When I was a kid, pretty young, I pondered things. I guess I was going through a phase I suppose everyone goes through when we start asking questions and becoming self aware. I would contemplate ideas, questions, different things that mom and dad couldn't always easily answer. Sometimes I would come to conclusions, other times the task or the answer just seemed to difficult and arriving at something that satisfied my curiosity just couldn't be found so I would leave it alone for a while. One thing that I distinctly remember pondering and contemplating was the idea or understanding of "nothing". This was the beginning of what seemed like a life long search. I wrote poems and prose mainly for myself so I could go back and read it. Something about writing it down made it all clearer, and it was easier to digest.
I wrote a poem about "Nothing" that started off as: What is nothing? Surely there is always something.
That short sentence caused me to think of all the things we might visualize in our minds, such as space, air, blackness.. but in this contemplation I realized even those things were something... space is made up of invisible gases, just as the air and so there was "something" even the space in between those molecules most likely housed even something. The very fact that nothing is labeled as something meant it was something..
This really was the beginnings at the most basic level for me of discovering God.
Over the past few weeks I have been realizing the phases that I have and most likely many others go through when they are seeking answers, the bigger questions of life.
In order for someone to be saved, they must first realize they are lost. In order for us to appreciate the day we must be acquainted with the night. If we are missing the opposite formula of an equation we will never arrive at the answer.
When life just doesn't seem to work, when we have come to a point when we realize or at least hope for something more, then we have come to revelation, because in fact there is...something more.
In relation to God, this pondering of Nothing was in part His desire to reveal Himself to me, but I couldn't possibly have received this revelation if I had not asked the question, pondered the thought, and searched for the truth.
Once we realize we are lost, or that we aren't happy in the place we find ourselves physically or spiritually, then the only thing we are left to do, is to take action. That action can lead us closer or further from the truth, the answer. That action may in fact distract us from the truth... and isn't that the story of our lives, when you think about it? Distractions are comfortable, entertaining.. its like a dance we participate in, swaying us this way and that, with highs and lows, fast and slow. Until we again arrive at a point where we grow tired of the dance, of the distraction and we find ourselves asking the same question? Why am I here, what is my purpose, where do I go from here, isn't there more?
We try this thing and that, sometimes we leave one thing for another, sometimes we go back to a way of life that was comfortable, that we seemed to fit into, that seemed "natural" ... we justify it and find ourselves defending it...and for the most part it feels comfortable, until it satisfies us no longer. Often times whatever it is or has been leaves us empty, hurt, rejected, confused, hopeless... the list goes on.... and so we ponder more and think of this or that, perhaps we endeavor to try a new career, a new relationship, a new hobby... more distractions, if life in and of itself wasn't a distraction enough - to just get our jobs done, deal with family, our health, manage friendships and fight for a cause... whatever it is... we fill our lives up with things, people, places, distractions.
Then hopefully at some point we try "religion" or something "spiritual" because by now we realize and maybe believe that part of our make up, our identity needs some attention. Again, we go to this church or that one, take up buddhism, new age, the power of positive thinking or something that says "I am addressing and nurturing my spirit"... and again, after some time we still need something more, this doesn't satisfy. Surely it has kept me occupied, but I can see it really doesn't answer my questions or fulfill this void in my life. Maybe we have gone through some addictions, or have some now, maybe not. But none of it satisfies and we begin to ache and long for an answer, something more, something that does satisfy.
Perhaps we get to the end of all our efforts, all our pursuits and we give God a chance at least who we have been taught to believe is God and we earnestly seek the Truth. By now we realize the Truth and nothing but the Truth will set us free... no matter how contradicting it may be to how we have lived our lives, or what other people have said, believe and taught... we realize we need the Truth.
Thats when things really change. And only the Truth can be found in the One true living God. But its a difficult pill to swallow a difficult reality to embrace when everything in us, everything we have thought, lived and breathed seems to contradict and vice versa. It seems impossible. And sometimes, we simply get a little taste of it and its bitter and we turn away from it... and settle in the lives we have created for ourselves, no matter how unsatisfying it may be to us... it feels better than being convicted, or condemned. If feels better than what it feels like to be rejected. And thats how it is sometimes we feel completely rejected, because we have identified so much with something that has become a part of us. But I tell you its a lie. This God and the people who say they represent Him, are evil it seems, they hate me, ridicule and mock me, gossip about me and everything they do and say... well if its of "God" I want no part of it or Him. Unfortunately this is the case more than not. But if you place or have placed your faith in people, fallible human beings, well you've been foolish. Sure its natural to think we can trust others, and sometimes we can, but all humans are subject to error... just look at yourself and survey your life. Enough said.
Stay with me. So are you willing to lay all you know and experienced to side for a bit? Thats the biggest challenge you see... to be willing to place your belief on the judgment seat, to test its validity and consider an alternate reality. One you can hardly comprehend, but have enough faith to just listen and ponder again like you did as a kid... just consider it for a moment. That little bit of faith will possibly lead you into a reality you never thought existed or could be maintained.
