Further Thoughts on Temptation: Mike and John exhange further thoughts

In reply to the post Thoughts on Temptation, Mike wrote the following beautiful comment:

Michael Pokocky’s said:

My heart beats differently each breath I take.
And in each breath there is either thought or creation.
When aligned with the love of God our breath becomes the source of our creative power to over come all temptation.
For in that breath is God’s voice the only voice that we should be listening to.
Satan comes into our breath through thought because he is incapable of being the breath of God itself.
Through thought, the sub human illusion that our thoughts are ours, Satan speaks and we listen unfortunately.
And it is in thought that we become dysfunctional on every level.
Better to leave thought well enough alone and hug a tree for the tree will say nothing to confuse you and it is part of the universal essence of God in everything.

Nice discourse on temptation John, and I thoroughly am enjoying participating along with you on your journey of discovery.


Part of this email response was transformed into a beautiful blog post at Michael’s Redroom blog on 25 January 2010. Check out the post including picture here http://www.redroom.com/blog/michaelwpokocky/journal-entry-250110-michael-pokocky

My reply

Hi Mike,

I am so happy that you are there journeying along with me, discovering every day. You sure have a way with words my friend.

I think that both God and Satan are able to give us great creative powers, great inspiration. In the end it is what we think when and after we created. It is all in all pretty simple: we create because He created.

8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—
9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
(Ephesians 2: 8-10)

I guess we can both safely admit that while we have been using our gifts, have been responding to our inspirations, have been creating, it has been all too easy to let our thoughts and emotions wander off towards pride instead of gratitude. And the more I see of the world around me the more it seems that that is the norm. I guess when you were speaking of a vertigo coming up many years ago that is exactly where you end up seeing how our giving in to temptations has led to the shit the world is in. Look at all the serious problems the world is facing and most of them can be brought back to our own involvement therein as flawed humans: pride, greed, lust for power, to name just a few have lead to nothing but trouble, depleted natural resources, economic collapses, water shortages, pollution, crime, corruption and well the list goes on. All the progress in the world did not lead to a substantial improvement in the basic human condition: on an individual level as well a a collective level. We know because we have been there and I think it is fair to say because we still end up there every now and then, but we get better and better at not falling for that trap.

Through thought, the sub human illusion that our thoughts are ours, Satan speaks and we listen unfortunately.

And it is in thought that we become dysfunctional on every level.

Satan appeals to our human weaknesses, our “desires of the flesh” and that is where we start making mistakes if we are not alert to that. What makes things even more complicated is that from a human perspective it may not appear at all that we are in fact “dysfunctional on every level.” In secular terms we may well be highly successful, fitting right in or be highly functional. It is when you are completely honest with yourself and God that you will need to admit that you may well have fallen for those temptations and sinned in biblical terms. And like so many you find yourself to be all filled with yourself, a self-promoter, self-centered as if anything incredible you did was actually you. Place that in a world where this is the norm and it may easily take you years and years to find this out. No matter how you look at it, you are faced with a world and will inevitably relate to a world around us in which we take part. No matter what your calling is you will end up in an environment in which you have to deal with ideas and ideals that are steeped with selfishness and greed, where you will inevitably work alongside and relate to people with lifestyles and thought patterns that are not biblical, a primarily fallen world. Humbleness and gratitude does not seem to be part of the normal human condition any longer. Self-centered and self-serving  thinking and acting appears to be the norm.

I think it is impossible “to leave thought well enough alone.” In fact I don’t think there is a biblical command that we should, for our own good stop thinking. However, and I can only speak for myself here, with rebirth, a transformation in thinking takes place. One in which love becomes the central element providing us new insights and wisdom under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We were not created with a mind for nothing. In my opinion God wants us to use it as fully as we are able to but IN THE RIGHT KIND OF WAY, in a biblical sense. Would it not make a lot of difference if at all times we try to view things from His perspective as well? That would infer allowing yourself to have the mind of Christ instead of conforming to the prevalent worldview because that is easier.

13 For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live,
14 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.
(Romans 8: 13-16)

To be secular, or better yet ‘of the flesh’-minded as  I understand this quote actually means being death, but to be spiritually minded means life and peace. Rick Warren refers to this by speaking of a difference between existing and living.  A rock exists but is not living.

“…hug a tree for the tree will say nothing to confuse you and it is part of the universal essence of God in everything.”

In could not have said it more beautiful. Perhaps in reply Philippians 4:8:

8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Thanks again Mike, you are turning out to be a fantastic travel mate. I keep on thinking about all those times we talked about walking the road to Santiago the Compostella or another pilgrimage path together. In a symbolic sense it seems like we are actually doing that. I don’t know about you but I am thoroughly enjoying the company on this journey. I guess this is a fitting image to close off: Christ and two pilgrims on the road to Emmaus by Jan van Amstel (based on the story in Luke 24:13-35).

Source: Milwaukee Art Museum

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