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The Formation

We search out the ways of our being and discover our hearts' desires.  For, it is the truth of all which comes into our hand has been our want from life's beginning.

Our joy brings us abundance; our sadness and those things of darkened corners, also come from within our being by which the curse does fall. "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." Proverbs 4:23.

It is true that both blessings and cursings flow from the fount of who we are. Discover this, O man, for what you are has been the creator of your life.  Your desires have always been fulfilled.

Man And His Created Environment

CHAPTER 3

Man can look into the mirror of his life to see how he made it.

Thought: Man is the creator of his own life experience.

Word: Gal. 6:7: "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."

Conclusion: "They" didn't do it.

Man's environment, physical, mental and spiritual, is a created one. Man is responsible for his environment, which he has created. It seems that the modern mind seeks to escape this reality. We are told, "it was your overbearing mother;" "you were spanked too often and it warped your personality." Although these are very real influences, they are not excuses for our behavior. Man is very good at telling stories about his environment and then believing them completely. A good example of this is found in the story of the blind man and the elephant. Six blind men were led to feel an elephant at a circus. One grabbed hold of the tail and exclaimed, "The elephant is a rope that wiggles." The second man felt the elephant's side and said in astonishment, "The elephant is a wall." The third put his arm around a leg and said, "The elephant is a large tree." The next man felt the elephant's ear and thought it was a leaf. The fifth blind man found the elephant's trunk and said wondering, "The elephant is really a big snake that writhes and moves." And, finally, the sixth man felt the sharp tusk of the elephant and announced that the others were all wrong, "The elephant is obviously a sword." Each of those blind men was absolutely sure of his perception of his environment. Each told a story of what he thought the elephant to be; and each was as partial as the others. Most people are like those blind men; they make great statements and pronouncements about their life and how it got to be the way it is, and, from their points of view, they are accurate. The problem is, since their points of view are only partial, their conclusions are nearly always incomplete. One of the wrong conclusions we come to is that somebody else is to blame for the things that happen to us. While it is true that what others have done may have contributed to our development, it is also true that we allowed others to do what it was they did to us. If the truth were known, it may be better said that those who afflicted us were most often made to afflict us by our own actions and beliefs. It is also true that we can change our circumstances if we so choose. The question is not so much what others have done but what I have done about it.

We tell most of the stories about our health. The poor little germ is the most maligned creature in the universe. Nearly everyone blames their maladies on the germ. The germ has its role, true enough, but man is primarily responsible for the way the germ plays out its role. If you leave a cream pie in the hot sun all day and then blame the germ for the disease you may contract, you blame the wrong thing. It is you who must take responsibility for the pie, for if you hadn't left that pie in the sun, the bacteria wouldn't have had an opportunity to grow. There are other types of creations that we are responsible for. One is our attitude and our perception of others' attitudes. Often, we can actually create attitudes in others, and not merely our perceptions. It is a basic fact of human behavior that we create in others those good and bad traits we see in ourselves. If you or I are selfish, we will see others as being selfish while having a perfectly good excuse for our own behavior. We tend to displace our perversions upon others.

Probably the best example of our creating attitudes in others is the way in which we raise our children. They have many of our own characteristics, not only genetic, but in the characters and attitudes that we have formed within them. Find a child who is not in control, and you may very well find an undisciplined parent. We create an image of our attitudes and opinions in our children. You don't need to look far to see evil in the world. Evil is a result of our own creation. It is easy, as we have pointed out, to blame it on the devil. It is true that Satan, the enemy of universal order, has brought evil to this planet; the truth, however, is also that we do not have to let him have power over our lives. We are the creators of our environment: we can create good by cooperating with law, or we can create evil by participating in its ways. Again, we cannot pass blame for our participation in evil or sin. We have the power to turn the tide. God gives that power. If we blame the devil for the way we are, the way we are is the way we'll stay. If, on the other hand, we accept responsibility for our life, we will discover that we may be free to attain to our ideals, and the ideals of the universe for us, instead of living forever within our imagined fears and weaknesses. As children, we create all types of evil in our imaginations: burglars in dark closets, ghosts on stormy nights, devils that fly in the dark, witches in moonlight and many more. They are real for us as children, for we create them to be real. As adults, we have fears and imaginings that we will create as facts if we don't dismiss them. In Job 3:25, Job comments regarding the many evil things that had come upon him. "For the thing that I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of has come upon me."

