Message 16 of 22 (397035)
04-24-2007 1:27 AM
Reply to: Message 15 by sidelined
04-22-2007 12:36 PM
Hope this helps
I'm just going to be real with you here S.L... you take it however you must.
|It is obvious in reading through your posts that you have had a great deal of turmoil in your life and that the result of your struggles and searching was to take the road that many choose in Christianity and submit to your emotional weariness and don what I consider to be an even more unhealthy attitude by assuaging youdespair in the cloak of imagination and psychological parrying of the hurt you feel.|
Actually, it is not like that at all...
I suffer more now, than the initial struggles that brought me to Christ (as bad as they were). And that was quite a shock to me at first, until I read more of what Jesus had to say. And His spirit confirmed those words for me on the inside. It was, and is, like reading what I was already thinking when I arrive at a new level of understanding and wisdom.
You see, I didn't really think there was much wrong with me at the time. I was a normal family man in many respects. The only thing I knew with certainty, was that I was a sinner. And I don't know what to tell you, other than I believed what Jesus said without really comprehending much more than that. I recognized His Word as 'truth'.
It was only after the 'new birth', that I have been faced with my real issues. The one's I hid from for so many years. I thought my eyes were opened before, and now I realize it is a continuing process. I can't handle too much at once, and just as He promises in the scriptures, He only gives me what I can handle. But as I see myself more clearly (in His light) I realize why no man can see the face of God and live. What terrifies me, is that many will hide from the reality of thier own self, and on the day of their departure they will be thrown full strength into reality. So I have some idea what hell will be like now. No more hiding. No more games. We'll be face to face with Him with nowhere to run.
That is painful. Whether it is accepted now and dealt with by His ways, or whether we are thrust into it as our attempts to control our own mind is taken from us.
For me, that is the cross bearing Christ promises. He gives us the strength to not only 'see' reality, but helps us endure the transition. It's not exactly the 'goodtime' theology (be it secular pop psychology or not) that so many are seeking today. It is 'real' and sometimes excruciating.
But many things in this life that are good, require sacrifice and pain. So we should not be suprised to think that anything that is genuine is all happy feelings. It wouldn't be 'real' life if it was. It is only a dream that does not exist other than in our temporary minds eye.
|You say you were utterly shocked to find that something occured and yet you admit to being broken and in despair so why do you find it strange that you should feel different after having unburdened yourself to a group that would support you when you accept their beliefs? Having just expressed the remorse and admitting that you felt lost and alone to a group or even to yourself about your feelings can be a powerful experience right?|
I have only now (about 4 years into my conversion) begun to 'unburden myself'. I was (and still am to some degree) too 'bound up' with fear (even after my rebirth) to confess who I really am to others. So that is not the powerful experience I was talking about.
It is just as I said before... I cannot describe the 'experience' other than to say that many of the things I once considered 'hopeful cliches' like, 'I was blind but now I see' make sense now...
|I have heard this many times throughout my dealings with some Christians and I have been puzzled by what precisely was meant by this as it seems to me that they are anything but filled with peace.I have known many before and after their conversion and I have not noticed any difference in their actions from before.|
The peace comes from knowing Him personally. That is part of the experience I had. I have no doubts who He is now...
As for the lack of change, I have often wished that the surrender was immediate. For some it is very fast (as God enables for His own plans for each). But what are we asking? That He control us like some dog on a leash? That God kill what is uniquely 'you' and 'me' so as to make us into someone else?
We do have to die, whether we accept Him or not. But His ways are higher than our ways. He teaches and trains us to walk on our own. He does not control us like puppets. He wants us to understand, not believe blindly. Our failures are what make 'us' aware of our weaknesses so that we can deal with them. And that is the part that is getting me right now...
God already knows my brokenness. He knows me far better than I know myself. But He wants me to see it. Not fun, but healing after we realize we're still alive. When I see what is wrong, then I can make sense out of why He said that 'this or that' is the 'right' way to live in whatever the issue may be. Until I deal with the consequences, His Word often makes no sense. But when faced with my failures, and unable to deny truth (because He indwells me) I realize that once again His Word stands fast.
Eventually, after going through this process enough times, one stops questioning Him, since He has proven His Word over and over again. That is when 'real' mature faith is developed.
I'm like you in many regards... I am a rationalist for one. And when I here very mature Christians speak of trusting God without being able to see how things will play out I am astonished! But they are not. God rewards those folks with many blessings. To you and me, some of those blessings may appear to be curses. But they are no longer thinking about this life the way I once did or you may still. They have seen things you and I can only dream of. They know Him more than many of us can possibly imagine. To us it is luducrous.
