We don’t belong to ourselves.
The sayings of our mouth and the meditation of our heart.
Ps 19:14 – Let the sayings of my mouth, And the meditation of my heart, Be for a pleasing thing before Thee, O Jehovah, my rock, and my redeemer! (YLT)
What do the sayings of your mouth and the meditation of your heart reveal about who you think you are? Are they in agreement with the sayings of the Lord God’s mouth and the meditation of his heart?
Read the words of Scripture slowly and reflectively. Let them settle deep in your soul and take root.
Everything is permitted. Not everything is helpful.
1 Cor 6:12-20 – You say, “For me, everything is permitted”? Maybe, but not everything is helpful. “For me, everything is permitted”? Maybe, but as far as I am concerned, I am not going to let anything gain control over me. “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”? Maybe, but God will put an end to both of them. Anyhow, the body is not meant for sexual immorality [idolatry] but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body. God raised up the Lord, and he will raise us up too by his power.
Don’t you know that your bodies are parts of the Messiah? So, am I to take parts of the Messiah and make them parts of a prostitute [an idolater]? Heaven forbid! Don’t you know that a man who joins himself to a prostitute [an idolator] becomes physically one with her? For [as it is written], “The two will become one flesh”; but the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit. Run from sexual immorality [idolatry]! Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the fornicator [idolater] sins against his own body. Or don’t you know that your body is a temple for the Ruach HaKodesh [Holy Spirit] who lives inside you, whom you received from God? The fact is, you don’t belong to yourselves; for you were bought at a price. So use your bodies to glorify God. (CJB)
What words or thoughts have caught your attention? Why?
You say, “For me…” Do these words indicate a pulling away, separating ourselves from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord?
Who are we?
Based on this text, how do you describe who you are as an individual, and who we are collectively, the body, parts of the Messiah? Do you find yourself automatically denying that you have had relations with an idolater? Do you think the Lord God might know something about you that you don’t?
To whom are we joined? Are we carefully guarding our affections?
Joined: To glue; (passively or reflexively) to stick; keep company.1
Passively: influenced or acted upon without exerting influence or acting in return. Offering no opposition or resistance.2
Reflexively: a grammatical relation in which a verb’s subject and an object in the sentence refer to the same person (Ex. Gary hurt himself).2
In what ways, and by whom, are we influenced and acted upon but offer no opposition or resistance? With whom or what do we mindlessly keep company and stick to, though there is no benefit for us and perhaps a great deal of harm, though we might be unaware?
What is the difference between being joined to an idolater to become one flesh and being joined to the Lord as one spirit?
Flesh: the body as opposed to the soul or spirit, as the symbol of what is external, or human nature with its frailties.3
Spirit: a current of air, breath; the rational soul; vital principle, mental disposition.4
Read the text again. Chew upon the words. Turn them over and over in your mind. Ask the Lord God what he wants you to receive from them and how he wants you to respond to them.
Do you know who you are joined to? Have you thought about it? How do we make the body part of a prostitute, an idolater?
Jer 2:17-22 – Have you not brought this upon yourself by forsaking the Lord your God, when he led you in the way? And now what do you gain by going to Egypt to drink the waters of the Nile? Or what do you gain by going to Assyria to drink the waters of the Euphrates? Your evil will chastise you, and your apostasy will reprove you. Know and see that it is evil and bitter for you to forsake the Lord your God; the fear of me is not in you, declares the Lord God of hosts. “For long ago I broke your yoke and burst your bonds; but you said, ‘I will not serve.’ yes, on every high hill and under every green tree you bowed down like a whore. Yet I planted you a choice vine, wholly of pure seed. How then have you turned degenerate and become a wild vine? Though you wash yourself with lye and use much soap, the stain of your guilt is still before me, declares the Lord God. (ESV)
In what ways have you forsaken the Lord your God? To whom do you turn instead, hoping to have your needs and wants met?
Are you experiencing trouble and fear and confusion and longing for something more because you have forsaken the Lord your God?
Are you realizing there is absolutely nothing you can do to remove the guilt and consequences of forsaking the Lord your God?
Finding our way back to unity.
David, psalmist, shepherd, king of Israel, guides us in finding our way back to unity with the Lord our God, back to fearing [revering] his name.
Ps 86:11 – Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name. (ESV)
Ps 86:11 – Adonai [LORD], teach me your way, so that I can live by your truth; make me single-hearted, so that I can fear your name. (CJB)
Ps 86:11 – Train me, God, to walk straight; then I’ll follow your true path. Put me together, one heart and mind; then, undivided, I’ll worship in joyful fear. (MSG)
Will you ask the Lord God to teach and train you? Will you ask him and then wait for him to work this union with you?
This is not just about you and me as individuals. It is not simply about our personal relationship with the Lord God. It is about our collective union, our community and our national relationship with the Lord God. The entire human race together and our relationship with the Lord God. We, collectively, are the body of Christ. We, collectively, need the Lord God to put us together, one heart and mind. Then united, we will worship the Lord our God in joyful fear.
