Judges 4-5 / Isaiah 32 / James 2
Justice will dwell in the desert and righteousness live in the fertile field. The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.
My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.
The opposite of securely dwelling in undisturbed peace is everything the animal nature brings to its host. It always has to worry about losing its stuff, identity, meal ticket, affections, respect, and whatever other temporary security it has managed to establish for itself by slaving away to purchase it. Its life consists of everything it values then runs after to obtain so it can keep whatever that is, and holding on to whatever that is adds up to life for it. The animal nature has to always worry and be afraid, and it learns to pretend it's not by various screens, the defense walls it has developed over the years of observing, adjusting and building them up to hide behind.
The growth/death process of all animals moves them from a life where it doesn't have to worry or be afraid (when it's young) because there's someone there instinctually giving their life for and to it (because it has a little piece of them inside it, and they're driven to be self-interested), to the condition where it learns it must provide for itself and others who are depending on it for the same thing it once had (passing over to adulthood). The humans call that the natural cycle of life, and celebrate it. It is a circle, but not of life; rather of death and temporality. It may seem like life, like things are alive, and they are—but only temporarily, then another thing or animal comes along to take the place of whatever is gone, meaning death has happened.
There's no hard evidence that suggests that anything happens after the thing has lost its life, except that it decomposes and becomes part of the ground (becoming one with the natural creation). There is a consciousness in the animals, but once that is gone, then we have to assume that's all that happens. The various scenarios of heaven and paradise are hopes that the animals manufacture, then buy so they can control and hold on to that hope in order to psychologically deal with the idea of becoming no more. It's an abstract hope that allows the animal to live its temporary animal life and also hang on to some dream about continuing on after its consciousness is gone. If the animal wants to reinforce that hope inside it, then it will surround itself with other humans who are counting on the same hope scenario, therefore reaffirming it for them—keeping the hope alive.
A different thing happens in the sons. During their life, growing up as animals, there is something deep within them, a different kind of hope that is obscure and impossible to grasp and control like other things. As they are exposed to those other animals who conspire together to reinforce their lie that they know the way to God, they feel something's wrong but they don't know what it is or why they feel what they feel. There is a deeper desire for truth in them that transcends what everyone else is offering, but there is no fulfillment of that in their searching. They want to find God but they cannot, wherever they look. So they either decide to settle for the lies or they keep on looking, even though it seems He cannot be found anywhere. They have a knowledge that there's more, but no way to make it happen or realize it any way. Also, they know that what the others are saying about what's true is a sham and a joke.
It makes sense that way, because we know something, and that the record reinforces what we are just beginning to know—God is hidden and secret, on purpose because He wants to be that way. Then at a certain time the Lord will come to them and they will just know what is real, not with their mind or ability to analyze and weigh. It's something much deeper and truer than their normal thoughts, their usual ability, via their mind, to distinguish what is true versus false. Then the clashing starts between their actual nature, of an animal, and what the spirit wants them to know, and become. It's a confusing mixture of the desire to hear and be changed as per the spirit's enlightenment, and the constraints of the animal nature that has ruled them up to this point, and continues to even after the process has been initiated within them.
Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
The natural creation, even though it's temporary, is still a copy of the spiritual creation. Just as a natural son of another man is born, then grows, then changes and becomes mature and responsible, so too goes the process for the son of God. That process is not physical, though—everything about it happens on a different dimension and reality, above and away from the natural—not dependent on it or subject to its limitations. Not above spatially, but within it, yet transcending it because it's a world that is higher, purer, lighter, and unseen—totally unlike (opposite?) the physical reality which is heavy and obtuse, able to be confined and controlled.
In the beginning, because the son is more earthly than spiritual, so is his comprehension and vision. It's hard to see the spiritual reality because it hasn't been formed inside him; only the promise and intention of the Father to remember him is there and the process of transformation has only just begun so in the natural human animal sense he's still quite savvy, while being spiritually ignorant and naive. The way the corrupt animal with all its projections and expectations reacts when the words are read, makes them want to believe that because the spirit comes over or into a man it is instantaneous, and he is immediately transported from one reality to another, one nature to another. Although we'd always like it to be that way (the easy way without the suffering), it's not the way the true Father works nor is it in our best interest because true change happens over a long period of time, so much so that it's difficult to ever notice. Otherwise we'd just be reveling in what the animal wants and expects, the agenda it's constantly trying to push.
The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.
This is why it's good to live a quiet life in peace, away from as much of the chaos of the animal as is possible so that the life of God can grow in us peaceably and so we can grow into our new nature and become thoroughly knowledgeable about the new way of God rather than the world, of the animal—what we're coming away from, the master from which we're trying to become freed. As much as growing into the consciousness of the spirit it is about the old consciousness of the animal fading out of us. That's why there's such a continued call for the sons to be sanctified, set apart from the rest of the animals and the world because all the dead animals can do in the son is reinforce the evil in him and stunt his growth before the Father. That's the mistake the Israelites made over and over, for our benefit as a warning to us the better Israel.
