Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The unimaginable Father

To give you context to this post, I just watched Father of Lights, by the same director as Finger of God and Furious Love, with some of my friends last night. I didn't really want to watch it because in my head I was thinking- 'I've heard just about as much Christian-ese as I can handle.' But boy am I glad I stayed.

I want to quote something from Darin Hufford in his book "The Misunderstood God"

'The great counterfeit of kindness if manipulation.
When the antithesis of kindness, manipulation, is present, true kindness becomes voided out. In order for kindness to be authentic, it must have no ulterior motive behind it. The moment a hidden motive supports a kind act, the act itself ceases to be kind and suddenly becomes manipulation.
This is why most people's response to a kind act is 'What do you want from me?' We have grown accustomed to the lie. It is beyond our comprehension why anyone would do something nice without wanting something in return.'

This has been the story of my life (among so many other things it turns out) since I was just a child. I was sold a package that contained manipulation that looked like sincerity, love and security but it was just that- manipulation. I won't go into details of how this was demonstrated to me but I will say that because one of my primary love languages is gifts- you can imagine what getting gifts with motives will do to you over the years. It has painted a picture of love that I have never been able to relate to. This is no wonder then I cannot relate to the father because after all, he gives us things so we will love him, worship him and give him all the glory. (Right?!) Sounds kinda selfish if you ask me. But this is how I view him- a father who gives and takes as he pleases to manipulate me into doing what he wants. Think about your view for a minute and tell me there isn't any form of manipulation you feel in your relationship with the father.

This was my view until about a week ago and it was just overwhelmingly confirmed last night. In the midst of struggling with what I consider heavy sin, I received the one revelation that has finally broken me. Broken me to the point of no return. I will never be where I once was because it lived in the land of death and desolation. Tho I may have had plenty of correct views of the father, I didn't have THE correct view. As I was cowering in a corner screaming and holding up my fists ready to take the beating, all I got was love. No whispers of condemnation or disappointment. Just this: try to do anything that will divert my love from you and I will show you that it never will.

What do you do with that? That's the best part- nothing. You are required to do absolutely nothing with that revelation- and that is why it has me so broken. I can say, like Paul, that I am a wretched human being but God has placed me on the other side of the cross so my words are void. My father saw my life, past-present-future, he saw everything I would ever do and he still chose me to belong to him because there would never be anything I could ever do to change his view of me, because he saw me from eternity, in His son.

I am ruined my friends. I have run in what I thought was the opposite direction only to find out I was running straight to him. Where can I go? Where can I hide? The good and bad news is you cannot hide anywhere- and even if you have reason to hide- he'll never let you slip out of his reach. Because that's what father's do.

How does this change things? Knowing the truth about Him changes everything. It changes my thinking. It changes my words. It changes my actions. It changes my views. It changes my life. This is finally the answer I have been searching for this whole time- why do I believe in what I believe in? Because there will never be a love as real as this one.

Dang it- that is so satisfying to my soul. If you haven't had this revelation I say 'watch out!' because he's coming- and his love spreads like wildfire.

Monday, July 2, 2012

When it all comes tumbling down

I am having a slight out-of-body experience. I see my current situation and then I see myself two months ago and this is what I would tell myself... You are not defined by your circumstance- you're new nature cannot be touched by the old creation. Yet I find myself in a predicament- how do I know that is true?

You see, I am a lover of things that are true. That is why since I was very little, that is the one thing that was always tested. It was tested in many ways- sometimes through others asking questions (which is the most direct), sometimes through actions of my own and sometimes through the actions of others. The line I drew in the sand always seemed to get run over as if it were never there. The truth that seemed so evident was suddenly drowned by uncertainty and doubt.

This may be ok for some people to experience- they might consider it a joy to have this type of journey... But for me- battling the truth on a daily basis has been the hardest thing I have ever done- and it seems to be the end of me. It also may seem very insignificant to onlookers who do not know the whole story- because after all the truth is not relative... And sadly, that is the only thing I truly believe.

So what do you do when you have been building something your whole life and with all the materials you have access to, you have never been able to repair that crack in the wall- and then your worst fear happens- the whole thing comes crashing down. You know there has always been a crack but were just hoping that the tape, caulking, plaster and cement would keep it sealed.

This is my dilemma and this is my struggle. My foundation seems to be incorrect- my view of truth seems to be skewed. I have to go all the way back to the beginning and start over because there is no way I can rebuild on ashes and coal. The problem is I have run out of tools and materials. Strong wills have turned to rubber, discipline has turned to dust, prayer has turned to wishful thinking and love has turned to oil- its all over the place but just too messy.

Translation- to all those who seem to know me and to all those who think they do- so much has been shattered in my views of God and his relationship with me that I do not even know where to start reconciling my mind to agree to the things I have before. This may seem odd, and slightly unbelievable- but the day will come my friends, when your foundation needs to be rebuilt and you will be faced with a choice that will look like torture on one side and death on the other. The question is which will you choose? It seems that anything would be better than death (ok we aren't talking literal here but death as Jesus speaks as being without life- without him- so don't call the authorities, I'm not suicidal!) but after you have been tortured for so long you are willing to take anything just so it would stop.

So here is to all those who have given up- I hear you and I see you. I hope my fight can represent something someday and I can be one that can start fighting for others- but first I must make a choice- and lets hope the wishful thinking of others will persuade me to take the torture, no matter how difficult.