Unite: to be or become one; join.5
“The fear of me is not in you,” declares the Lord God of hosts.
What is the fear of the Lord?
Job 28:28 – And he said to man, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.'” (ESV)
How do we get wisdom?
Prov 4:4-5 – he taught me and said to me, “Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live. Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth. (ESV)
Let your heart hold fast my words
Do not turn away from the words of my mouth.
Do not forget
Keep my commandments and live.
Keep: to hedge about as with thorns, guard, protect, attend to.6
Read the texts again. What thoughts and questions and emotions arise?
Does a word satisfy? Encourage? Convict? Prod? Instruct? Empower? Give hope?
What do we need to guard our hearts, our affections, our minds against?
2 Cor 11:3 – But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. (ESV)
1 Cor 10:21 – You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. (ESV)
Who are we? Do we determine who we are? Or has the Lord God already done that for us? Is our life purpose not to determine who we are but rather to discover who we are, individually and collectively, according to the Word and Spirit [breath] of the Lord God?
The fact is we don’t belong to ourselves.
Are we perhaps too wrapped up in our own bodies of flesh rather than the body of the Messiah, of whom our bodies are part?
The body is meant for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body. God raised up the Lord, and he will raise us up too by his power.
Read the texts again, setting aside your own thoughts, perceptions, judgments, your own agenda to allow response to the words of the Lord God to rise from your inner depths. What do you discover?
But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand. (Job 32:8 ESV)
Become aware of your breath. The breath of the Almighty in you.
Breath by breath. Become conscious of the presence of the Almighty in you. Surrender to the influence of the breath of the Almighty.
You must rely on the breath of the Almighty, the Spirit of God who lives inside you, to make you understand his words.
With your inhalation draw the words of the Lord God deep within you.
With your exhalation empty yourself of all your own ideas, plans, thoughts, imaginations and words to make room for the words of God to take possession. Open yourself completely to what the Lord God wants to reveal to you about yourself and about him and about his body.
[We] The body is meant for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body [Us].
Body: the body as a sound whole, slave; to save, deliver or protect; heal, preserve, do well, be (make) whole.7
Inhale: (draw the words of the Lord God deep within you)
[We] The body is meant for the Lord,
Exhale. (empty yourself of self to allow the words of God to take possession)
…and the Lord is for the body [Us].
Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.
Wait, watch, listen, be still, be willing for the Lord God to transform you from within, revealing who you really are, as you turn toward his words, as your heart holds fast his words, protecting them, attending to them. Strive and reach for the goal, alive to the energy that he powerfully works in you as you rest, completely dependent upon him to reach the goal, united with the Messiah, personally and collectively.
Breathe the Lord God’s words all day every day.
2 Peter 3:18 – But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (ESV)
Resources/For deeper study:
1Joined: NT:2853 <START GREEK>kolla/w<END GREEK> kollao (kol-lah’-o); from kolla (“glue”); to glue, i.e. (passively or reflexively) to stick (figuratively): KJV – cleave, join (self), keep company. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)
3Flesh: NT:4561 <START GREEK>sa/rc<END GREEK> sarx (sarx); probably from the base of NT:4563; flesh (as stripped of the skin), i.e. (strictly) the meat of an animal (as food), or (by extension) the body (as opposed to the soul [or spirit], or as the symbol of what is external, or as the means of kindred), or (by implication) human nature (with its frailties [physically or morally] and passions), or (specifically) a human being (as such): KJV – carnal (-ly, -ly minded), flesh ([-ly]). (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)
4Spirit: NT:4151 <START GREEK>pneu=ma<END GREEK> pneuma (pnyoo’-mah); from NT:4154; a current of air, i.e. breath (blast) or a breeze; by analogy or figuratively, a spirit, i.e. (human) the rational soul, (by implication) vital principle, mental disposition, etc., or (superhuman) an angel, demon, or (divine) God, Christ’s spirit, the Holy Spirit: KJV – ghost, life, spirit (-ual, -ually), mind. Compare NT:5590. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)
5Unite: OT:3161 <START HEBREW>dj^y*<END HEBREW> yachad (yaw-khad’); a primitive root; to be (or become) one: KJV – join, unite. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)
6Keep: OT:8104 <START HEBREW>rm^v*<END HEBREW> shamar (shaw-mar’); a primitive root; properly, to hedge about (as with thorns), i.e. guard; generally, to protect, attend to, etc.: KJV – beward, be circumspect, take heed (toself), keep (-erself,), mark, look narrowly, observe, preserve, regard, reserve, save (self), sure, (that lay) wait (for), watch (-man). (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)
7Body: NT:4983 <START GREEK>sw=ma<END GREEK> soma (so’-mah); from NT:4982; the body (as a sound whole), used in a very wide application, literally or figuratively: KJV – bodily, body, slave.
NT:4982 <START GREEK>sw/zw<END GREEK> sozo (sode’-zo); from a primary sos (contraction for obsolete saoz, “safe”); to save, i.e. deliver or protect (literally or figuratively): KJV – heal, preserve, save (self), do well, be (make) whole. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)