7/21/11

"Seeing Nothing All Around, I Turn My Eyes to Heaven."

This last month has been on of self-transformation.
I've been pushing through aimlessness, lack of focus, self-pity, and contempt toward the one who has done no wrong, neither in the eyes of men or God.
I'd have to say the hardest parts of all this heaving and hoe-ing and woe-ing were the parts I did not give to God.

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:6-7


A lot of people have what they call a "life verse" or a section in the Bible which speaks to them most  through their experience in relationship with God.
I'd say Philippians 4:6-7 would be mine, and if you know me personally, you'll already have an idea of what I'm about to explain (I have no idea where I'm going with this post from here on out, I'm gonna leave it to the Holy Spirit to dictate the direction of this post, and pray that I don't get in the way of that direction).

When I was younger, I developed some nervous tendencies that followed me until the last few years, popping up on occasion only to be shut down thanks to God.
I was always afraid of the unknown or uncontrollable or things I would just imagine to be terrible.
I feared heart disease, diabetes, asthma attacks (I was a bit of a hypochondriac), demons, God not loving me because I had random thoughts that said things I truly did not believe (which led me to believe I was either schizophrenic or demon possessed), someone breaking into my house, etc.

In short, I was paranoid.
I guarantee that there are worse cases of paranoia in the world, that's just what I dealt with between ages 8-13, and, although I've been cured of my paranoia SOLELY by the grace and supernatural power of God (hallelujah!), I still, somewhat unknowingly, held some traits of anxiousness.
Through this, I became skeptical of anything not based in solid, immovable fact.
Thankfully, this did not affect my early faith, as an ignorant Christian (maybe even a normal person in general) I was unaware of the historical authenticity and reliability of the Bible.

However, amidst many apologetic sources, spiritual encounters in the physical world, and an ever growing understanding of who God is and how He works, I've found one of the most harrowing issues with my beliefs were faith and trust.

This is a typical stumbling block for any believer, but I am only now understanding, after about 4 years of being truly committed to following the Lord, Christ, the significance of this stumbling block; the necessity to turn it into a stepping stone.

All throughout my reading of the Gospel of Luke, I noticed that Jesus states numerous times that He performed miracles for the Pharisees and other non-believers on behalf of the hope that they might believe. Still, after many supernatural miracles were performed, many did not believe because their hearts were hardened by their selfishness.

The Pharisees, if you are unaware, were Jews that had high ranks/status within their congregations, making them very arrogant.
They loved the praise from others that came from their "praise" to God, so they preached in public places, made a big show of things, and always thought highly of themselves and their beliefs.

Sadly, if they would've put down their pride and stopped being so selfish, they would have realized the Son of the God they so proudly claimed to serve was right in front of them; they could have given themselves over to Him and gained true life.

Their selfishness became the anchors to the eyes of their hearts.



To loop this back to my point, I had been encountering God in so many ways, there was (and is) absolutely no doubt in the expansiveness of His reality, power, and love.
I was blessed to be able to speak in tongues, interpret prophetic dreams, deliver friends out of harmful situations through the Word of God and the Holy Spirit, and so much more that I couldn't list or even remember.
My heart was hardened because I just wanted a girl to fall in love with and a healed back and a Christian melodic hardcore band to play shows with, I didn't actually want to see if God's had any of those things in His plan.
Although relationships that progress into marriage, physical healing, and a musical ministry/worship form are all things that God made possible and loves, I never bothered to consider if He has different plans for me.

Like Jonah, whom God had a plan for, I didn't want anything to do with it.
If I would've taken the time to be obedient and trust in God's perfect plan, I could have reached this point of endearment to the Lord months sooner, maybe even years.


Instead, I had to be swallowed by a giant fish.


Don't make the same mistakes as I.

If you're a Christian, learn early on the importance of completely relying on God, as you will struggle and build your relationship with Him almost entirely on this aspect.
After all, if you've made the commitment to be a "Little Christ", a follower of Jesus, then why are you doubting your belief?
Hot or cold, choose.
Lukewarm is unacceptable; you will harm others and yourself if you continue to idle away in sedation and submission to fear and discomfort.

If you are NOT a Christian, whether being one interests you or not I implore you to dig into the truths of the Christian doctrine.
Do not assume I simply mean apologetics/evidences, although there are plenty of reliable sources for you to get into, I truly feel that no matter how much you will end up finding the hard facts of Christian truth, you will never be able to have that substitute any faith you may find in God, should you choose to follow Him.
Like C.S. Lewis described in an analogy, if you are to go into surgery and have been administered anesthetics, as soon as the doctors put the mask on you and get the tools out and the process begins, fear that the anesthetics will fail or you will choke from the tubes in your throat will overtake you. 
Fear will thwart any amount of fact you place in that situation.
In the same way, life will become difficult, and no matter how sure you can be that God exists and has a perfect plan for your life, you will still be overtaken by stress and fears that you can only overcome through faith and trusting that God is still in control, despite how you feel at the given moment.

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