Tag Archives: Another perspective on ‘If you love me keep my commandments’

It’s like Heaven

I do believe in Heaven and I think it will be lOOO X better than this, but laying in my hammock with the sun on my face and the breeze sometimes caressing, sometimes ruffling, wafting scents of orange blossoms and Jasmine is about as good as it gets here. Spring has come to California, and it is wonderful!

Or is it my perspective?

If you are in a frozen part of the country with no sign of spring in sight it might make you green with envy and groaning.

I think it might have to do with fasting for Joy too. I’m five days into our annual 40 day fast and it has been amazing, despite all attempts to snatch it away.  (Things like turning on my computer just now and a warning pops up that says “the system has crashed and will now terminate”  –what system? I was hoping it was my protective system and not my laptop, so I proceeded, and so far it seems to be ok. My husband got sick three days ago, and is REALLY sick–stay in bed sick (he’s fasting too! 🙂 ) That hasn’t been so pleasant either, but since he wanted me to stay with him instead of going to church, I took my slight disappointment out to the hammock and it was wonderful.)

I also am fasting for loving–especially my husband. An area God has been nudging me about for a few years. I faced in my 20’s and again in my 30’s that I was afraid to get close to people and worked on it, but I’m seeing that there is more work to be done. So off we go.  It was God’s idea, and there’s more…

I was planning to do a Daniel fast which isn’t a big deal since it isn’t much of a stretch from how I eat all the time, but thought I’d add more vegetables. So my husband, whose humor loves to mess with me, says, “I’m going to fast from vegetables!” Then watches for my reaction. He must like my confounded look, and the forlorn “How’s that going to work?”

So the day before the fast begins, I suddenly think, I never asked God what I should fast from. So I ask and get a general sense of approval.

But then an hour or two later (probably in response to something I was thinking) I hear His voice inside my head, “You know, I’d really like you to fast from doubts about yourself and if you are doing what I want you to be doing. I’d like you to have confidence to do your ideas. Your diet is alright, you’ve done well there, I’d rather you’d fast for Joy and Love and from doubt.”

Of course conviction came with it. I always know He’s right, but I felt it in my bones as well. It was a no-brainer, sort of like why didn’t I think of that?

Probably because I was afraid I couldn’t pull it off. Besides I believe my uninvestigated lies. So do you.

But I have to tell you in the last 5 days, I have had such a lifting up, even with all kinds of things going wrong. I’ve lost huge amounts of sleep through no fault of my own–well, the first one was I was eating dark chocolate after dinner–but the rest weren’t. And I’ve still had joy and no doubts sticking. Sure they’ve come, but I’ve used them to get the lies behind them healed. I think the difference is focus, and knowing it’s my Lover’s will.

I’m looking forward to the next month. It promises to be rich. Perhaps this is just another perspective on “If you love me keep My commands.” They are all opportunity to become our true selves. God’s commandments do keep us!

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Perspective Part 2

Is it possible that for all these years Greek scholars have been translating this passage incorrectly: “If you love me keep my commandments”? Is it possible that religion got it wrong?

As a former high school English teacher, I say yes! On two counts: the context and the collective consciousness.

First, the context: Jesus has just said some of his strongest words to Peter, one of his closest friends, “Get behind me Satan!”

Peter and all the disciples are shocked. Peter was simply saying what they all felt and believed. “God won’t let this happen to you!” But Jesus needed them to hear him and understand. He wanted and needed their support. He wants to get them ready for the pain that is coming.

He leaves the topic of his crucifixion and tells them that soon he will be leaving them. They are so sad. They are still hanging onto the idea that he will be crowned king. They don’t understand. They ask lots of questions which he is answering, trying to comfort them and reassure them that everything is unfolding according to plan. So it is highly unlikely that he would throw in a challenge and say, If you love me, keep my commandments.

Especially since his very next words are. “And I will ask my Father and He will send you another comforter.” (emphasis mine) He is still comforting, and if the true translation is, “If you love me, my commands will keep you,” his commands or commandments would be the first comforter.

How do his commands comfort? In much the same way that a child or a dog are comforted by knowing who is in charge. Then they can relax and calm down. They are safe. It’s one of the functions of boundaries. We know what is truth. We know what to believe. We know true north. No more running down blind alleys.

There is security, peace and comfort in knowing the truth about God.

Secondly, the collective consciousness couldn’t have wrapped around “…My commands will keep you.” It made no sense to them. God was a God to serve, as in slaves obey your masters. They had no concept of God’s ways keeping us. Don’t ask me why—the whole Old Testament is full of,  “If you will keep my laws and walk in my ways, none of these curses will fall on you…but you will be my special (favored) people–blessed beyond belief.”*

I can only think it was because they feared God rather than loved Him. They thought He brought the curses. Fear filtered their perspective. It kept them from seeing Him as Love. They had a dualistic picture of God: He was both good and evil.

Many people suffer from that perception of God now: God is scary, demanding, and vengeful. Others see him as ok with anything–He just hopelessly loves.

But the whole of Scripture shows a balanced picture of Almighty God. He isn’t scary but he is all-powerful. He isn’t vengeful, but he does have good boundaries. He isn’t weak, but he loves freedom. He has no evil; he is love, a love strong and wise enough to end evil when every question is answered and everyone has clearly chosen one side or the other. In the end everyone gets what they really want–based on their choices.

*Deuteronomy 7:12-15

For the best picture of  God, go to http://Godhelps.net/God-in-a-Box

 

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