How Shall We Now Live, 4: Carpe Logos (Redux+)

How Shall We Now Live, 1: Lift Him Up and They Will Come (poem)

How Shall We Now Live, 2: Choose This Day (5 verses and a chorus)

How Shall We Now Live, 3: Knowing Our Season

How Shall We Now Live, 5: Prophets, Prophets, Everywhere (How to Discern Which Ones are Real)

How Shall We Now Live, 6: Keep the End in Mind (and be encouraged) Redux | pnissila

Phyllis Beveridge Nissila

Introduction, May 2021

Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. (Matthew 24:35)

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

For this next addition to the series, I’m pulling forward a post from May, 2016, that was first updated in August, 2019. The theme(s) centered on the power of words, God’s words, to be specific, shared with us.

So today’s contribution is once again on that timeless and potent gift of God’s words–never more timely–as written, evidenced in creation, and most significantly of all, as manifest (in a man) in Jesus Christ, Who “spoke” by way of His sacrifice for our sins which is God’s will for all who so choose, as expressed here:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16) 

In short, God’s Words are the tools of His power and His love for us–and what always, inevitably, forever, did, does, and will overpower our real enemy’s words, as expressed also in his “creation,” that is to say, if it were a word itself, “de-creation” aka destruction.

As I reviewed the following older post (even more significant now, considering all that has happened the past five years that has served evil and its minions), I decided to offer it again, below.-PBN

Introduction, August 2018

From my “spiritual survival”  and “letters to the remnant” series’, I offer yet another post from the past, this one on the most potent weapon a Christian possesses: the Word of God. After all, Jesus used it to perfection in resisting His adversary at the close of His desert retreat.

Words are powerful.

Our words, “their” words, and especially His Word–after all it was the power that powered the world…”In the beginning…”

Be reminded, encouraged, comforted, inspired, and emboldened today and in the days to come.

God knows we [continue to] need all of the above.

Letters to The Remnant, 10: Carpe LOGOS (Seize the WORD!)

Originally posted on May 28, 2016

I woke up this morning with just a hint of dread. Nothing major or pending. More like spotting a fly in the ointment, sensing a slight headache, hearing the faint rumble of a distant thunder on a sunny afternoon.

Just enough vague, soft angst to smudge some shine off a new day.

Soft angst?

Count me lucky, right (?!), when there’s enough real trouble looming: enough trending doom and trauma-inducing  headlines that spell Economies Collapsing, Terror Spreading, and Yet Another Anti-Hate Group Hating. [Update 2021: count me way past THAT Kansas in the Brave New Dystopia of THIS year!]

But back to the angst—more importantly, to the antidote.

Whether what troubles the day is minor or major, implied or imminent, physical or metaphysical, people born of the Spirit of God have the antidote: the living, breathing, powerful, gob-smacking, devil-defeating power of the Word of God.

Yes.

“That Book”.

The one that is generally the first tome to be tossed on the burn pile when despots decree it, usually as soon as the propaganda du jour has sufficiently frozen reason, cauterized critical thinking, and numbed the minds of the masses even as other “religious books” are allowed…touted, even…ironically…

Yes, there is real power in the Word of God [1] spoken, prayed, believed, and judiciously applied.

And when people born of the Spirit of God finally comprehend this, Things Change. Or they CAN change.

You see, there is much warring against believers, starting from our own camp. Much to suppress the power…

WHAT WARS AGAINST US

I was raised under the heavy influence of the Roman Catholic Magistrates who had us little Catholic school kids (and our parents) convinced that the parsing of Divine instruction was not for the “layman,” certainly not for women and children. It was/is meant only for those at the helm of the hierarchy of spiritual privilege with the pope ensconced atop all as the “Vicar (Latin Vicarius Christi) of Christ” [2] ratcheting down to the least of these, as it were. Those of us on the bottom rung knew our place; do whatever they tell you, we were led to believe, and you will be okay with God.

The Bible? That great, big, fancy book on the lectern in front of the church by the altar? Up to the priest to tell you what it means! Period. Don’t you be thinking you can understand it all by yourself. There was some vaguery about it being some category of sin, too, as I recall, should we attempt to do so [3].

