Friday, July 29, 2016

Judging Ourselves - The Return to Light

Three years ago I was in a slump and couldn't figure out what was going on with me. God saved me from myself during that time. But as time marched on I slipped back into a state of being that I have been struggling to get out of, again. What is wrong with me??? What is it that I can't seem to see, that returns me to this place of ugliness and darkness? More importantly, how do I get out of the darkness and return to the light?

I must really be a bonehead and bordering on stupidity to fall again for the lies and deceits of the enemy of my soul. Was I even paying attention? Did I see what was going on or not? How many times do I need to be bonked on the head to realize when there is a low doorway I am trying to go through, I need to duck to go through it? It's like looking at the chopping knife, knowing it is razor sharp but reasoning I can move my hand in time before it comes down and chopping off my fingers.

My blog post from three years ago was helpful in getting me to see what was going on again. Click here if you want to read that blog post first

I have been in the slump again. These are the bogs of despair, selfishly wandering around looking for anything that will fill the void of self-realization and self-satisfaction. Plunging into the depths of of the mire of self-loathing, judgement and resentfulness towards others. I had slowly entered into the realm of sin against my brothers and against God himself. I needed to be saved from myself again.
"This picture was the picture of my life. Knowing but not doing otherwise. Continuing in my sin and calling it something other than sin. Imagining myself as righteous in my mind but destitute of the truth, carrying around a sour and troublesome attitude that wanted to satisfy my own desires."
"Being reminded of how I first came to salvation I had to repent of my sin. Sin was what it was and I had to call it what it was and deal with it the way that sin has to be dealt with."
More recently I have been spending time looking at the why and what got me here and talking to brothers about what they see and asking for help to recognize what I need to do. When a person is lost and sinking in the bog mud, they need someone to find them, throw them a rope and help pull them out. Darkness starts to close in all around them and they can't see the dry land to walk on. Everything is confusing and they can't find their way out. 

Thank God for men that are willing to do get dirty in order to find me and pull me out. Even though they get muddy and wet in the process, they are willing to do what ever it takes to help me get out of the slump. Why? Because they love me and they are my brothers.

Yesterday, I talked with a wise man of God (he would deny such accolades and say he is only in third grade). He that told me to stop looking at myself, stop feeling sorry for myself, grab hold of the truth that God loves me and he has promised never to leave me or forsake me. I took his advise along with the advice of several other men that love me and want to see me free from the mire of sin and death. In fact I believe the prayers of those men are what has destroyed the strongholds of the enemy and unblocked my mind so I can be free.

A dear sister was talking about the "why" of doing what we do in regard to creating an inside relationship with others. What I came to realize is that I had forgotten the "why" of what I was doing as well as the "why" of who I am in Christ and His Church. My "why" had become my satisfaction and my way. The real "why" had actually become lost and replaced with bitterness and resentment for not getting my way and not doing what I wanted. I became an island and separated from the rest of the church. I was not able to see or hear what God was telling me to do. I was becoming very unloving and cold-hearted, bitter and uncaring.

Why should I be in the church and submit myself to leaders and others around me? Why should I pursue the interests of serving others rather than myself? Why? Why not just go the direction I want to go? Why is everyone seemingly critical and judgmental of me? Why? 

Because I have my understanding darkened and I am drowning in my selfish thoughts and ways. I've forgotten why I am here, what had drawn me to the church in the first place. What else do I know to do that will benefit me in regard to having eternal life and finding joy in this life now? I'm certainly not going to find it outside of Christ and the Church. I tried that and it was disastrous. If Jesus Christ is who he says He is and the Church is the foundation of His life and truth, then I would be foolish not to do everything I can to embrace all that Christ has said to do. 

If Jesus is not who he says he is and the Church is not the foundation of His life and truth then we are all lost and deceived. My life is meaningless. I am unworthy to be His and in His church. I am lost. My life is a huge waste of time and energy.

He said, I am the way , the truth, and the life. His way is my light and life. But when I forget who I am and loose sight of the "why" I start wandering around the dark recesses of my mind and analytical thought processes; I slip away from what is real about me. My perspective narrows and everything becomes blurry around me. My focus shifts to me and what I believe is important for me. Me, me, me.

Thank God for His divine intervention and his loving kindness. He has not left me to my own devices but instead has captured my attention to focus on the reality of Christ. Jesus, who gave himself for me, who paid the price for my sin, who promised life everlasting, who leads the way in living a real and purposeful life. I want to honor Him and be with Him as my Savior, Lord, and Friend. I want to honor him by submitting to him and obeying his words because of my respect and love for what he has done and who is is to me. I have repented to God.

It's not that hard to do what is right in His eyes once my eyes are uncovered and I see what He is doing. Once I give up kicking and crying for my own way He is right there to show me why and what to do. It is much easier to see how to love myself and all those around me. It becomes my real nature which God birthed in me through faith and obedience. I am his and I have chosen to relinquish the past, present and future to Him. 

The best is yet to come. What do I have to fear but to lose sight of Him and slip into darkness again. And that will not happen when I am connected to those who walk in His ways and love me with the love of God. I choose to stay connected, working at seeing my brothers everyday with spiritual eyes and a heart that beats for my Lord.

The work continues on each day and the work that I desire is to rest in His ability to do all things in me, for me, to grow in grace and love for Him and his Life. Thank you Lord Jesus for not giving up on me and never leaving me alone. Once I was lost and blind but now I see. May I never forget that you, Lord Jesus, are my life, not my circumstances or anything I could imagine otherwise.

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