Another thing that is created is the divorce. In most cases, there are two people, both positive that the divorce is the spouse's fault. They have created their spouse to be wrong and evil. It didn't start at the divorce though; within the marriage, one or both was creating the other to be wrong and evil, virtually guaranteeing a divorce. One way to hold a marriage together is for the couple to create each other not guilty in their difficulties. It is a favorite pastime of politicians to create their opponents as being wrong. A union leader and an employee manager create each other to be wrong, and a strike that helps nobody results. Someone says something to us which we create to be an insult, so we say something back that the other person also creates to be an insult, and we are fast enemies. No man can insult, intimidate or affront us, we do those things to ourselves. A man may say something to us, and really mean it in an evil way; but if we don't choose to be offended, we will not be. It is easy to create evil, it is even easy to create good and blessing. God has given us the power to create good in our and others' lives. How? Through observing and claiming promises in the Bible. About this, Peter notes: "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." 2 Peter 1:4. Let's look for a minute at some of these promises and see how we can create good in our lives. ..."The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin." 1 John 1:7. "...The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Rom. 6:23. The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you, he will be with you, he will not fail you or forsake you; do not fear or be dismayed. Deut. 31:8. And be sure of this, that I am with you always, even to the end of the world. Matt. 28:20. "I am the Lord your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed.'' Joel 2:27. "For the Lord God is a sun and shield, the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly." Psalm 84:11. Therefore I say unto you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you receive them and they shall be granted you. Mark 11:24. Call upon me in the day of trouble: I shall rescue you, and you will honor me. Psalm 50:15. "As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me." Psalm 55:16. Ask, and it shall be given unto you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Matt. 7:7. Call unto me, and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know. Jer. 33:3. The angel of the Lord encamps round about those that fear him, and rescues them. Psalm 34:7. Do not fear for I am with you: do not be anxiously looking about you: for I am your God: I will strengthen you: yes, I will help you: surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10. The righteous shall move onward and forward, those with pure hearts will be stronger and stronger. Job 17:9. And I will put my spirit within you, so you will obey my laws and do whatever I command. Eze. 36:27. These are only examples; there are actually thousands of promises in the Bible that tell how we can create good rather than evil. By observing and taking part in these promises, we can become part of the divine mind, partakers of the divine nature.

At this point, many people begin to think that they are doing all these good things themselves. You may wonder, "What role does God play if I am doing all these things myself?" The truth is: you don't get out of bed in the morning without God's power, and it is as true that you don't get out of bed unless you get out of bed. It takes both God's power and your action for you to get up in the morning. If there were no God, you wouldn't get out of bed in the morning, nor would you if you were dead. Both are required. Benjamin Franklin once said, "God helps those who help themselves." Now, this statement has been somewhat misused; but, if we understand it to mean that we provide the action while God provides the power, then it is understood. God never arbitrarily pours in all the answers to the dilemmas in our lives. The power is there for us. We have to take the initiative and use it. When a person finally gets the message that God never has, is not, and never will manipulate him, that their life is their own creation, they've done it. They can now go about the business of creating a life that works, one that is successful and joyful. The power of God is free and available to anyone who will lawfully use it. The power comes in the form of God's Spirit. The Bible refers to the Spirit as a wind. Jesus said: "The wind blows where it lists, and you hear the sound of it, but you cannot tell from where it comes, and where it is going; so is everyone that is born of the Spirit." John 3:8. The Spirit of God blows through the universe. Those who are in harmony with it are at peace. Those who go against it find themselves buffeted and tossed about. It's like being in a strong north wind; if you go in the direction and speed of the wind, you are not tossed or blown around; but, if you resist the wind, you experience great difficulty and buffeting. Your choices are direct and simple: you can take responsibility for creating your present environment and choose to change it to align yourself with God's laws; or, you can resist and continue in a life that is still your creation, but where you are fighting reality on every turn. In simple terms: your choice is to agree with God or to resist Him.

Created Environment - Bible Study

1. First, we see how a man gets what he gets- good or evil, all the time.

Gal. 6:7: "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."

2. We will see how God judges what evil He should allow and how much.

Jer. 6:19: "Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it."

3. Not only what we think, but the things we do bring it on.

Prov. 1:31: "Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way and be filled with their own devices."

4. The things we do and think are products of our faith and, so, in reality we do good or evil by faith.

Matt. 9:29: "...According to your faith be it unto you."

5. Even though we may not be sinning, in ignorance we may make space for an apparent curse, but the believer will ultimately grow and gain power from such tests.

Job 3:25: "For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me." (Note: fear is like faith believing in the curse, so fear brings the thing feared).

6. So, how is it we create the good?

Pr. 19:23: "The fear of the Lord tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil."

7. In all things, whatever happens, God is always fair to us.

Eze. 18:25: "Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal, Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?" Eze. 33:20: "Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. 0 ye house of Israel, I will judge you every one after his ways."

Man And His Created Environment - E.G. White

"The moral character of those united in marriage is either elevated or degraded by their association; and the work of deterioration accomplished by a low, deceptive, selfish, uncontrollable nature is begun soon after the marriage ceremony. If the young man makes a wise choice, he may have one to stand by his side who will bear to the utmost of her ability her share of the burdens of life, who will ennoble and refine him, and make him happy in her love. But if the wife is fitful in character, self-admiring, exacting, accusing, charging her husband with motives and feelings that originate only in her own perverted temperament; if she has not discernment and nice discrimination to recognize his love and appreciate it, but talks of neglect and lack of love because he does not gratify every whim, she will almost inevitably bring about the very state of things she seems to deplore; she will make all these accusations realities." AH 109-110.

