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Living Above our Instincts!
...by personal Self-denial, and by Praise/Adoration in personal worship...
In the beginning,
when God designed humanity to be His image toward all, human empathy was an essential part of human understanding of its own natural environment. So, when the Bible describes this creation of Adam as –
"...the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground
and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature
"
of having in common with –
"Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kindsó
livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds
"
it is describing the common basis of life on this planet.


Genesis 2:7.

Genesis 1:24.
 
Animals do not age and die because they sinned, but human beings do. That is because part of God's original design for all biological life from which humanity then had a special exemption from aging and death through the unique non-replicating Tree of Life, because humanity was to represent God's own nature/attitude/character/behaviour toward all His creation.
 
So their later expulsion from the garden of their training in Eden because they chose to obey their instinct rather than God, was not punishment
but simply to end that very special exemption (Genesis 3:24).
Thus, to reflect
the Creator's own attitude, which the Bible teaches us is LOVE, humanity had needed help from the beginning, in understanding its mission of projecting God's compassionate care toward all life, and therefore it was given a common basis, which includes unconscious reactions/feelings toward its environment, which we today call instincts, as is mirrored in our feelings.
 
 
So, as is fairly evident in the world around us, the instinct toward self-preservation (survival) is a general phenomenon.
 
However, humanity was designed to be much more than a bundle of instincts.
Instinctual reactions and feelings are simply the bridge to help us communicate what we were designed to be – the "image" of the Creator toward all.
Sadly,
when the first human couple chose to follow their eating-instinct rather than their Creator, this natural instinct toward self-preservation, shared by all of life, became twisted within them into what we would today call selfishness.
 
 
Therefore, all children naturally put self first in general (possessiveness/selfishness is an early awareness), and child-rearing requires teaching a child self-control in order to act according to value rather than according to personal feelings.
 
For
this reason, when Satan challenged God's blessings on Job, it was with the accusation that Job's motive (reason) in doing right was based on selfishness, so that, in effect, God's blessings in Job's life were simply bribes to do good.
In other words, Satan's accusation was that God's sovereign rule/reign in Job's world was by corruption!
Job 2:4-5.
1:
Tuition of ourselves in this respect is why the Lord Jesus in His humanity fasted before He began His public ministry, and why fasting/self-denial has been a feature of Christian conduct from the beginning of the Gospel, for it is a learning to deny the most basic instinct (feeling the need to eat) in favour of a higher value. This personal training exercise of one's body is to help prepare it to be a tool of God's original design in reflecting His own relationship-image of caring compassion toward all those around us,
rather than us simply seeking self-interest/self-pleasing in all we do.
In Effect:
it is an unconditional saying 'no' to oneself, and a 'yes' to God,
which is what is symbolised in Christian baptism, in which immersion is dying to oneself and rising from the water is a rising up with Christ as one's life.
Romans 6:4.
This negative

2:
of self-denial (saying 'no' to one's feelings) then needs to be balanced by tuning our human consciousness in positively to the awesome direct presence of God through the practice of worship in praising the qualities of His person and of His reign. This is the purpose of worship! God does not need it, and it does not earn us God's favour for He cannot be bribed. It is to tune us in to Him, by the length of time given to it, to an unconscious awareness of the character of the God whose image we were designed to reflect outward toward all.
To illustrate this:
if an aircraft pilot is guiding his plane toward landing and knows there is an instrumentation fault, he does not simply believe the control panel instrumentation in front of him, but he looks beyond and acts accordingly, no matter what his faulty control panel may tell him (and our instincts are really faulty).
 
  So  must  we!  

Being Human As God Intended Biblical Fasting

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