Can’t Get a Permit for a Moat
I bought some elephant tur…”concrete buttons” today. These are the round concrete domes people put on their lawns to discourage drivers from using the grass as a highway. For a long time, the only name I knew for these objects referred to elephant droppings, and then I heard “berm,” and now I find that the people who sell them call them “concrete buttons,” so I am relieved to know the generally accepted term.
Some character who drives in this area early in the morning–almost certainly a newspaper delivery person–has been deliberately running over and moving my only elephant…my only concrete button. The yard is getting pretty torn up. This seems like a poor way to stimulate newspaper sales. He’s in for a surprise.
I considered getting buttons with holes in the middle and hammering rebar into the ground through them, with a little bit sticking up from the top of the buttons. This would make the buttons immovable and hole tires pretty quickly. But the object is not to cause damage. It’s to discourage idiocy. If the perpetrator doesn’t see the rebar, he’ll hit it, and then the deterrent will have failed. After that, there will be no hope of peace or change, and the newspaper guy and I will be like Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam.
It’s wonderful having a truck. In the past I would have had to borrow my dad’s ancient SUV and put the buttons in the back, making a mess. Today I backed the Death Star up to a gate, and a forklift pulled up and held the entire box of buttons over the truck bed while a guy unloaded them for me. Nice.
I spend time in prayer and study early every morning, and today I thought about the first psalm. It says we are to “meditate on the law day and night.” My assumption has been that as a Spirit-filled believer, I was to interpret this as an instruction to pray in the Spirit during the day. There are strong hints about this, which I am too lazy to repeat now. We believe the law, handed down at the first Shavuot, has been supplemented and to some extent superseded by the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which was handed down at Pentecost (Greek name for Shavuot) after the crucifixion.
I think I missed part of the picture. The great thing about the post-Pentecost era is that we get to mingle our strength with the unlimited power of the Spirit, and while the latter is unquestionably the big-ticket item, the former is important. So I think it’s important for Christians to meditate on (which means “repeat internally”) the scriptures during the day, especially during time that is otherwise idle. I have a rule, which I observe poorly: never wait. When you find yourself delayed for some reason, find something useful to do. This fills that time very productively.
Because God is a thoughtful planner, I am fairly well prepared for this. For a long time, I’ve been memorizing psalms. I keep losing bits of them, but I have a pretty substantial mental library built up. The psalms are no joke. Jesus and the Apostles used them all the time, as did Satan when he tempted Jesus. They have power. Memorized scripture is the sword of the Spirit. It’s a weapon. It worked for Jesus. So it’s not like I’m just armed with meaningless poetry.
I’ve been making an effort to think on memorized psalms when my time is free, and it’s wonderful. It brings peace, and it reminds me of the power that is at work on my behalf. Very nice. It also helps me not to forget the things I’ve memorized. I recommend it. I’m not suggesting you have to do this in order to be a good Christian, but it appears to work.
I can never remember to do anything I purpose to do, so I asked for grace to be able to make myself do this, and so far, it’s working. I feel much better and more inclined to trust God. If you try this, or if you do it already, let me know what you think.
I learned something yesterday. I love watching Robert Morris, because I think God is telling him fantastic stuff about Spirit-filled living, but I think he may be wrong about something. He says he believes the Holy Spirit “owns” the spiritual gifts, and that any believer can exercise any gift. I’m sure this is true, to the extent that God can do whatever he wants with any believer (or with donkey or a rock or a stick) at any time, but I think we are wrong to believe that generally, the gifts are universal. Robert Morris seems to teach that if you have one gift, you have them all, all the time.
I thought he was right, simply because so much of the rest of his teaching was right on target, but I now think he’s wrong.
Here’s a bit from 1 Corinthians 12:
Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.
Here is more:
Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
You can look at the first passage and say that it doesn’t expressly rule out the Morris interpretation. The fact that God gives different gifts to different believers at various times doesn’t mean those believers can’t operate in all of the other gifts at other times. But why would Paul write the second passage, if different believers did not have different gifts, generally? There would be no reason to write the passage. Why would one believer think himself better or worse than another, with regard to the gifts, if he had exactly what everyone else had?
If you read 1 Corinthians, you will see more evidence that his interpretation is shaky. I am too lazy to quote all of it.
Not a big deal, but worth noting.Stumble it! Save This Page