But even after I became a Christian in my early twenties and began my, now, over forty –year study of the Scriptures, reference tools in hand, I have come to realize there are plenty of impediments to comprehending the power of the Word of God instilled in other “faith traditions,” as well. Plenty of distractions to keep us “in our place” here, there, and everywhere.

History is replete with heresies, disputes, reformers, counter-reformers, and neo-heretical-reformer-counter-reformers that can set the mind in a spin.

Spin—ah, yes, quite a useful tool in another sense, too, as in the “spin” that slants truth to manipulate the hearer [4].

For example, use it to get the people’s heads out of the clarity of, well, truth (for, what IS truth? WHO is truth? Is YOUR truth greater than MY truth? How can you say that ONE truth is better than another?) and into a headache of semantic entanglement, and, at least for a while, you can get them warring amongst themselves which buys ”you,” as in the Devil, the despot, or some self-appointed diviner, time to further your plans, set more traps…do ANYTHING to keep the people away…

Speaking of the Devil, it is he, of course, who is at the bottom (as in the pit, the abyss, the fiery depths) of all of the mayhem that would bind and blind us to what power lies in the spoken Word of God. Not the fictional fiend with horns, pitchfork and tail but the cunning, beautiful one who knows how to spin his deceitful web with exceeding craft.

Because he knows there’s real power in the Word of God.

WHAT WE REALLY WAR AGAINST

I believe our true enemy is best described, here:

”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” (Ephesians 6:12).

He who is Satan, Beelzebub, the anti-hero of a thousand faces and in a thousand places–who would, if he could, supplant God, Almighty. And who does, because he can, influence the mind and heart of mankind to do his bidding…

But enough about him.

THE WEAPON

I’ll leave it to the physicists to pull the power of the spoken Word down from the ethereal(another good spin tactic—the Bible is just all metaphor and myth) to the real, i.e., to unpack what happens in time and space when particle energy forms (you and me) speak wave energy forms (the sounds of the spoken word [5, 6]) especially when those words are as powerful as, well, the Original Words by the Creator of same. Consider:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made…” (John 1:1-3).

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).

“Heaven and earth will pass away but my words will never pass away” (Luke 21:33).

FIELD GUIDE

But, so, you wake up with a small headache or the WORLD wakes up with a BIG headache, how does this repeating God’s Word thing work? Is it some magic, New Agey, speak-reality-into existence chant, or some cultic, “name it and claim it” mechanism?

When in doubt, I’ve learned to do what Jesus did: reply to what our real enemy is laying on us with, well, the weaponized Word–the kind that makes Satan turn tail and vamoose.

Here’s how Jesus proceeded, as chronicled in Matthew 4:1-11:

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’

Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6“If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:

“He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.”

Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’

11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

Satan, as illustrated, was defeated by the words emanating from Jesus, and he is defeated by the very same Word available to believers today.

THE BATTLE PLAN

Discouraged? Ill? Worried?

Get into the Word of God.

Study it, sing it, pray it, repeat it, meditate on it.

Shout it from the rooftops, if necessary.

In short, carpe logos and put the (real) enemy on the run.

BONUS!

Here is an explanation physics nerds will especially enjoy: “The Physics of Heaven: Exploring the Mysteries of God in Sound, Light, Energy, Vibrations, and Quantum Physics”–Chapter 8: The God Vibration

~~~~~

[1] “Logos (UK /ˈloʊɡɒs//ˈlɒɡɒs/, or US /ˈloʊɡoʊs/Greekλόγος, from λέγω lego “I say”) is an important term in western philosophypsychologyrhetoric, and religion. It is a Greek word meaning “a ground”, “a plea”, “an opinion”, “an expectation”, “word”, “speech”, “account”, “to reason” […]The Gospel of John identifies the Logos, through which all things are made, as divine (theos), and further identifies Jesus Christ as the incarnate Logos.”  (Emphasis, mine.) : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logos

[2] http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15403b.htm

[3] http://www.followthissite.com/list-of-sins.php

[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spin_%28propaganda%29

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