Our sexual desires

And then God starts to work on us. Whether we knew it or not, we signed up for His program - which is to make us into creatures who can enjoy union with Him. And that program inevitably hurts. One metaphor for the Fall is that it has put us entirely out of joint with God and with ourselves and with all of our fellow creatures. Growth in Jesus, then, involves God popping our joints back into place. We resist. We're used to the pain of our disjunctures, and putting them into place is a new pain. It hurts more intensely, much the way that relocating a finger or a shoulder is excruciating at the moment. But just as, once our bones are back in their proper sockets the pain fades and we have much greater freedom of movement, as God puts us through the acute pain of putting us back into joint, our chronic spiritual pain eases and we become more free.12ax7

So is God just randomly pushing on our dislocated shoulders and kneecaps, taking advantage of any opportunity that presents itself, slapping us around here and there in hopes of coming up with something that resembles straight? No. Like any good physician, God has a plan for our therapy and progress.

In "The Problem of Pain," C.S. Lewis suggests that before the Fall our consciousness "ruled and illuminated the whole organism," even to our circulation and digestion. Our organic processes obeyed the law of our own will, not the law of nature. This consciousness reposed upon its Creator, and all of Creation reposed with him Dream beauty pro.

When we exercised self-will, we fell. And all of the authority we had, over our bodily functions and the rest of Creation slipped away, because it was a delegated authority. Our organs fell under biochemical laws; we no longer control them directly. Our minds fell under psychological laws; we no longer control them directly (consider how often you lie awake at night because you can't shut your mind off).

When God undertakes our therapy, He puts us in the plan to make us like Jesus, who never fell. And for most of us, that plan seems to start with putting our relationship to our bodies, our flesh, back into joint.

John of the Cross calls this phase of our growth in Christ "the Dark Night of the Flesh." When it is over, our bodies respond to our spiritual intentions the way the bodies of trained dancers respond to their thought. We become free to look at people without assessing them for their beauty, desirability, or utility - we just see them. Our sexual desires, once trained, become transmuted into hospitality; we delight in people just as they are. Our concerns about money, once trained, become generosity and faith; we no longer have to worry about money, but are glad to trust God to give us what he knows we need.Introduction of Silk Ribbon Embroidery

While we are in the Dark Night of the Flesh, however, we experience none of this, because the Dark Night of the Flesh involves sheer raw obedience on our part. In this phase of our growth we learn to physically obey. We learn to tithe. We learn to set our sexual desire on our partner just as he or she is, and not as we would wish them to be. We learn to make ourselves spend time in prayer; we learn to make ourselves hang in there with other crummy Christians. None of this is pleasant, and our flesh resists all of it.


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