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Level One: The "Blue Light Special"

If anyone has patronised K-Mart often, one is familiar with "The Blue Light Special".  From time to time, the store greatly marks down selected items for a short period of time, and announces the existence of such "great deals" through a page announcement and the deployment of a flashing blue light visible from most parts of the store.  To enjoy the benefits of these "Blue Light Specials", one must expeditiously move to the blue light, obtain the product before it runs out, and actually purchase it.

Of course, all of the above benefits are useless to you if you are not in the store in the first place

Of course it is with tounge firmly in cheek that I have called this sub-protocol of communicating with the Spirit through the Scriptures "The Blue Light Special," because I want to help you remember this one key aspect of this protocol: if you want the Holy Spirit to communicate to you through the scriptures, you must necessarily be in the Scriptures in the first place

While I do not doubt that "reading my Bible every day" is probably one of the most common resolutions that Christians make every New Year's Day, I also do not doubt that it is almost always on those lists every year because of failures to finish satisfactorily what one has started.  In my experience, it is not necessary to read through the entire bible to gain the benefit of these protocols, but a set daily bible reading program at a given pace will be of benefit to some.  However, I believe that the worst thing one could do is start at Genesis and plow straight through to Revelation.  Certainly we have the liberty to read the Scriptures by sections, such as the gospels or the epistles.  I highly recommend the "The Chapter from Proverbs of the Day" plan as one that greatly benefitted me and others, while obviously recommending that one does not confine oneself to Proverbs exclusively.

If one is committed to reading through the entire bible in 52 weeks, or was challenged to do so as I was by my Pastor, Allen Cason, I highly recommend this bible reading plan that he found on the Internet.  Michael Coley, the creator of the plan, divided the Scriptures into seven sections and reads a passage from a different section each day based on chapter divisions.  My only reservation, and warning, is that you be aware that the passages for Tuesdays and Thursdays almost always seem to be "thicker" than other days, covering 4 to 5 chapters.  To handle this, I have a paper print-out of the PDF version with check-offs, and "read ahead" when I have "thin" passages or extra time, pencilling in corrections.  For instance, I read chapters 47 through 49 of Jeremiah last Sunday and pencilled in "50" in place of "47" to remind me from where to continue reading in that section.  Nothing, of course, is preventing me from "reading ahead": My preference is to read 7 or 8 chapters a day, but not more than 3 from any single section.

The "blue light special" level of the protocol works as follows: as one reads the scriptures, one will be struck by a verse or passage that "speaks to you".  You may get a feeling of urgency or a "flash of insight".  A thought of how a passage you are reading relates to a long-standing question you have suddenly comes to mind.  One way or another, the Spirit "lights up," "targets," or "illuminates" a specific verse or passage for you to concentrate upon.  Its as if the K-Mart staff is following you with the cart and flicking on the blue light when you get into an asile with a deal they believe interests you.

How do we know that the "yield" of this protocol is from the Spirit?  For sure, the thoughts that come up as you read the scriptures are not currently from the Holy Spirit (though they come indirectly via His working on the original authors), but naturally arise from your mind as it is being made to think those thoughts as part of the process of processing the words being read or spoken: atheists prefer to not think about God, but physically hearing the preacher will force them to think about God when they hear the preacher say "God".  What is from the Spirit is the "sensation" felt in response to the reading or hearing.  Recall the time immediately preceding your decision to follow Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.  You probably were reading a religious document or listening to a bible-based sermon.  The thoughts that the reading or the sermon "initially" produced in your head were very likely not the Holy Spirit speaking, but rather "set the stage" for the thoughts that were from the Holy Spirit that convicted you that the words your were reading or hearing were "important" and "worth following" or "considering seriously".  Certainly the words you heard audibly or read with your eyes told you what you had to do, but the impression you felt that you should do them was not from you or from the Bible or the semonizer, but from the Spirit "following through" on the words being spoken or read.  (The words of the Bible do not inherently have power, and to believe otherwise would be to believe in magic.  The power comes from the One who backs those words up with power (Jeremiah 1:11-12).)

How do we know that the Holy Spirit will even give such a signal in response to reading an appropriate scripture passage?  There are three good reasons.  The first has to do with the fact that such a signal would be an aid to understanding a passage from a set of writings that the Holy Spirit inspired in first place (1 Peter 1:10-12, 2 Peter 1:19-21).  The second is that we have proposed the giving of that signal as the trigger portion of a protocol to which we have agreed to respond in a specific and consistent way.  That the Holy Spirit is willing to participate in a firmly held and followed protocol that contributes to Him successfully prosecuting His mandate within us has already been established by His doing so when it comes to Suppression (Romans 8:13).  In short, we have effectively made what the Ancients called a vow to God, and the fact that He would react badly if we don't keep it suggests that He would react positively we do keep it.  Thirdly, the mechanism/medium through which we are asking the Holy Spirit to communicate to us is indistinguishable from the mechanism/medium He uses to to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgement, and which He used to convict us of our need to confess our sins and follow Jesus, and which He uses to implement Suppression.  He convicted us that way without our express permission, so why would He suddenly acquire scruples when we expressly beg Him and give Him permission to use that same way to lead us to Truth?

