DRAWING NEAR – PART 3
COME OUT WITH YOUR HANDS UP
I have said many times that I am an emotional person and this can be good and bad. Good in the sense that I am still soft hearted and have not become calloused or hardened from sin – and bad because it is easy to become confused with what are fleshly feelings and what is from the Holy Spirit. It is common to have a mixture of both and this is alright because we are a spiritual being trying to live in a structure of flesh and blood and Jesus understands how we feel because He also has actually lived in a human body with all of the pains, disappointments and temptations. On a personal note, being transparent is like therapy for me because when I open my heart and expose its contents, I feel a sense of freedom and honesty that helps me accept and understand where I am failing and what I need to work on. I would not want to be the type of person that lives in the darkness of secrecy and always afraid that my true identity will expose the hidden things within my conscience. However let me clarify, just because any of us share about our weaknesses does NOT mean that we are ready or willing to change. Sometimes people use their transparency to draw attention and love to talk for hours about how “terrible” their life has been because they love being noticed. I counseled a person recently that had gone through horrible situations and it had impacted him a great deal and it truly was an amazing story of someone that has survived much abuse and torment – BUT they were NOT interested in healing. They had been offended so long and filled with resentment that this negative way of thinking had become a trusted “friend.” The thrill people receive from telling their story empowers them by justifying their emotions and even though we explain this sin is costing them their relationship with Jesus, they refuse to let go of their hate because they are convinced it is all justifiable!
Is this the way we all react when we are rejected and offended? When others come to us seeking advice and we ask God to help us, we can usually find all kinds of wonderful things to say, but if we are not careful, we will look past our own problems because it’s easier to tell others what to do than to incorporate God’s Word into our life. Why? Because humans hate change. Even when serious personal issues are causing much pain and tragedy within our soul, we avoid dealing with it just like everyone else. There is not a more serious tragedy than to listen to the dark-side trying to lie and deceive us into justifying the sin within our heart. Instead of us becoming what God has called us to be, many times we settle for becoming what the enemy tells us we can get away with. We are so weak when it comes to transformation we eagerly accept the idea that living with our problems is less painful than being delivered from them. And until the torment of staying the same becomes greater than the agony of change – we will remain in bondage! We think we know what this means but for the most part we do not really have a clue. Here is how the emotional person operates. They gather facts until convinced they have a pretty good grip on what it all means. Then they begin to shape this knowledge according to how they would like for it to be and how it would be more beneficial to them. This emotional manipulation is a coping mechanism which allows the human “nature” to live in a generic peace while doing whatever it desires. This has nothing to do with going to church or how many Bibles a person owns and is not really living but rather it is existing in a make-believe world of fantasy and dreams that most of the time has nothing to do with God. Our old nature uses this strategy to trick the conscience into thinking that all is well as the emotions “hope” that God cannot recognize what is really going on. This is living a life of illusion that will NOT have a happy ending no matter how sincere we seem or how many tears we cry. Actually, this free-will ability was a gift given to humans because God did not want anyone to love and serve Him as a robot. He has always just wanted somebody to step forward and truly follow and live for Him because they love Him.
We cannot walk in the fullness of joy if we keep the chamber doors of our heart locked and refuse to allow Jesus to do routine cleaning inspections. Some are working harder to cooperate with their demons instead of working to get rid of them. This game of denial is what fuels our resistance to deal with being fat and lazy and even though no one wants to admit they are in spiritual bondage, I believe that many even in the church are spiritually crippled within the deepest parts of their being. This is exactly where the enemy loves to hold us and as our most enthusiastic cheerleader, he is constantly trying to convince us that everything will be just fine if we remain exactly the way we are. Look around closely…it is not difficult to recognize that we are witnessing a growing society of paranoid and selfish dysfunctional zombies that is growing worse every day. “This know also, that in the last days perilous [dangerous] times will come. For people will be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent [no self-control], fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of Godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (II Timothy 3:1-5,7)
I have noticed when my pride levels begin to rise I usually swing into an over-confident attitude but when I commit myself to prayer and fasting my arrogance begins to melt into humility and meekness. When the child of God is riding high on the waves of arrogance and the deception that they have it going on, it is only a matter of time before God intervenes and brings chastisement in order to save them from destroying themselves. One of the most common complaints from Christians is how the devil is always beating them up when in reality it is God that is trying to get their attention. Amen! The Lord’s concept of the disciple’s life is not a stagnant pond but rather a fresh flowing river. We are to be growing, advancing, progressing and developing into a stronger and wiser servant every day and this is NOT an option. This is all about change and will not happen until we are serious about surrendering. God is saying come out with your hands up, step into the light and drop your excuses, reasons, justifications, explanations, validations and arguments. It is not about how we THINK or FEEL! It is ALL about what He is demanding. Let us look in the book of numbers chapter 21, verse 35 and also in the book of I Samuel chapter 15 and notice 2 instances where the Lord commanded Israel in the midst of battle to destroy EVERYTHING and not leave any trace of the enemy. It is true these were literal accounts of battle but they also contain divine revelations of the spiritual realm as it pertains to the darkness within our own heart. We all battle our “demons” which are our weaknesses and tendencies to favor certain temptations. When the Lord tells us to become holy and allow our conscience to be purified through His refining fire, it is NOT an option or a suggestion.