Amidst all the struggles 'life' seems to present, there is a longing in every person to 'solve' present problems/situations. No matter the problem, our pre-programmed software package outputs the answer:
- If drowning, if at all possible, we attempt to swim to the top
- If we feel unsafe, we lock our doors
- If we're cold, we put on a sweater or turn up the heat
- If we need money, we get a job (or rob a bank- hopefully not!)
- If we're caught in the rain, we seek shelter
- If we're lonely, we join a social group
- If isolated, we seek intimacy
- If we feel undervalued, we seek a pat on the back
- If feeling unfulfilled we'll get another degree and possibly move to a new neighborhood
The above list is simply representative of solving problems, as we move through life; there's nothing dysfunctional about being human. There seems no end to examples like these, but the truth is, there is an end. 'This end' is what's on my mind most of the time. I've discovered that in order to help people find the beginning they are longing, they must be willing to experience the end. I don't simply want to tell you about it. I deeply desire you experience it. He can be seen clearly in all creation and human psychology is part of 'all creation'.
I sat with a friend recently who is struggling with a lot of things. His marriage, according to him, is over. For several years he's struggled emotionally. It's difficult for anyone to really get to know him. I may be the only person he actually opens up with. He can tell me in great detail about dreams, where God visits him, telling him that he's acceptable. But, when he describes his wife, his fear creates a disconnect, disabling him from seeing/accepting her the same way. I'm heartbroken at how close he is and yet rejoice that my job isn't to fix him, it's to love him. I guess I'm just different. I'm drawn to men like this. My wife once said I need more 'normal' friends but I'm just looking for broken vessels, people who worldly logic discards as rejects. Besides, I once heard 'normal' was just a setting on a dryer. 'Normal' needs to be redefined into a powerful example of what living sons look like (that's the kind of normal that moves me).
No one can know exactly how another feels or what others are going through. What you're going through is unique to you, yet all struggle has within it a common thread, connection to taste death. Spirit teaches us by allowing us to 'taste death', not so we're swallowed by it's darkness. Tasting death is powerful and necessary because you discover you can eat it. You discover you're not disconnected from God and have power over it, with Him. Death, where is your sting?
A few years ago I was moving into my new shop on our farm. While moving, I loaded my open trailer for the 25 minute journey, only to discover upon arrival my expensive, heavy mill, black plastic sheeting had bounced off during travel. I was sad. It felt odd being sad at this, so I turned my attention toward God. I was actually mourning a roll of plastic. I felt odd, almost ashamed, as I inquired. God spoke to me a great revelation about mourning. Mourning is critical for humanity to emote and it's critical that we're absolutely honest (transparent with our inner self). We can't just pretend we're okay if we're not and we can't just stick our finger in a Bible and quote scriptures. The world is full of people who tell you all about God but aren't actually taking the medicine. Heck, for that matter, so are the pulpits. I'm looking for someone who's bold enough to approach Him as they are. When it gets down to it, that's the way you gotta come, just as you are. No amount of lipstick is gonna change a thing. It's just you and God's love for you. Out of this simple, ever-reproducing encounter, we know ourselves as we are known; and that's why you should continue reading...
Protestants recently celebrated Easter, the time of The Resurrection and Life:
- Resurrection? Churches are packed on Resurrection Sunday. We all wanna hear that because of Jesus we're alive!!! Actually, control is what we (humanity) loves and wants to hear about. That's why the masses only wanna hear about the goodies but never press in enough to actually experience them personally.
- There is an underlying energy motivating flesh, even from birth. Whether to save self or not, all flesh comes pre-programmed, wired into connectivity with the earth. Flesh instinctively swims to the top of the water if drowning... so, we can conclude, flesh is only interested in saving self. What it's actually interested in is calling the shots. When The Resurrection is presented in proper context, ascension cannot be done without descending. Making it to the top of the water for the drowning person is absolutely important but it's never the main event.
- For humans, our methods are ineffective at touching Eternity. We just never understood it (Eternity) was hidden in our hearts. It's illogical to die to live, so we pass over this option; it appears unable to provide what we're longing. The Resurrection must be presented in the proper pattern: Jesus could not rise until He first descended.
- Life? Now, that will sell! Or, will it? We have lots of buyers wanting Life! But, once we shine the light on the fact we can't have resurrection without being dead first, we lose our audience. Peddling death won't make you popular. In fact, you may even be unrecognizable, marred and without reputation.
- Some years ago, I obtained an 800 number and opened a suicide help line. I wasn't there to talk people out of suicide. I desire people embrace 'dying right'. If I can teach you how to 'die right', you'll know how to live instinctively. You'll discover Treasure hidden inside you. In this state you'll no longer grasp for life, you'll understand you're one with The Life.
Are we asking others to walk in revelation they haven't yet received? Do we get disappointed in the way they handle affairs because they handle issues differently? Now, that's messed up!
The message of the gospel is not asking for forgiveness of your sins; it's learning that your Sin WAS ALREADY forgiven (from human perspective). Accepting there is no offense between yourself and God is the only way to accept Truth. The Good News is NEWS! The only responses are: 'to believe' or 'to not believe'. Believing causes those bound in fear to break free; instantly experiencing new life as citizens of heaven, even while on Earth.
I began writing by describing how our human programming is predictable in a hierarchy of needs. I began with foundational needs of life and death situations, and worked down the list. For years, I guess I believed being human was a sin, that being human was an enemy of Spirit; but, somewhere along the way I began to see things differently. It was looking through the eyes of Grace that allowed me to embrace my humanness was not God's enemy. My humanness is the earthen vessel where the Treasure lives! My humanness is His humanness. And, so is your humanity.
Each of us have a deep desire to be accepted. Said another way, "we need love". It just so happens that God is Love so that works out pretty well. Love has not, will not, and cannot fail. Love doesn't mean you'll get your way or guarantee you won't be present in a terrorist attack. The Good News is only good news because it's a done deal, even before you knew He existed. It's news, not an invitation. You don't have to ask God to forgive you; BELIEVE that you were forgiven, because you are.
Human motivations to our actions are born out of either; (a)climbing a ladder to become something, or (b)an understanding of what 'is' already. This isn't to say that self-discovery of your identity will not continue as you're transformed but honest motivation chooses because of who you are, not who you hope to be one day. (Example: A faithful husband doesn't step out on his wife because he's afraid of getting caught. He's faithful because of who he is.)
Spiritual maturity comes through the daily process of accepting there is no separation between yourself and God. Offenses are used to identify areas of needed growth.
Finally, the struggles 'life' seems to present are not haphazard. They're Spirit teaching you. What you're really experiencing is THE LIFE, Him. We don't have to move away from trouble every time it appears. Sit, study it, and meditate on what God may be saying through your everyday life.
I hope you'll engage in conversation by commenting below. Share what Spirit speaks to you.