Why does the Holy Spirit wait until the recipient is thinking certain thoughts?  The best way to appreciate why the Holy Spirit follows this strategy is to consider the fate of the thoughts He would produce that do NOT logically fit in with the thoughts currently being thought: they would be without context, appearing to "pop out of thin air".  A flashing blue light in K-Mart means something positive, but a flashing blue light in your rear-view mirror is not as promising or rewarding.  Context is everything, so anyone unacquainted with the way the Spirit naturally works would rank such "Out of K-Mart" "blue light" thoughts as being random, in the same class as  those thoughts of hamburgers, candies, dessert, or nekkid ladies that pop into the mind "on their own" in response to bordom or random stimuli.  People may entertain such thoughts if those thoughts amuse them or relieve them of boredom, but they are not taken seriously.  This is not to say that all thoughts that "pop out of thin air" are worthless: Kekulé, the scientist who proposed that benzine and other similar carbon compounds were rings, had been thinking about the problem without success until he (reportedly) dreamed of snakes biting their tails and rolling away.  In a sense, a thought is regarded as 'random', and thus discarded and ignored, if it does not have a context within which it can naturally lodge and subsequently illuminate.  These thoughts become like "the seed that fell by the wayside", producing nothing because they do not fit into a hospitable context.

Unreasonable Expectations

To believe that the Holy Spirit can drop thoughts "at random" into a person's mind and expect to have that person take what looks like "random" thoughts seriously is one of several unreasonable expectations about hearing from the Holy Spirit that I need to address.  Another unreasonable expectation is that the Spirit forces a person to think a thought that would lead to repentance or would represent repentance: such behavior would be indistinguishable from that of demons, and being likened unto a demon is something unto which the Spirit does not care to be likened. (Matthew 12:22-32).  While the Holy Spirit, being God, can certainly do such a thing, and as the Creator of the human race has the right to do such a thing, the Spirit will never force repentance or love out of a human being because He is the Spirit of Truth: He would simply KNOW that such a repentance or love was fake and not true, and a love or repentance that was forced, or even bought, would not be worth anything (Song of Solomon 8:6-7).  Calvinists who believe that God "wins" when He produces this sort of "love" in his worshippers fail to see that McCullen never really "had" the Baronness in the movie "G.I. Joe-The Rise of Cobra".  The Spirit of Truth cannot be so deluded, nor will permit the rest of the Trinity to delude Themselves or indulge in mental masturbation with the Creation.

Another unreasonable expectation is to expect that the Holy Spirit, in this context, would speak in a voice that is audible: a man would think himself going mad if he "heard" such a voice outside of a reasonable context.  Such levels of manifestation are reserved for men and women mentally pre-prepared to hear God in person or in a vision, such as Moses, Elijah, Job, and the prophets.  Angels are sent to those who are un-prepared to expect the divine, and even then the almost universal opening line ("fear not") is indicative of the natural reaction of people to the unexpected.  At the beginning, expect wordless "flashes" or "surges" of emotion or feelings to signal a verse worth further rational and systematic examination.  Also expect such "flashes of insight" if, later in that day or the next, something happens and your mind suddenly "recalls" a passage you read earlier: the Spirit bringing to mind a bible verse is exactly what He did for Jesus during the Latter's temptations in the wilderness by the Devil, and what Jesus promised to the Disciples at the Last Supper (John 14:26).  Expect a lot of head-slapping and mutterings of "oh DOH!" 

And don't feel bad when those times (inevitably) come: I still get those on a semi-regular basis myself!

Tips, Pointers, and Cautions Regarding "Blue Lights"

Biblically true doctrines and understandings are supported by a multiplicity of scripture passages, so concentrating on one verse for a specific interpretation while ignoring others that obviously argue against the interpretation is as error prone as focussing on a favorable experimental outcome while ignoring a multiplicity of counter-findings.  If the Spirit "blue lights" separate independent but related verses across a period of serveral days, He is clearly building up a "portfolio" of verses that you must consider either as a connected whole or as two or more complimentary supporting sets.  This is why I favor the bible reading plan that reads the bible in sections, for it gives the Spirit the opportunity to "blue light" otherwise unrelated passages that actually support each other or provide contrast to illuminate a principle.  Conversely, a single "blue light" supporting a heterodox interpretation of a verse that is contradicted by multiple "blue lights" supporting the opposite is most likely a "false positive".