Even so, I have seen enough to know that that is where I want to be. But it is not up to me but God. He pushes me toward His plans for my life. And though I don't fully understand them, they are the only plans that will ever truely satisfy.
I have a purpose... And far from forcing me into it, He is training me to let go of what I want (in my human ignorance) and see how much bigger the picture is from His perspective. It is not much different 'in kind' than a caoch who sees potential in a kid who has no clue of his own skill. And He knows how to bring it out, even though the kid may think the caoch is killing him along the way.
Many of his friends may stand on the outside of the game and come to the 'wrong conclusion', that there is no point in him enduring such treachery. But in reality it is love at work, not sadism.
|I have also done the accept Christ into your life bit back when I thought my mother was dying and I was sincere in my need to accept such and the end result was that nothing occured so what do I make of this? That I was rejected and that God hates me or was I not sincere and broken enough?|
I don't know S.L... That is something you'll have to answer. But I know for a fact that God does not hate anyone. He loves us more than we can comprehend. Enough to die for us. It is so far removed from our twisted perceptions of love, that the cross intitially makes no sense whatsoever to many. He gave us the tools. We have to study it, and think with the mind He gave us. We have to want to understand. And it is not only cerebral. We must also listen to our heart. The two combined in harmony is what 'real' thinking is.
Just as a good judge in court does not hate anyone, God does not either. But He will not be bribed. And He will not allow us to determine what His heaven (court) will be. We have some idea how 'Just' it would be, by looking at our own lives here on earth and in time.
Heaven is God's reality. If we want it, we must do it His way. And that is because he litterally is good. There is no allowance for less that heavenly. So we can have it His way (which means we have to trust Him until we understand more); or, we can have it our way... forever!
Trust me when I tell you, you wouldn't want to live under my idea of 'the perfect and eternal life'. Not even I want to live by my own perceptions.
And that is why the Gospel is good news. We can know what reality is if we trust Him. The training is difficult, and makes no sense to those who insist on playing God over their own lives (and worse, those of others).
It is about control.
|I confessed to God my inability to comprehend what was true and what wasn't. I confessed I would be rightly condemned if judged by an all seeing God. I confessed that I was utterly lost without Him.|
SideLined: This is telling as well since the despair you felt is so obvious in these statements. Can I ask you if you were told to what you must say in order to be saved or was this by your own conviction ?
The reason I ask is that this is quite close to the words that the group I ran into gave to me to speak and I was wondering if it was different in your case.
I was not told what to say. I was however, led in prayer.
But the words were from my heart at that time. In other words... although the pastor was leading the congregation in the prayer, to me he could not have chosen more accurate words to mirro my heart. It was more than coincidence; it was supernatural.
Many things converged. My heart and mind were on the same page. And in some mysterious way, the pastors words seemed meant only for me. I was not even thinking of the others in the room at that moment. It was deeply personal.
That is the truth! And it is not something you can fake. It is not even something you can conjure up on your own. You cannot wish it to happen. Only God can lead us to that place.
So the words were not magic. There was no incantation or repetitious quality to them. God was not going to show up like some genie in a bottle ready to grant me my three wishes. It was real. That is the best way to describe it... it was real.
There are as many ways to say that prayer as there are people. And each Sunday the pastor leads us in a different prayer when it comes to asking Christ into our life. The words I told you I prayed were not quoted. I don't remember the exact words. I just remember what it was about. But I remember that Sunday. It was different from the others inwhich I prayed a simmilar prayer.
What matters is the heart. You need not even speak them. The question is, do you really mean it. Are you really laying it all down?
I'll add another twist to this testimony... I am only now beginning to realize what I agreed to. And several times the pressure I have experienced was so bad (nearly suicidal), that I wanted to forget the whole thing and go back to my old self. But I couldn't. Because I have met Him in that personal way (close encounter of the third kind if you will), it is impossible for me to pretend it didn't happen. Now that I know, I am trapped. And I thank God for that because I am just not strong enough.
Now that tells you something about me. And it told me something about me. And now I know why Jesus said He will not lose any. It is the seal of the Holy Spirit. I am His, even when I don't like it.
And that's a good thing because I always sucked at sports because I am a quitter. But unlike a human coach, this friend of mine never gives up on me.
And so even though I am miserable in may ways according to human eyes (including my own), I have a joy and peace on another scale that is vastly greater than this temporary life in time. And with that joy and hope, I have endured more troubles than I ever thought I would perceive, let alone face head on.
Edited by Rob, : No reason given.
|This message is a reply to:|
| ||Message 15 by sidelined, posted 04-22-2007 12:36 PM|| ||sidelined has responded|