Day 5: Learning Our Basic Tools

The week, we get to work. As with any creative project, the first thing we need to do is get to know our tools and how to use them. We are going to begin with two basic “tools” that we will be applying throughout this whole study: 1) a way to visualize who we are as humans, and 2) a reliable pattern of transformation. We will start with seeking to understand who we are and how we are designed as human beings.

Who Are We and How Were We Designed?

Colossians 1:16-20
…for all things in heaven and on earth were created by Him [Jesus Christ]
—all things, whether visible or invisible,
…all things were created through Him and for Him.

Genesis 1:27
God created humanity in His own image,
in the image of God He created them,
male and female He created them.

The One True God created us humans in His image and likeness. Because we humans have been created based the pattern of our Creator God Himself, by understanding who we are, we gain some insight into who He is and who we relate together. Here is a verse you might memorize and think about throughout the week:

Psalms 139:13-14
You formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am marvelously and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.

Visualizing Our Design

One of the goals that makes this study different from others is that we are not just focusing on learning the Bible and the teachings of Jesus. These things are centrally, vitally important. We are also focused on spiritual formation and growth. This may be a new idea to you. Consider this:

…the greatest need you and I have—the greatest need of collective humanity—is renovation of our heart. That spiritual place within us from which outlook, choices, and actions come has been formed by a world away from God. Now it must be transformed.

[Dallas Willard, Renovation of the Heart, 14]

One of the main goals of MilktoMeat is to help you understand and visualize the process of spiritual formation and transformation that Father-God works in Christ through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in us. Take a look at the following illustration:

The first thing that is important to understand is that we have an outer physical self and an inner spiritual self. That should be obvious. We will primarily be discussing this inner spiritual self – the place where you think, desire, and feel. with that in mind, let’s discuss the diagram. Some of these ideas may be new to you. Don’t worry. We are going to be repeating this illustration discussing it throughout the course of these readings. For today, focus on getting the “big picture.”

The Body. The most obvious part about each of us is the fact that we all have a body. The Scriptures teach us that when the Lord-God created the first man, one part of him was created from the soil of the ground; this is our physical body. In the picture, the body is represented by the brown, outer circle. The physical body is the “vehicle” for our inner spiritual selves. Our bodies allow us to connect with one another and our physical world.

The Mind. The “Spiritual Organ” that is the “gate-keeper,” “manager,” “gardener” of our inner spiritual selves, particularly the Heart. Your mind is the place where you have access to all your thoughts (ideas, images), emotions and desires.

The Heart. The “Spiritual Organ” that produces our life—our thoughts, feelings, desires, etc. We are not talking about your physical heart. But just as your physical heart pumps blood and life through your physical body, all of our spiritual life flows from our hearts. In biblical terms, your Heart is not just the place of your emotions; it is the deep “spring” of your life—the core of your whole being.

Proverbs 4:23
Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life.

Spiritual, Inner Self. We all know there is something happening on the “inside”—This is the spiritual part of us. In our illustration, this is represented by all the colored inner circles. We define this “spiritual self” with the pieces below:

Thoughts. We are guided by our thoughts. We process information from the “outside” in our thoughts. Our thoughts are words, images, sounds, memories, etc. that help us process and make sense of our world. The way we order and organize our thoughts is called logic. Father God wants our thoughts to be shaped by The Truth.

Emotions. We are moved by our emotions. Our emotions are “movements” that take place very deep within us; in fact, they may be closer to our hearts—the core of who we are—more than anything else. Our emotions serve as the “barometer” for our hearts. Our emotions give us clues as to what is going on deep within us. Father God wants our emotions to be shaped by His Goodness.

Desires. We are driven by our desires. Our desires motivate us. We act and think in certain ways because we want to. Our desires are central to who we are and so they are a key part of what makes you a unique individual. Father-God designed our desires to be patterned after His and He wants our desires to be shaped by His Glory.

W—Will. This important part of who you are is the determining factor in your life. Your will gives you the ability to choose.

C—Conscience. We all have a sense of right and wrong. Often this sense does not come to us as a thought, but as more of a feeling—a movement deep with us. Your conscience is shaped by your thoughts and emotions.

P—Passions. There are some desires that drive us deeply. There are some things that we want to do; there are other things that we have to do in order to feel alive and know that we are significant. Are passions give shape to our personalities and so they are unique and different for each person just like all these other components.

Today we want you to study the illustration of our design so that you are familiar with it and can reproduce it. See if you can draw your own version of the circles and think about explaining it to someone else. All of these terms and ideas should be familiar to you. The way we are explaining and relating them may be new to you.

The “tools” that we are introducing in this session give us a framework for understanding some basic realities of life. These tools are helpful in becoming more AWARE of reality. Cultivating a sense of Awareness is the first stage spiritual growth.

Key Growth Stage
Becoming AWARE. All that we experience in life is built on the basic attitude and mindset of being aware of what is really going on around and within us.

*If you would like to see an overview of the 7 Growth Stages CLICK HERE.

That is all for today. Tomorrow, we will talk more about our “Divine Design” as humans.

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