Be ready to receive "Blue Lights" that appear apart from reading the Bible, and consist of you recollecting a Bible verse or passage that you recently read when you encounter some happening or circumstance during the day.  I believe the Holy Spirit did precisely that for Jesus during His Temptations by the Devil in the Wilderness by helping Jesus remember relevant passages from the book of Deuteronomuy.  It is what Jesus said the Holy Spirit would do with His Words for the Disciples after His ascension in John 14:26.  It is one of those side-benefits of being led by Someone capable of perfectly remembering the future.  (And yes, you read me right.  Read this for my reasoning.)

Growing In Level One

As you mature and grow in getting, detecting, and correctly interpreting scriptural "blue lights", you should expect to start getting "scriptural" negative "blue lights" and non-Scripture "blue lights" of both sorts. 

The "scriptural" negative "blue lights" need some explanation: the promulgation of false doctrine within a church conditioned to accept only doctrine that is supported by scriptures necessarily requires the misuse and wresting of scriptures to be convincing enough to be accepted in place of the complimentary true doctrine. The fact that a scripture is being misused is itself a truth that is necessary to know to continue being led unto all truth.  Thus, when you hear a sermon where you are getting a lot of "blue lights" of a negative sort, then it is time to seriously question and examine the sermon, the doctrine, and its use of scriptures. As usual, one should not treat "blue lights" as unquestionable truth or with complete skepticism.  In addition, the timing of the "blue lights" during the sermon needs to be considered, since some portions may be true, some false, some partially false, and some requiring further examination.  Sometimes, a correct doctrine will be stated mal-adroitly, and the action that needs to be taken when receiving a "blue light" would be a gracious and discreet pointing out of alternatives and better ways of stating it.  However, it should be obvious that basing one's objections to a sermon that cites scriptures upon "a feeling I got that you are wrong" is precisely the wrong way to address the "blue light": "Blue lights" are intended as indicators to direct and focus our attention to problems and opportunities, but do not necessarily give us the requisite information to fully resolve the issues indicated.  In a nuclear plant control room, there are arrays of boards of lights called annunciators that indicate various off-normal conditions.  An operator is expected to notice when an annunciator goes off and to respond to it, but the response that is followed is outlined in a separate document called a procedure that is tied to the specific annuncator or sets of annunciators.  "Blue lights" are the annunciators of the Symbiotic Christian lifestyle, but the specific response to follow is outlined in Scripture.

There is, of course, the problem of "misinterpreting" a "scriptural" "negative" "blue light": It just might be the heart trying to get you to question a sermon that is too close for comfort!  In either case, examine the underlying scriptures and accept the possibility that the "blue lights" may be the Holy Spirit warning you that the sermon DOES apply to you.  After all, being led by the Spirit can also mean being led to a church or bible study from whose pastor or teacher you must learn (or re-learn) some things!  What you may be asked to learn may cut across your pet sins and failings, so don't mistake carnal resistance for a valid "negative blue light".

The appearing of non-scriptural "blue lights" is exactly what one would expect if the task of the Spirit is to truly lead us unto all truth, and it is to prevent the recognition of such that otherwise religious people attempt to limit the leading of the Holy Spirit only unto religious truth.  However, just as it is necessary to follow up a religion-oriented blue light with an examination of it by the scriptures, a non-scriptural "blue light" must be examined and judged based on "scriptures" relevant to the subject matter.  My research associate, Ken Fuqua, occasionally got "blue lights" while reviewing control rod position recommendations (though we didn't call them that at the time), but did the re-review, performed the discovery, and implemented the corrections by following standard reactor engineering methods and procedures.  In his case, the "blue light" prompted him into undertaking a deeper and more thorough review than normal.  I vividly recall driving back from a Fourth of July party held by in-laws in their country house, getting lost, and getting the sense of being "pointed" in a certain direction.  My mother-in-law was stoutly sure, at every turn, that I was going the exact opposite direction.  Finally, at one intersection, I "sensed" I had to turn right, while my mother-in-law insisted that we turn left.  The sense of needing to turn right flashed insistently, then I got an "inner voice" message that advised me to turn left, stating that doing so would establish peace, which was far more important than being right.  I did so, and within a block she noticed a traffic sign that made her realize she was wrong and I had been right.  There were a few more questionable turns that I had to consult my spiritual "GPS", but we got to where we needed to go, and without further comment from my mother-in-law.

Mentioning that "inner voice" that clarified why I had to disobey the "blue light" is a good lead-in to the next level of operating this protocol.

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