As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people. Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."
It's about being able to allow that process to happen in us, which miraculously changes us from within, on that secret level because it's unseen, of the spirit not the physical. The food that allows us to grow is doing what our Father wants for us instead of what we want. In the beginning those will clash, because the animal instincts and cravings to fulfill our own will will be what drives us, and they will be different than what the Father wants for us. However they're too strong to deny because they're all we know. What that Father wants for His own sons is that they be quiet, peaceful, and not be led by the animal so they can learn. However, we will be driven by the animal to seek the things that we know can and will satisfy us, if only temporarily. But the animal doesn't care about temporality, it wants what it wants and it wants it now, and it doesn't care how long it lasts as long as it can be satisfied in the moment. That's how it works, instinctually driving the host to satisfy its cravings and appease it fears without even thinking.
The sons must learn to patiently endure through this process of waiting, to seek the quiet and peaceful place where they can hear the voice of their Father without all the distractions and chaos of the animal all the time. Humility instead of ego fulfillment—listening and being changed slowly and unnoticeably leads to a state where our desires and drives actually start to coincide with the Son's teaching and training as our neck becomes soft and we take on the yoke of a new, good master.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, "Here's a good seat for you," but say to the poor man, "You stand there" or "Sit on the floor by my feet," have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
Why is money so alluring? Through time men have always sought to have more money; today is no different than then, nor as it will be in the future of the humans and what they love and run after. Why is it in the nature of man to want more money and to respect people with a lot of money? Why are we so drawn to accumulating it and respecting those who do? What does silver and gold, stocks and cash give us and why does it make us feel so good? Why do we love it so much, and the most important question of all: why should the sons of God not?
In man's culture it is everything and everything revolves around it. It brings power, respect, authority, value, acceptance and worth. It makes sense that it's valuable because it's the easiest way to take care of the many animal cravings (physical & emotional), so it's easy and convenient to rely on it to take good care of themselves, which the animal is driven to do. It's just rationalization and denial when they say they don't love it (perhaps because they think their made up jesus commanded them to). What they mean is that they don't theoretically love it, or think they don't as much as they possibly could; but they must love it nonetheless because it's in the animal's heart to love it since it takes good care of them in many ways—it gives them lots of return. What takes care of them tells them it loves them and proves it by being willing to do that. The humans love money because it can take care of them, it gives them what they need to continue to survive and satisfy their hopes. With it they can take by their own hand the things they want/need, what they think they need to fulfill themselves, as dictated to them by the nature that rules them.
What the humans love is what they serve, pay attention to, coddle and nurture. If they do that for another it's always conditional. They will do it as long as they continue to act within the confines of certain behavioral constraints. Money, though, never fails the humans. It will consistently love them back and give them what they crave on the deepest level of the animal nature—independence and respect, freedom and the ability to fulfill their selves, by their own hand.
James addresses both of these things—a couple of the animal drives which illustrates how much the animals love money. Showing favoritism to the rich and withholding from your needy brother are 2 very direct outgrowths of the love of money. One is about ego and animal identity, and the other is about the fear of dying, which leads to the driving force toward self-preservation at all cost. Both are perfectly normal for the humans in their natural state as creatures that must take care of themselves (because nobody else is gonna). However, James is speaking to sons of God, not animals, and is trying to encourage them to seek the nature of the son who shouldn't be seeking the things the animal seeks, but should be moving away from the animal and all its instinctual cravings and fears.
Money represents value to the animals. The people with money are more valuable than the poor. It's what we have taught each other for thousands of years and that teaching is not going away soon. When a rich man stands next to a poor man in the world the rich man will be respected and the poor man will be neglected. When it happens in a religious community the same thing will occur—it will just be covered with the veneer of impartiality because everyone thinks that's what they're supposed to do (what their made up jesus has commanded them to do). In their hearts, though, things are different, and that's where God sees, the important level to Him. They think they can hide there like they hide from the other humans. Animals are animals—they do not just un become animals because they want to, or think they can be transported, or because they believe the liars who teach them to be liars too.
Money represents independence for the humans. It is a tangible way they can provide for themselves and keep feeding the fear that says they're gonna die. When their bank account is fat they feel better, and they hope it gets fatter. They feel good and happy because it means they can buy things they think they want, but beneath that it means they might be able to survive just a little bit longer and better. That's why they want to hold on to it and not give it up, because if they give it away then they won't have enough for themselves and they might die.
So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."
No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?