Monday, May 27, 2019

"After All, It's All Him"

It’s been 52 days. At times, the emotions have been all over the place. My awareness of what has happened has seemed a bit “hyperactive”, but it’s real, nonetheless. I’ve made conscious efforts to correct things in my behavior, my focus, and my emotions. I’ve been thankful, so very thankful. I’ve learned to view the heart attack as a “gift” from God. Not that He “sent it”, that’s preposterous to look at Abba that way, He doesn’t “send” bad things, or things related to curses to His beloved children. But He has revealed to me what was going on inside of me, and the perspective that I had erroneously looked at certain aspects of my life through. He has indeed “worked all things together for the good”, and I believe it is only the beginning of “the good”. In the coming days, months, and years, I believe that the corrections, alignments, and processes that the Holy Spirit has helped and will continue to help me engage in, will revolutionize my life in a plethora of ways.
The emotional seesaw has continued. Some of that may be the process of my body and mind adjusting to this new and improved “normal”. Some of it may be a heightened awareness of how fragile my humanity is, and some of it is most likely the enemy-induced lying spirit of fear, dread, and insecurity. I’ve even “deduced” that some of what I’m feeling is the sting of unfulfilled desires, dreams, and passions that I’ve yet to see unfold. Dealing with a potentially life-threatening episode has tried to entice my mind to go to those dark places where the lies try to fill my thoughts with how I’ve failed to do so much for my family so far, and how the choices (or failure to make the right choices) has kept me in a place of poorly providing for my family, and after feeling stuck in a spinning, cyclical state of deferred hopes and closed doors, I have been drained of my energy and my vitality to even try to dream, plan, or enthusiastically go after those objectives for my family and me. On the one hand, I have been truly transformed in areas of my life and my mindset, but on the other hand, I still wrestle with the “why’s and when’s”. WHY do the circumstances still seem stuck in a mind-numbing ride on a merciless, mundane, merry-go-round of trapped sameness and lack? When will I see the fruition of all the God-given hopes and desires of life and living?
Somehow, I can only arrive at this conclusion (without driving myself insane, or into another health episode). The whole ride of my life, including these seemingly sabotaged and cyclical seasons of barrenness, has nothing to do with what I have or haven’t done. Could it be that for over 20 years, God has been preparing us for this time, and this time for us, including answers, opportunities, abundance? It seems absurd to my natural mind. I mean doesn’t insanity mean to do the same thing over and over, yet expect different results? I think that’s an inaccurate definition formed from a shallow perspective. God does, in fact, lead us in patterns of repeat (see the children of Israel on their epic journey). But the way out of “repeat” has more to do with His timing, purpose, and process than it does with our performance or lack of. Religion and its pious sounding, principle-following eager minions always find a way to make life in Him, and our relationship and journey with Him, about US—what we’re not doing, what we’re doing wrong, and what we need to do more of.
Sermon series, books, seminars, and lectures provide us with an overkill of “plans”, recipes, steps, opinions, interpretive perspectives, and formulas to make us better this or better that. But the reality is this, OUR HUMANITY IS WOEFULLY BANKRUPT OF GOODNESS. We can’t follow enough guidelines or behavior modification practices to “arrive” at the life that Jesus wants us to enjoy! And we can’t live His life by “being better”, doing more, or being shamed into more “holy” behavior. I’ve read so much, listened to so many talking heads, and followed so many teachings through the years, hoping to finally get all the tumblers to align and unlock His answers, His blessings, His favor, and His direction in my life, that my brain has nearly flatlined!!!! Sadly, these are the things that modern Christianity seems to be built on! No wonder so many people burn out, give up, turn away from God, and grow incredibly cynical, fatalistic, and negative. Humanity—even in our most sanitized state—is filthy, and incapable of following a path of principled performance into that abundant, Kingdom-filled life that Jesus came to give us. That’s why He gave us His Spirit! He alone brings transformation, favor, power, and desires fulfilled. Once we recognize and accept that we are unable to humanly achieve the life of the Spirit through our principle following, behavior modification, or formulas, and live in complete dependence and surrender to the Spirit’s work and power in our life, THEN we will experience what Christ in us and through us can look like in every facet of our lives. THEN we can experience breakthrough, wholeness, and abundance. Meanwhile, we continue wandering around the same mountain, the same maddening cycle of repeat. We motivate one another by the “what could be, if only we could finally ascend that mountain” mindset. And we write more plans, more books, more sermon series, and more principle following flow charts to correct some part or parts of us that will hopefully align us with His approval and willingness to answer us in our areas of need and desire. We strive to “hit” on the magic formula that will finally unlock His promises and bring their manifestation in our lives.
But it’s only in giving up, that we experience breaking through! It’s only in realizing that HE is all in all…our EVERYTHING! Only by His Spirit, and by surrendering every part, every effort, and every principle to His control, and His empowerment, that we will walk in the fullness of His heart and His plan for us, resting and trusting in HIM alone! As a child completely and totally dependent on the love and provision of their Abba, we can confidently declare and live without fear or doubt, and with an expectant heart and mind! We no longer vacillate between fear and faith because we know His perfect love for us, and His heart for His children. We can rest assured in the desires that He places in us, as we delight in Him, and as we focus on our intimacy with Him in every aspect of our lives. His Spirit guides us, aligns us, and empowers us. It’s all HIM! In HIM, we live, we move, we have our very existence, our “MiDentity”.