social and local meetings are conducted. Formality has replaced Spirituality as men now conduct religious services with contingency to social gatherings.
||My focal point of discuss will be on prayer||
“Influence” and “imitation” stands to be the defining determinant on how unidealistic beliefs are transferred from the self proclaimed “literates” to the ignorant. Most of what we do and how we do things today emanated from the lifestyles our predecessors lived. Praying (in this context) has unfortunately been perverted with wrong ideologies. You hear people say “I pray for 30 minutes every morning” or “my daily 10 minutes communion with God.”
Note 📝: How much time you spend with God is not the problem, but using Time to determine how long you stay with God is a befouling character.
Placing “time constraints” on how long we spend with God is a wrong attitude that constantly depletes out innate aptitude as spiritual beings. How much time we spend in the domain of God’s presence shouldn’t be determined by man-made formalities. “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh…But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” Gal 5:16&18
The law is subject to worldly formalities, we are not under the law, neither are we of this world. We should therefore be led by the spirit, and not controlled by time.
Understanding that we are spiritual beings dwelling in a vessel called the body, and ‘passing through’ a planet called earth should probably help meliorate our attitude towards God. Human beings live by the flesh; Spirit beings, of course, live by the Spirit. The spirit world is not limited by time, neither should you.
Religious Civilization: Inculcating worldly formalities into the affairs of spiritualism.
“In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use.”
As you might have already guessed, the scripture above is a compounded idiomatic expression. There is no large house, neither are there articles, ceteris paribus.
“In a large house” is a simile Paul used to connote the embodiment of a church system…. He uses an indirect illustration of gold and silver in relation to godly, true, and upright Christians. While wood and clay represent deceivers, wolves under sheep’s clothing, heretical teachers, falsifiers… all hiding under the shadow of Christianity.
This explains how God’s house (the church) is filled with numerous counts of people. A flock mixed with both goats and sheep(s). “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” Also, beware of satanic cults claiming to be Christ infused.
Apparently, not all “God-calling” associations are churches, and neither are all “self-proclaiming pastors” true/ordained servants of God. We are responsible for our beliefs! Don’t get drifted by sweet words, energetic charismas, and ravishing outward appearances; but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
God never sleeps, neither does the devil. Does that ring a bell? Just as much as Christ wants us to be saved, the devil also works in dire and full opposition. Surely, he (the devil) is bound to fail, but try not getting entangled by his snares.
May God’s insight prevail in our hearts.
[I conclude with this paraphrase]
In this sacred house at Ephesus there are vessels of gold and silver – eminent, holy, sincere, and useful teachers and members, and also vessels of wood and clay – false and heretical teachers.
[The main scriptural reference is gotten from 2 Timothy 2]
The content of a man’s heart is unknown, but the words of his mouth reveal his abstract possession. The predictability of a man’s action is vague, but a single step from his foot presages his inward motive. The moment we arrived on earth, the world around us celebrated, the carrier was comforted, the carrier’s partner felt relieved, but yet, the first thing we ever experienced was melancholy, we cried out loud in confusion and paroxysm. We wondered, what manner of place is this? How did I get here? What am I? Even though our mind as a child was void and bare, it was first filled with sadness and then questions that came from nowhere. We came into this world with a pure heart, a blank heart, without filth and guilt. We knew nothing, but everything knew us. We were controlled, directed, taught, led, and all we did was observe, listen, and absorb. We grew as an infant into a toddler, and it never stops. Our ignorance as a child caused us to make mistakes that resulted in chastisement and reproof. We tried to explain ourselves, but we were shunned, our words were inconsequential, we had no say in such matter. We said in our tiny little heart, “I’ll never do that again,” but with time, we repeated the same mistake, with time we made new mistakes, with time we became imperfect. The child who was once celebrated, now became a burden. The hatred he felt equated the love he received, his peculiarity began to lose its sanity, his morale began to depreciate. “That’s how it all starts. The fever, the RAGE, the feeling of powerlessness that turns good men… cruel!”
Serenity and Indignation
Serenity and indignation are apparently two opposite states of actions, which seemed unnecessary to be coached to us as children. Most of us weren’t taught how to behave, neither were we born with emotional intelligence (EI), we all passed through a stage of life which I term as “The Czochralski Process.” This is a scientific terminology which simply means “growing,” and is customarily known as “a process of producing a new rod of single crystal silicon from molten silicon.” It might sound complex to understand, but that’s not an issue. This is a very important stage in a silicon’s manufacturing process, which helps define how the crystal reacts to the heat of nature (The Sun). I believe we as humans, also passed through this refining stage of life, that indirectly impacts how we act and react to external behaviors. As I said earlier, ‘we came into this world void and empty,’ but our environment plays an important role in defining who and what we become in terms of our emotional idiosyncrasy.
The Rage Virus
Rage, which can also be termed as resentment, is usually a growing-type of expression or emotion. Some people see it as a normal form of body language, while others perceive it an eccentric form of inhumane reaction. But as a matter of fact, there is more to rage than the eyes can see. It all started from childhood. Being a child is like being in a liquid state, the more you add ingredients the more the water solidifies, the more the viscosity increases. The more children grow, the more difficult it becomes to control them. The rate at which children assimilates is an amazing phenomenon, which I believe scientists can explain better. It has been ascertained that children born into a divided home often turn out to be depressed and sometimes become socially inept. Exposing a child to such formidable behavior, amongst his parents, usually goes a long way in determining how such child responds to an individual’s exasperation.
