Thursday, August 25, 2016

Pattern Recognition

A word that has been on my mind lately is the word 'intelligible'. It is a great word really. It rates understandability. If something is intelligible it means that it has a high understandability rating. Patterns are recognized and meaning is ascribed by the mind.

Many find the opposite sex unintelligible. There is an attraction and a level of appreciation but the patterns are not recognized fully.

A scientist can only be a scientist if the subject of study is intelligible to the mind. Ignorance misses the patterns and meaning. Insanity finds patterns and meaning in things that lack that order in reality. People can even suffer from a group delusion if they all agree to on a pattern or meaning that is false.

"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age," - Titus 2:11-12a ESV

Grace teaches us. It makes our humanity intelligible in ways that would otherwise be impossible.

"For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me." - Romans 7:14-20 ESV

Grace taught the Apostle something amazing. He sees a pattern of contradiction and instead of condemning himself for what he sees he comes to a great conclusion. His flesh is disqualified from being his identity. His flesh can't please God and it can't ultimately please him either.

"Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death." - Romans 7:24-8:2 ESV

When we keep receiving grace we also keep seeing certain patterns. We learn to let God love us. We accept that He will never leave or forsake us. Our contradiction doesn't drive us away from people or cause us to condemn ourselves. We are like every other person on the planet, lost without God, but found in Jesus Christ.

"For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God." - Romans 8:5-8 ESV

This is why believers seem insane to non-believers. A believer sees patterns that are hidden to an unbelieving mind.

Believers also wrongly interpret meaning. Everyone does at one time or another. We build logic on a false foundation and come to wrong conclusions. The miracle is that we are right about anything.

There are patterns to be seen in our day today but we will only see them if we receive grace. Then we can walk by faith in what the Spirit reveals and our faith will be pleasing to God because it is the evidence that we agree about what is important to Him.

By faith we can refuse to condemn ourselves and it will please God. By faith we can have compassion. By faith we can walk in a vision to find and preserve that which is lost and God will be right there with us because that is what He doing also.


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