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June 19, 2011
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Unlike animals, man is made of two components. One which is entirely natural flesh and bone, constrained by the laws of physics and the other is the breath of God which is spirit entirely unconstrained by the laws of physics in any way.
From the flesh and bone component comes all the feeling that animals share with us. Anger, Hunger, Playfulness, Loyalty, Joy, Jealously, Contentedness, Selfishness, Intellect, among others. We like to reserve some of these things to the spirit, like joy, intellect, loyalty, but dogs often express true loyalty. Goats express true intellect when they figure out how to unlatch the gate which confines them. Animals often express true joy and contentedness.
From spirit comes something far greater. From the spirit comes Faith, Trust and Love of our God. Only from trust in our God can these things come. Trust in God Whom we have never seen nor have never experienced, requires the spirit.
When a dog sees raw meat which he knows his master forbids him, because the dog remembers begin punished for a previous indiscretion, the dog will still often desire to steal the meat. Though the dog many times happily retrieved for his master a bird shot out of the sky, none the less, at this moment, the biology of the dog's brain is set on eating the master's meat and hiding his actions. It is the same with the flesh and bone biology of man who often also does what he knows he should not do.
These actions are products of the flesh. They are biological, natural, constrained by the laws of physics. Once a man's biological brain sets out to accomplish some deed, nothing can change that action, except the chemistry of his brain changes also to reflect the redirection. If the chemistry does not change, the action will not change. The actions of a man change only when his brain chemistry changes in reaction to changing circumstances all according to the laws of physics as the apply to his brain chemistry.
A spirit residing within flesh and bone, can object to some desire of the flesh, but the objection of a spirit is spirit with out substance. If the objection were instead substance, if it were instead a product of the brain chemistry, it would be a product of the flesh. This occurs. Through years of training, a man's biology can be trained to conform to any code of behavior. In this way a flesh and bone man can imitate spiritual behavior, but will still often follow the desires of the flesh as any dog will steal his master's meat when he has the opportunity.
A spirit which objects can not change the actions of the flesh and bone without changing the chemistry. Changing chemistry in some way which the physical laws of chemistry do not allow is a miracle. When a man's flesh and bone, his biological brain chemistry sets out to take one action and the man's spirit does not consent, a strong spirit must alter the man's brain chemistry in ways which the laws of chemistry do not allow. If the man's flesh desires a thing, for that man to do anything else is not possible by the natural laws of physics.
A strong spirit learns to alter the laws of chemistry, to manipulate the physical world. And God has given us a child's learning toy just for that purpose. Fasting is a readily accessible tool from which our spirit can easily learn to alter the desires of the flesh. During a fast, brain chemistry repeatedly demands to eat. The spirit learns how to control the desires of the flesh by resisting this biological desire of the flesh. In the same way an infant learns to manipulate the world around him by learning to control his fingers to grasp a toy and move it from one place to another with his hands.
An infant must learn how to manipulate the world around him, just as our young spirit must do the same thing.
Be careful to not fast for appearance sake. Do not fast because it is the thing to do. This is teaching your flesh to conform to a code of behavior. Fasting then becomes merely a product of biology, like an obedient dog. And the tool which God gave you becomes useless. You no longer have the benefit of fasting. Your only benefit is what you gain by others seeing you fast and your spirit must find another way to learn.
Instead embrace the flesh desire to eat and then forbid it. Don't focus on others who are fasting or let them know you are fasting. Simply focus on that desire of the flesh and learn to change your brain chemistry to alter your body's actions.
Your flesh and bone intellect will never understand how your spirit learns to do this miracle, manipulating the laws of physics. Your brain and its intellectual products are constrained by the laws of physics and can not understand how a miracle is performed, but your spirit knows and learns and grows.
Only when you are spiritually mature, trust God, give no place for fear, only then does your spirit learn how to change the laws of physics. The laws of physics don't apply only to the chemicals within your brain. Once a spirit does learn to manipulate the laws of physics, you can "say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you."