Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Life is in the Blood - FILTRATION

I’m at a meeting this week and someone practically forces me to take a piece of chocolate cake. You could liken it to a teenager being pressured to drink alcohol. Now understand on many days I would jump to the front of the line to get that piece of cake but today my mind kept going to the uncomfortable consequences of eating the cake: heart palpitations, feeling sick to my stomach, and becoming sleepy.

My blood circulates in a closed loop: (a) pumped by the heart; (b) invigorated by the lungs; and (c) energized by healthy food consumption.

As I eat and breathe, carbohydrates, valuable minerals, and oxygen allow nerve impulses to fire, muscles to stretch or contract, eyes to focus, and so on because of the work done at the cellular level.

The heart delivers to every cell via the blood everything the body needs for life.

Truth be told, I’m not capable of perfectly consuming water, salts, healthy nutrition, and oxygen to maintain optimum balance in the closed system. Fortunately, the kidneys balance the amount of water and salts in the blood which in kind regulates the pressure of blood pushing against the walls of the veins and arteries. Further, my liver filters and deconstructs toxins I swallow and regulates the sugars in the blood. If I intake too much sugar the liver goes about storing it as fat for later use.

The same is true of my inability to perfectly love God and love others.

As I go out to share the love of Christ with the world by being like Christ, a symbiotic balance ensues (see Life is in the Blood diagram below). It starts with Jesus’ love for me. I’m then motivated to connect with the Father through the spiritual disciplines (blood is oxygenated). The outflow includes sharing Christ’s love by loving like Christ in humility and servant hood (food and mineral consumption).

Click Image to enlarge

My inability to conduct these operations perfectly (all fall short of the glory of God, Romans ) allows for Jesus (His death and resurrection) to cleanse me and purify me of my shortcomings – BALANCE is restored.

Prior to the “new covenant of grace” (Romans 8:1-4), one might surmise the Israelites lived without a “kidney and liver.” They were responsible for regulating the blood through perfect obedience to the law - an impossible task by the way.  

Consider some ways we all fall short in homeostatic balance. Do you see yourself in any of these?  

  • You react to the injustices in everyday life with sin.
  • You fall prey to the influences of the enemy (power/selfishness, wealth/greed, beauty/lust, or fame/pride).
  • You operate from your strongholds instead of freedom.  
  • You live with unbelief and prayerlessness.
  • You intentionally invite the enemy to have reign in your life through rebellious lifestyle choices.
  • You struggle with forgiveness and bitterness.
  • You live sedentary/apathetic lives toward the lost, blind, sick, and lame.
  • You idolize false gods.

We cannot cleanse our own blood. Only by the grace of Jesus’ death can we be restored to a whole and holy relationship with the Father. We come before the cross over and over just as our blood pours in to the kidneys and liver to be filtered of false worship and sin.

The liver and kidneys operate more than 500 functions. To think Jesus died as a “one time” atoning sacrifice falls short in recognition of His resurrection. He sits at the right hand of the Father interceding for us (Romans ).

Jesus delivers everything we need for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

  • Jesus is my help (Psalm 40:17).
  • Jesus is my hiding place (Psalm 32:7).
  • Jesus is my hope (Psalm 71:5).
  • Jesus is my savior (2 Samuel 22:3).
  • Jesus is my deliverer (2 Samuel 22:2)
  • Jesus is my strength (Psalm 28:7)
  • Jesus is my fortress (Psalm 91:2)
  • Jesus is my intercessor (Job )
  • Jesus is my lamp (2 Samuel )
  • Jesus is my portion (Psalm 73:26)
  • Jesus is my support (Psalm )
  • Jesus is my refuge (Psalm 91:2)
  • Jesus is my rock (Psalm 18:2)
  • Jesus is my witness, advocate (Job )
  • Jesus is my salvation (Psalm 27:1)
  • Jesus is my shield (Psalm 28:7)
  • Jesus is my song (Psalm 118:14)

Obesity occurs as an unfortunate outcome of over working the liver. We seek and consume good things for SELF pleasure (James 5:5). We fail to see that this life is not about us and our needs (Ezekiel ). God provides for our needs so that we can trust Him and serve Him. We become obese when we think God is for our pleasure and purposes (Luke ). Are you in need of a spiritual diet?

  • Do you see God as a genie in a bottle to serve your pleasure; rather than, to equip us to serve His hurting children?
  • Do you see God as a storehouse for blessing for health, wealth, and prosperity; rather than, a holy and mighty creator worthy of your undivided worship?

From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.
- Luke 12:48

This is the 5th post in a series titled LIFE IS IN THE BLOOD ...


Anonymous said...

What an interesting parallel between the law of the old testament and Christ's permanent sacrifice for us on the cross. It reminds me of someone with failing kidneys who has to go thru dialysis every other day.

Under the old covenant God showed His mercy by giving His people the law and its imperfect sacrifices for their sins. In order for them to remain in relationship with Him their sins needed to be covered. The sacrifices they made in the temple were a temporary and imperfect way of reconciling themselves to God much like dialysis is an imperfect way of cleansing our system of impurities. They had to return to the temple again and again. Then Jesus came as a permanent and perfect sacrifice. Like a kidney transplant for a suffering patient that makes them new and whole again. A perfect sacrifice from a loving donor is the only thing that will permanently save them.

Thanks for the cool post!