Now what do we need to do to in response to God’s Covenant of Love ?
I present a divine rainbow theory for humankind in response to God’s Divine Rainbow. To begin, I start with my usual proviso, it is with an ongoing appreciation that I know only in part, that I write this. This is the path I am finding to a functional mind:
Red – Love
This is love to God, others and ourselves. This is tied in with identity. The love of God, marking us as children of God, is our greatest and most defining identity.
The highest form of sacrifice has been shown by God giving us Jesus, His own son who died that we might live and the Holy Spirit to live within us. We must accept this sacrifice to have peace and discover our true identity.
Another key component of love is wisdom and discretion. It is important that we know when, how, who and where to cast our metaphorical “pearls”.
Love is sacrifice and Jesus paid the ultimate price so we do not have to but, in order to know God intimately, it is necessary to partake in the fellowship of His sufferings. This means we will all experience some challenges in life but, never fear, God will never leave us nor forsake us.
Orange – Submission
When we love God, then we can submit to him. This is total trust in God’s ways and timing. Part of submission is obedience and faith. There is faithfulness on God’s part but also consistency is needed on our part.
Jesus & the Holy Spirit typify submission. In obedience, Jesus came to earth to die for man and then the Holy Spirit came to dwell on earth in man.
Choosing to obey God is not always easy but it is always worth it.
Yellow – Spirituality
From a place of Submission comes a deepening of our Spirituality. This usually begins with prayer which is simply communication with God. Prayer can occur in multiple forms including thoughts, words and in speaking a spiritual language. It manifests as intercession, worship or praise to the Godhead.
However, we need to remember Jesus is our primary intercessor and advocate and it is the Holy Spirit that teaches us to pray effectively; prayer is grace-led, not human-led.
For a functional mind there also needs to be time for meditation, study of the Word and reflection on how to improve. We must create time for this. For me, I find early mornings work best but there’s is no hard or fast rule about timing. The important thing is to choose a time and keep showing up. It is often said that it starts of as a duty, then it becomes a discipline, then it becomes a delight.
Green – Balance
As part of deepening our Spirituality there is a need to ensure that there is premium given to balance. This is priorities, order, boundaries, and tolerance (which does not mean acceptance of all things, it means being able to bear all things).
Whilst our Spiritual priorities are loving God and others first, our earthly priorities must always be care of our physical and mental health first. This was a mistake that I made.
Self-love is not selfishness, it is a recognition that without our wholeness, we are of little use to God or man. Following this if we have a family, this is our next priority and then friends who are like family. It is after this that career and ministry (including volunteer work for society or the church) come.
Blue – Patience
From balance, we can enter into patience. This is calmness, endurance, and flexibility. God is all about the waiting game. This is shown in Jesus coming to earth. 4000 years waiting to come as man and then a further 30 years to fulfill his mission on earth. “Those that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength”.
Generally, expect to wait for the things that God promises. Apart from the timing, it is also important to be flexible on the means and mode of delivery. Usually the bigger and more powerful the promise, the longer and more unexpected the wait and fulfilment. But never fear, God is always perfectly on time. Patience is a virtue and tied with discipline and self-control.
Oh how wrong I have had this my whole life! Rest is not optional; it is mandatory, and a crucial follow-on from patience. On the seventh day, God rested. This is also tied in to self-esteem, self-love and self-care. Without sufficient rest, it all falls apart and with too much rest, we never get anything done. It will vary with seasons of life but on average 6-9 hours of sleep daily is needed for a functional mind.
Rest also includes regular periods of downtime from both spiritual and physical work, as well as technology.
Living with the concept of rest is part of the principle of living by Grace.
Finally rest gives way to enjoyment! Yes! You read that correctly. God wants us to enjoy life. This was the essence of Jesus coming to earth to give humanity access to the fullness of His Joy. This was another thing that I was doing insufficiently. In fact, our enjoyment of life is the very reason for His sacrificial love.
Part of enjoying life is serving others including family and friends but a key part is doing things you enjoy! For example, I enjoy singing and I recently realized a new passion for painting. I love Disney, most theme parks, musicals and good mafia films (inherited from my father), geek alert – I also love historical documentaries. And finally I love to travel and a good meal with a great glass of wine on occasion.
It is important to treasure the moments of enjoyment as we only live on earth once, before we go to heaven and eternity with God, and we must make the best of it!
So, there you have it my little rainbow theory of the start on the path to JOY which is the centre of the functional mind.
Joy is not happiness. Joy is a fruit developed by the indwelling Holy Spirit.
Joy is knowing deep in one’s spirit that all is well independent of the circumstances.
For in His presence there is fullness of Joy and at His Right Hand there are Pleasures forever more.
We work our way from the Love of God to the Joy of the Lord and back again. It is a continuum. Love is the seed and Joy is the fruit. Joy then becomes the seed and Love is the fruit and all the other fruit; peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in between.
Remember though, that these are just the first steps that work for me and are from my perspective. It is purely a starting point, from this, I am learning new aspects to the rainbow and developing and building on it. As we submit all of ourselves to God; the good and the bad, the happy and the painful, the pretty and the ugly, the Holy Spirit uses all of it to create something beautiful.
Practically, we achieve this by submitting our lives to the Godhead in obedience, prayer and meditation on God’s word so that we are able to develop intimacy with the Holy Spirit and receive the wisdom and power to live out our personalised, beautiful, divine kaleidoscope.
Finally, for everything GOD does the devil has his counterfeit his rainbow starts with false enjoyment of sin and works its way down to false love at its centre, this will also cause a dysfunctional mind that may appear to be functional but if you really inquire, you will realize that there is a hole that people who don’t accept God’s love are still trying to fill.
To summarise with a song from my childhood, “ Life without God’s love is like a donut ; because there is a hole in the middle of your heart”.
Scriptural References (more available on request)
‘And we also have joy with our troubles because we know that these troubles produce patience. And patience produces character, and character produces hope. And this hope will never disappoint us, because God has poured out his love to fill our hearts. God gave us his love through the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to us.’ Romans 5:3-5
‘And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. ‘ Romans 8:28-29 NLT
You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalms 16:11 NKJV
“So you received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit in spite of the severe suffering it brought you. In this way, you imitated both us and the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 1:6 NLT
“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:8-10 NLT