If you feel lost, if the world isn't delivering if your spirit is hungry... God has what it takes to satisfy your every need and all the desires of the world, of the flesh, can be overcome. I am living proof. No matter what it is, He has the power to overcome it, in fact He already has. This phase is the most important... its the phase where you believe there is One True God and He has your best interests at heart. Thats all you need to know and believe for starters no matter what others have said and no matter who those "others" are, be it your parent, a spouse, a significant other, a well known preacher, pastor, anyone... it doesn't matter what status they hold or how educated they are. They are all human, and fallible and their truth may not be the whole truth and their frame of reference, their life story is different from yours.
Some will never move past this point and they will justify their position, even if its one they aren't totally and completely overjoyed with. They will defend it with their lives because its what they know and many deep down, have a fear of change, of moving into the unknown and making it known. Many will never cross that threshold and be willing to lay everything down, even themselves for something far greater than the human mind could or will ever comprehend.
However, for those willing to take the leap of faith - to delve into the things of God, to pursue Him and seek His counsel, His spirit... you will be changed, so get ready. Its like being tried through the fire... He will reveal to you that in fact you are lost and you need to come out of the forest. You need to separate yourself as He will separate from you the things of this world, the things you know and replace them with the things you have yet to know. Whatever it is you have bound yourself to, He will break if you let Him. And when He does, and as He does, you will be put to death... you will become a living sacrifice. He will come to live within you by His spirit and your eyes and ears will be opened to a new and supreme Truth, a world and reality that far exceeds the one you now live in. I can't describe or explain it, I can only say you have to see for yourself.
This is a tough phase. But if you pursue Him and His Kingdom, you will overcome just as He has overcome.. You will overcome yourself with His guiding, leading and directing. You will truly begin to discover the One and true living God. He will become very real to you. This is the phase that you realize you are a sinner, and once you realize this, you will also realize you are in bondage and enslaved to these sins, to the desires of the flesh, to carnal things, to your own intellect, to so many things. You will try in your own power to repent, to stop doing this or that and you will have some success but you will quickly find your strength is no match for the enemy's devices and that you need supernatural power, authority and the living Word inside of you, the Holy Spirit even.
You will learn that laying things down at the "cross" will have no effect, because you will just continue to go back out into the world and heap upon yourself more sin, more burdens. When you tire of this and realize your own strength and will just won't cut it. You will realize that Jesus didn't keep getting nailed up there over and over again, no, in fact it only happened once, and He died. Then He rose again in three days, having conquered death hell and the grave. This will be an Ah Ha! Moment, and the next time you go to the cross you will climb up there with Him, and be nailed down just as He was, and you will once and for all, die! You will then relive the resurrection in Him, as He will live through you a little at first but as you pursue this continual death, continuing to repent and turn away from sin, but toward Him, He will increase and you will decrease. You have to be willing to give everything to Him, everything, every thought, ever action, every deed. You must be willing to sacrifice it all just as He did...and when you do, you will discover Life unending. True Life, eternal life, abundant life, His life!!! A life of joy, of excitement of anticipation. One filled with compassion and love, of humility and even power. You will have no fear and you will begin to walk in His ways, His commands will become easy the same commands (not just the ten) that you thought were impossible. All, I said ALL, I repeat, ALL things are possible with God.
He will consume all those things in your life that have distracted you, swayed you, taken you down a dead end road. He will clear the air, and confusion will be something of the past. You won't have to "figure it all out" on your own anymore, He already has and He will reveal to you everything you need to know.
So are you at that point today? Are you pondering something no one seems to have the answers to? Will you be distracted the rest of your life or will you step out of the matrix to "Come Up Here and See?""
God bless you all. I tell you, God is very real, very alive and very much wants you to know Him. I don't have to sit here and tell you about rules and regulations, dogma and doctrine. I can just tell you no matter what you believe, no matter what others have said or done - God can and will deliver you. Which means He will take you out of this world, and birth you into one that can only been seen and experience through Him, Jesus Christ. And unless you go through that process, being born again, just like our physical birth, only spiritual, you will never ever see or experience this Mighty and Glorious Kingdom. And if anyone tells you its an easy process, and a simple prayer, well... I am hear to tell you that just "ain't" true. I can't say you won't be saved, but being saved without sanctification is basically just making you aware you are in a prison and there is no escape.
Sanctification is the process in which we attain sanctity or holiness. Being born is just the beginning right? In my mind holiness is the equivalent of becoming mature, or allowing Christ or His Spirit to mature in fullness through us, through our lives. To be made whole. Surely when we are born we are whole and complete human beings, but we have not attained language or understanding to navigate our way through life and make the most of it, to realize our full potential. Its the same with God, so while I want you to be saved and I want you to enter into this wonderful Kingdom, I want you to experience the fullness of it, as I seek it for myself. I can only do that by allowing His Spirit to sanctify me.
Who wouldn't want this? I mean really? Forget what the right and left wing say, forget the ridicule and judgment you have felt by others, no matter who they say they represent... stop believing the lies that only ensnare, confuse and condemn you... God will reveal what things need to change in your life and He will give you the desire to turn away from them. Don't believe a word I say, see for yourself and pursue Him!