Green Does Not Always Mean Safer: Digging Deeper into Victory Series, Part 2


Crater Lake on White IslandCrater Lake on White Island

"God saw all that he had made, and it was very good." (Gen 1:31 NIV)

All was perfectly faultless when God finished creating our planet. But then something dramatic happened that turned our world upside down. Rebellion invaded our globe, leaving in its wake, horrific consequences all over nature.

Green generally means safety. When the stop light is green, we know it's safe to go. When the grass is green, we know it is healthy and safe for our kids to play in. Green leaves on a tree indicate it is healthy, etc. Green isn't always safe, however. Take a dive in the luscious green waters of Crater Lake on White Island in New Zealand, and you will be dissolved within 10 minutes, hair and all! A real make-over!

The water of that lake is so acidic that its pH is around 1 (A proper swimming pool has a PH of 7.4 to 7.6). In addition, just to sweeten the deal, the waters contain arsenic, and the water temperature is around 50 degrees Celsius! That's what happens when we contemplate swimming in a lake of an active volcano!

The acidity is, in fact, so destructive it ate away the metal underneath the helicopters that used to hover over the lake to take samples of its water! Now even helicopters stay away from it!

You may wonder why is it so green? The luscious green colour of Crater Lake is caused by its high sulphurous content, along with extremophilic micro-organisms.

In this world we live in, even green is no longer a safe color!

Once Adam chose the track to disobedience, a radical change happened in him. Instead of remaining "pneumatikos" or spiritual (lead by the "pneuma" or spirit), he became "psuchikos" or natural, lead by his "psuche" or soul. And as his soul took the lead, he became spiritually dead.

It wasn't supposed to be this way. We were created to be " pneumatikos" or spiritual, where our spirits are led by God's Spirit, where we rely on Him in all things. Our "psuche" or soul's purpose was to serve our spirit and facilitate our ability to relate to our natural, physical world.

But that's not how it is now! Sin changed all of this and we became "psuchikos" or soulish. God wasn't leading anymore! And worse, because of our constant concern for "self", we became afraid of God and unable to communicate with Him (See Gen 3: 8 - 13). We started to look within ourselves for answers. We started to depend on information based on discovery and not on revelation from God Himself.

This has resulted in struggles with faith (Look at all the different religions and denominations in this world!), and we now have trouble hearing God's voice. We lost our innocence! We became self-serving! Satisfying our soul's cravings became our number 1 obsession and with it came our susceptibility to numerous strongholds, as clearly indicated in these following Bible texts:

"They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator - who is forever praised." (Rom 1:25 NIV)

"Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them." (Rom 1:28-32 NIV)

The "pneumatikos" or spiritual gave way to the "psuchikos" or natural (soulish): "The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned." (1 Cor 2:14 NIV)

In the original Greek "the man without the Spirit" is referred to as "Psuchikos de Anthroopos" or the natural man (soulish). And such people (including most of humanity!) cannot discern through their spirits. It just doesn't make any sense to us: "And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God." (2 Cor 4:3-4 NIV)

However there are those who have become "spiritually alive" or "Pneumatikos" in the original text. They are the ones who have been made alive through God's Spirit: "Spiritually alive (Pneumatikos), we have access to everything God's Spirit is doing, and can't be judged by unspiritual critics." (1 Cor 2:15 The Message)

This was made possible by the One who depended 100% on God's Spirit and who suffered the awful death of suffocation on the cross, so that through His death and resurrection we could be made alive again!

"The sacrificed Jesus made us fit for God, set us right with God. By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us - set us right with him, make us fit for him - we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that's not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand - out in the wide open spaces of God's grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise." (Rom 4:25-5:2 The Message)

Yes with our "soulish" or natural nature we have been dragged down a path of self-destruction and addictions. However Jesus is the One who revealed to us the way to set things right, which can only be done through Him!

It is time we stop our "psuche" or soul in its self-elevating tendency and start relying on God's "pneuma" or God's Spirit. With Him there is freedom. With Him things can be put back to normal!

I have just put on my swimming suit. Would you like to join me in a swim of a lifetime? That luscious green lake sure looks inviting!

Rob Chaffart

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