Saying God and Spiritual Religious sounding words in repetition.
A blank uninspired mind can say things from the memory like a tape recording.
The mind can call upon a principle or thought pattern, that by logical analysis appears to be the right thing to say given the reasoned evidence.
Our minds are complex and able calculators of reasoning processes which is healthy for us to discover and solve problems.
So it is no wonder that some classical thinking was developed by the big thinkers in history and we have much written studies by the philosophers of the ages at our disposal to gain ways of the reasoning process.
Well that is fine, if that is all there is to it and man is at the centre of his own universe like they believed in Classical Greek times, so it comes back to the Greek mind of reason and allowing the mind to take ascendancy, so it controls how we think.
God is spirit and we relate to him from our spirit.
Our heart is a connection to our spirit, without trying to break it down to exact science, there are the interconnections and overlapping of our substance and makeup of the human being into three distinct parts that are one. We are a complex creation comprised of many parts to make a whole, each serving an essential part of the whole and we need all of these elements to make us to be the whole person.
Sometimes we just need to learn how to operate holistically.
The memory is there for a purpose and the mind is a brilliant construction, which is made in a awesome fashion to be admired and not wasted.
However, if we are in a habit replayed over and over in a loop, the essential part of our being, the imagination is not active, resulting in machine like monotonous behaviour.
So, merely rattling off a bunch of words from our memory can become a ritualistic practice, which may not be incorporate the whole man.
The problem is not repetition on its own, as this is a legitimate method of learning as it instills a new pattern in our memory that we dont lose and it can be part of us like a desired new behaviour.
No, what is said is vain repetitions, so the key word is vain, or the descriptive word is vain and vain means pointless or puffed up beyond its proper place.
The Hebrews in Old Testament Times were taught to meditate the word of God.
Which can be mumbling or musing the word in your mind and this is a way of getting it into our being, a form of memorisation that is useful for the word of God to become part of who we are.
So what did Jesus mean when He said vain repetitions?
I think if we rely on our memory and mind to figure things out and speak from this department only, without engaging our whole man, the heart, spirit, imagination, we will miss out on creating a faith filled statement that will make a creative impact.
Applied Maths versus Pure Maths - when I was learning mathematics at school at the differential calculus level, mathematics was divided into two distinct fields the pure and the applied.
I think the pure was stimulating, as it explored abstract concepts, but you never saw the application of it in the real world. Then there was the applied maths which was very scientific and practical.
The Greek way of thinking has prevailed in the western developed world, working through history and the great Roman Empire of the early church times and then after the dark ages came the enlightenment and the renaissance, followed by the sciences of breakthrough theories, where the world was no longer flat and we revolved around the sun in a galaxy, one of many theories discovered by enlightened minds, then into modern times of the great industrial revolution. Now, in modern times we have the binary digital genius of the great computer technology, advancements now and into the future hopefully will move towards harnessing atomic energy, for an efficient and economically sound brave new world.
However, we can see that within greek thinking, there is a huge leaning to the reasoning faculties of the mind and this can be brilliant, but does not fully incorporate the creative imagination and the vision centre of our being.
Then the Paradox and a befuddlement of the great think tank of civilisation! The God connection has provided to the early breakthrough scientists who as a basis for their quest for knowledge, actually depended on a God who created all; resulted in a corresponding enlightenment of some of the greatest discoveries and understanding of the principles of the universe that we live in.
Looking at Proverbs the great wisdom book of the bible, we can break learning and experience into not just two dimensions, but three, which is knowledge and then understanding and finally wisdom.
Havent you ever experienced hearing some very religious sounding words being spoken and although it sounds polished, it has no real life changing power in it and it just falls flat.
Where do you discern these things? In your heart, which is from the spirit.
You probably have at times like me, made some really fine sounding prayers and have known inside they were going nowhere and had no faith to them - faith has substance and if our words have no substance then they are vain.
Or at times and I can regrettably admit that I have done this, when in a situation keep repeating the word God, or a series of words with say, help!, or whatever and repeating it over and over.
If you are with someone and you started repeating their name over and over and saying the same sentence in a pleading or desperate fashion, they would probably not feel very comfortable with you, especially when you are not speaking directly to them, but to the air and they would feel like, "you don't know me very well, perhaps you don't even trust me to do what I said I would".
This would be very irritating to listen to, don't you think?
James 1:5-8 -
This is not referring to, when we are sincerely trying to get into the groove of getting before God, or making a request and we are trying to find the words or catch the wind of the direction of where He is taking us. Like an engine that needs oil and to be kick started, it takes a few kicks and turning over, a little spark here and there before it finally kicks in.
We can be struggling with things in our life and all looks hopeless and the despair can kick in and we begin to strive for answers.
Sometimes, emotions can be very expressive and in desperation we may repeat ourselves, but this is from the heart and passionate, not a piece of reasoning that is just vainly expressed.
God isnt looking for the perfect format of praying and being in faith, He looks for a sincere heart, we cant judge something by external appearance, but by discernment, so please I am not referring to heart felt prayers that may not sound perfect.
We need to move into faith from our immature ways and we are simply not there straight away and God knows where we are at and is a merciful Father to us, He will lead us to the right way.
We are on the road to maturity and are on a learning process, so like learning to walk, it takes time and practice to get in the swing of things. God knows our hearts if we are sincerely seeking Him and wanting to please Him, He wont condemn us.
Very different is when in -
There are instances in the Bible where the people of God where instructed to repeat a series of words or actions like the walls of Jericho coming down through following a repeated process and instruction from God, It is OK when God has given you an instruction and you have the word in your heart, it is alive and you can speak to the mountain for as long as it takes until the victory comes. Amen.
Joshua was instructed that: -