"They (God's people) sometimes make trials for themselves, imagine trials, and are so easily discouraged, so easily hurt. Self-dignity is so quick to feel, that they injure themselves, injure others, and injure the cause. Satan magnifies their trials and puts thoughts into their minds that if given way to, will destroy their influence and usefulness." 1T 129.

"There has been a picking at straws. And when there were no real difficulties in the church, trials have been manufactured." 1T 144.

"If your mind is impressed and fixed that a bath will injure you, the mental impression is communicated to all the nerves of the body. The nerves control the circulation of the blood; therefore the blood is, through the impression of the mind, confined to the blood vessels, and the good effects of the bath are lost. All this is because the blood is prevented by the mind and will from flowing readily and from coming to the surface to stimulate, arouse and promote the circulation. For instance, you are impressed that if you bathe you will become chilly. The brain sends this intelligence to the nerves of the body and the blood vessels, held in obedience to your will, cannot perform their office and cause a reaction after the bath." 3T 69-70.

"Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you." James 4:7-8.

"These precious treasures will not drop upon us without some exertion on our part." 1T 142.

"Without earnest effort they will be weighed in the balances and found wanting." 2T 266. "Talk of faith, of light, and of heaven, and you will have faith, light and love and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost." 1T 168.

"The word of God tells us how we may become perfect Christians and escape the seven last plagues. But they took no interest to find this out. Other things diverted the mind, idols were cherished by them, and God's Holy Word was neglected and slighted. God has been trifled with by professed Christians, and when His Holy Word shall judge them in the last day, they will be found wanting. That word which they have neglected for foolish storybooks tries their lives...I saw that many measure themselves among themselves, and compare their lives with the lives of others...[Christ is our pattern] ...each should strive to excel in imitating Him." 1T 126.

"Why is it so hard to lead a self-denying humble life? Because professed Christians are not dead to the world. It is easy living after we are dead." 1T 131.

"The tempted one needs to understand the true force of the will. This is the governing power in the nature of man--the power of decision, of choice. Everything depends on the right action of the will." MH 176.

"Each one possesses in himself the source of his own happiness or wretchedness." 5T 487.

"There are many invalids today who will ever remain so because they cannot be convinced that their experience is not reliable." 3T 69.

"Both parents transmit their own characteristics, mental and physical, their dispositions and appetites to their children." PP 561.

"In the work of redemption here is no compulsion. No external force is employed. Under the influence of the Spirit of God, man is left free to choose whom he will serve. In the change that takes place when the soul surrenders to Christ, there is the highest sense of freedom. The expulsion of sin is the act of the soul itself. True, we have no power to free ourselves from Satan's control; but when we desire to be set free from sin, and in our great need cry out for a power out of and above ourselves, the powers of the soul are imbued with the divine energy of the Holy Spirit, and they obey the dictates of the will in fulfilling the will of God."

"The only condition upon which the freedom of man is possible is that of becoming one with Christ. 'The truth shall make you free;' and Christ is the truth. Sin can triumph only by enfeebling the mind, and destroying the liberty of the soul. Subjection to God is restoration to one's self, to the true glory and dignity of man. The divine law, to which we are brought into subjection, is 'the law of liberty'." James 2:12. DA 466.

"Over every man good and evil angels strive. It is the man himself who determines which shall win." 1SM 58.

"If you will seek the Lord and be converted every day; if you will of your own spiritual choice be free and joyous in God; if with gladsome consent of heart to His gracious call you come wearing the yoke of Christ, the yoke of obedience and service, all your murmurings will be stilled, all your difficulties will be removed, all the perplexing problems that now confront you will be solved." DA 330

Self-Knowledge Resumé

  1. Do I ever feel jealousy regarding one of my peers?
  2. Do I ever feel impatience?
  3. Do I ever feel immoral desires when I am with another individual?
  4. Do I ever feel like quitting a project when my desires change concerning it?
  5. Do I ever make rationalizations and tell stories when I think that my peers will not accept my direction in life?
  6. Can I recognize any other devious tendencies I may have?
  7. Do I agree that what I have experienced in life is how I have made it myself?
  8. When God claims to give men the things they have faith in, and that whatever a man sows he reaps, would I see that that does not include me?
  9. When God says He gives men the fruit of their thoughts, does that include me?
  10. Does life turn out for me like I think it will? Is my life a result of how I think?
  11. What are the desires in my life that do not come to pass?
  12. Do I see how I may have put a block in the way of my receiving my desires?
  13. Do I ever feel or act in a way that would keep me from having my desires?

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