A child rage, often referred to as “tantrum,” is an emotional outburst which is typically characterized by pertinacity, screaming, defiance, and so on. Tantrum is usually caused by hunger, pain, temperament, stress, overstimulation or situations that children just can’t cope with. The good news is that tantrum can be controlled in a child if it is observed early, but once a child grows into teenagehood with such unacceptable behaviors, it becomes difficult to restrain. Obviously, you wouldn’t expect a teenager to start screaming like a child because of a minor pain or discomfort, but the point is that, such childish behaviors (if not corrected) usually affects how the child responds to people when he/she becomes a fully grown adult, which is a potential pathway to rage.
One Solution to Rage
Rage can be difficult to restrain once it’s loosed, but it can be easily controlled and cured. A burning flame can only be aroused if fuel is added, but no matter how ignited it is, water will always reduce or completely stop the heat. And rage is no difference. There are many practical ways rage can cured but there is one solution that supersedes others (irrespective of one’s age, status or religious beliefs). In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he said “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (6:12). Most of the problems and challenges we encounter in our day-to-day lives are not always innate, neither are they hereditary. There are indeed extraterrestrial beings (spiritual beings) who are behind the predicament we face as human beings. That’s why “prayer” will be a propitious solution to rage. No level of scientific experiment nor a technological device can stand against spirituality. You can’t use an eraser to clean the ink of a pen, neither can you use a physical ideology to stop a spiritual jinx. Prayer is a spiritual exercise, if done in spirit and in truth, bonds will always be broken, chains shattered, curses reverted, sickness healed, stagnations revoked,. . ., Rage cured.
NB: Rage is also caused by some internal brain deformities
Rage is just a scheme waiting to be caged once prayer becomes an option.
What a dead life we live in! A life that seeks death, a life that seeks pain, a life that seeks doom! The ages are passing by, the days are growing old, the light is getting dim. We live in the ends beginning, but yet strive for pleasure without satisfaction. Pleasure is like a virus that eats deep and deep into our mind, until nothing is left of us. Scholars define pleasure as “something that provides a source of happiness.” Hmm… Interesting, but I tell you, its just for a short period of time. For the pleasures we seek on earth are temporary, that’s why they are called earthly desires, but the sacrifice we make are eternal. The greatest sacrifice that has ever being made, was made by Jesus. He gave is life for ours, and his sacrifice wasn’t for 10 years, 100 years, or even a thousand years, it is forever/eternal. That’s the power of Sacrifice!
Pleasure is Meaningless
Solomon is mostly known for his abundance in wealth, but one thing that distinguished him from others is the wisdom he had. He knows the end result of his pleasure filled life and he was bold enough to tell the world about it.
In Ecclesiastes 2: 1-11, Solomon said…
“Pleasures Are Meaningless
2 I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good.” But that also proved to be meaningless. 2 “Laughter,” I said, “is madness. And what does pleasure accomplish?” 3 I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly—my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was good for people to do under the heavens during the few days of their lives.
4 I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. 5 I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. 6 I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. 7 I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. 8 I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired male and female singers, and a harem (wives and concubines) as well—the delights of a man’s heart. 9 I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me. 10 I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my labor, and this was the reward for all my toil. 11 Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.”
“Chasing after the wind” he said. The way we came to the world is same way we will leave it. We came with nothing, we leave with nothing. So, why not make sacrifice, which is the only thing that lasts even after death, because one way to avoid pain (hell) after death is to sacrifice pleasure. For the moon to be seen, the sun has to leave. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, remember what Jesus said “I have overcome the world,” and our flesh is part of these world.
So many great people have passed through this same place we call earth, kings, queens, prophets, poets, musicians, doctors, and many more, but are we really learning from their past experiences or trying to re-live the legacy and life style of the old generation? We all know where pleasures lead to, but I tell you, it takes great discipline to forgo pleasure and seek sacrifice.
“Sacrifice doesn’t come with pleasures, it comes with suffering. But at the end it begets betterment.”
— Pacesetter Abbey
What is Sacrifice?
What Exactly is Sacrifice?
Sacrifice doesn’t mean ‘death,’ as men call it, it doesn’t mean loss or pain, sacrifice means “gain.” Theoretically, sacrifice always begins with some shortcomings, but at the end of it all, the reward is far beyond the sacrifice that was made.
“Your latter end shall be greater than the beginning.”
The bible said “give and it shall be given unto you.” “Giving” is a form of sacrifice. Remember, “God gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” God sacrificing his own Son doesn’t mean the end, but the beginning of a new dawn, because Jesus rose on the third day and we as Christians arose with him. Romans 6:4 says “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” The spiritual laws are universal, just like the natural laws are. For instance, gravity is always the same everywhere, so is “giving.”
An interesting thing about sacrifice is that, its not just for the benefit of ourselves, but to the benefit of others (around us and far from us). One of the reasons we exist is to help save man by using our time and knowledge (i.e sacrificing) for their good. It is the ultimate display of love at the cost of oneself. When Jesus died for our sins, he never asked for anything in return, we should also cultivate the habit of giving without expectancy. I believe that “giving more than we have, is true sacrifice.” What reward is there if you give out of abundance?
Learning to sacrifice is learning how to love. I tell you, unless a man learns how to love his neighbors, enemies, (and God), his/her time on earth will be a waste of precious time, for he/she will not be granted God’s greatest gift to man, “Eternal Life.” 1 Corinthians 13:13 says “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” Love begets Sacrifice, and Sacrifice begets Eternity with Christ.