Chapter One Thoughts
Besides my daily Bible reading, I love to read and re-read a book called "Life On The Highest Plane" by Ruth Paxson through Moody Institute, and once in a while I would like to share my thoughts here with you from the chapters in that book. Maybe you would like to get your own copy and read along with me...
Life On The Highest Plane: Chapter 1 Thoughts
I love how this book starts out with the idea that “The Bible is God’s studio in which will be found the picture of each of His created beings.”, and then asks the question, “Do you wish to see your photograph?”
The thought of truly knowing what the God of the universe sees and thinks when He looks at little, tiny me is intriguing, but somehow extremely scary as well.
He knows everything! There is nothing hidden… Like the woman at the well when she carries on what she believes to be an everyday normal conversation with another human being (with the exception that He is a Jew and she is a Samaritan), she learns quickly that He knows all things about her – nothing is hidden. Wow! She must have been overwhelmed and relieved all at the same time to hear her deepest secrets spoken out loud by another!
Three Classifications of Man
Then all of mankind is divided into three classifications, and of course this sparks my curiosity as well. How many times in the past nineteen years I have pondered the question, “What exactly is a carnal Christian?” and, “Is that even possible?”, “Is that true salvation?”, and so on. Yet, Paul clearly points out that we as Christians can live in this manner. Sigh…
Still there is the flip side, the higher plane – that’s where I so desperately want to live, just tell me how to get there and I’ll do it… Oh, there’s only one Way, you say?… (Please excuse my ramblings, I somehow amuse myself in this manner)
My most favorite part of Chapter One is the breakdown by Scripture of what the “Natural Man” is truly like. This part of “Life On The Highest Plane” has helped me not only see the true depravity of my personal state of the first thirty years of my life – before God drew me to His Son, Jesus Christ – but has also helped me when I am having a conversation with one of my family members who have not placed their faith in Jesus Christ. Their lack of reverence or fear of God is now understood more clearly, and my frustration can be set aside while compassion quickly takes its place.
My note in the margin from the first time I read this book says, “Remembering what I was like before Jesus and studying the “Natural Man”, helps me understand the attitude of those in my life who do not love God. It causes me to pray more sincerely for them.”
Also, I do believe that it is so important to remember what God has saved me from and how much I LOVED Him when He did so. I must never forget my first LOVE for Christ and keep calling myself back to it, nor should I ever forget who I was, and what black, black darkness He has brought me out of.
It seems easy to slip into a subtle belief that I have always lived in His Glorious Light – but not so!
The Spiritual Man & The Carnal Man
In regards to my thoughts on the “Spiritual Man” and the “Carnal Man” – this being my third time of reading through this book, my notes in the margins are interesting to read. On page 19, second and third paragraph, I wrote, “This explains to me why some Christians still participate in certain practices while others no longer do so.” – As a fairly new Christian, I always thought it strange to walk out the front doors of our church and find people smoking near the “church-provided” ashtrays…
As I read about the “Carnal Man” again, my thoughts were: “This is the moment in this book where I have to remember the best is yet to come. Like the sinner needs to see himself as a sinner before he realizes he needs a Savior, so the “Carnal Man” has to see his “baby” state before he can begin to mature in Christ.
So, now I can see how viewing myself as God sees me is not so scary. After all, it can only result in my steady maturing – but still there is some reservation of seeing the “real” me, that “deep down in my soul” me. It’s like the first time I stared intently into my own eyes in the mirror. There was something in me that didn’t want to look, I wanted to run away – it was very strange!
Now, I smile every time I catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror or in a window. My kids laugh at me. It’s Jesus in me that makes me do it!
On December 16, 2010, I wrote in the margin of the “Carnal Man”, “O Lord, I see myself as still carnal, yet know Your work is not finished. I want so desperately to know the deep things of You – to willingly yield myself unreservedly to the Lord Jesus Christ – to believe the appropriating of Christ in my life with all His graces and gifts!
I believe Lord, I believe – please let it be so! – I truly want Jesus to be Lord of my whole life – holding nothing back!
More And More By The Spirit
On February 6, 2011, I wrote, “God has already greatly answered this prayer! As I read this again, I feel every bit of it more true of me than ever before! Hallelujah, I have believed! I am surrendering to Jesus more and more – I am living by the Spirit and not by my flesh more and more! Hallelujah! Thank You Father for doing this in me! Please don’t stop until Christ returns.
Today, April 23, 2014, as I read this for a third time, my thoughts are reflecting on how God has drawn me from the “Natural Man” to His Glorious Son, Jesus Christ, and then steadily moved me from “Carnality” as a Christian to “Spirituality” – walking by the Spirit and not in my flesh.
The fact that Jesus has died to forgive me of my sins and also give me power over sin is very real to me! I depend daily on this power over sin! Yes, there are still periodic moments that I grieve the Holy Spirit and myself by choosing to obey my fleshly desires – but O how I truly hate these moments and quickly repent of them! I am delighted to say these are no longer the norm. My minute by minute desire is to walk with my Lord at the guidance of His Faithful Holy Spirit – I want so desperately to please my God alone.
Please don’t stop the work You have begun in me Father – I am prone to wonder so far from You, to walk by the leading of my flesh and not of Your Holy Spirit, to lean on my own understanding… – keep me at Your side, don’t let me go! Keep me in Your strong grip Jesus, I so desperately need You! You are my Everything!
What a wonderful book! I highly recommend it to be read by all who desire a closer walk with their Lord and Savior.
"Jesus saith unto him,
I am the Way, the Truth and the Life:
No man cometh unto the Father, but by Me."