When In Bryan (Month Two)

I can’t even believe it is already November. I feel like October would’ve been nearly non-existent had the LORD not totally began to demolish a bunch of the walls I’ve been building up in my heart and soul for the past five years. This past month has been a lot more emotionally taxing than physically taxing (as September was).

We as a church staff have started reading a book together and spending a good chunk of our staff meeting processing through it together. The book is called “Emotionally Healthy Spirituality” by Peter Scazzero. This book has been a consistent kick in the teeth for the past few weeks. Here’s a few things the Lord has been revealing to me about myself (some of which I may write about as the month goes on, but this isn’t the time to go in to detail about all of this).

 

  • I am not good at submitting to leadership.
  • I am not even close to as humble as I thought.
  • I am afraid of being known because really anyone who has truly known me in the past has pretty much dropped me at some point (with a few exceptions).
    • This has led to me choosing to live in the dark on a lot of stuff and let me tell you, I wish everyone would live in the light. It is far healthier and far more bearable and joyful of a life. It far more closely reflects the life Jesus describes in John 10:10.
  • I have an inherent lack of trust for people within the Church.
    • I also generally have unrealistic expectations of people in the church, I think.
  • Love doesn’t hinge on clarity and clarity doesn’t bring forgiveness.
    • Love breeds forgiveness regardless of clarity.

 

And in the midst of all of this demolition of my synthetic inner walls, I’ve realized this as well: I am far less important than I thought I was, but I am far more loved and cared for than I could ever imagine.

I’ve had so many conversations in the past two weeks of repentance and forgiveness. Not because I am fully healed from things that have happened or the lies people have fed me or the abandonment that I’ve faced from people who have used me. No. Those things still hurt. But what’s different now is that I’m not pouring the salt of bitterness and resentment into those wounds while the Lord is trying to bind up my broken heart and heal my wounds. Now I get to sit and be taken care of by the Lord and by my friends and I don’t feel resentment anymore. I can sit and be bandaged and not rip the bandage off to pour in more dirt and salt. My wounds aren’t infected anymore and that is the first step of being emotionally and spiritually healthy.

Please don’t get me wrong, it has been really terrible and exhausting for the Lord to come in like a bull in a china shop and demolish all of my walls. But it has also been so good because I’ve gotten to taste, see, and feel the goodness of God the Father because while he’s come in swinging, he sits there with me while HE builds everything back up and speaks life and speaks identity over me.

“You’re my son.” He says. “Of course I’d fight off all of these lies that have surrounded you.”

October was crazy and tiring, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

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Hope

“Jesus knew him. We can always hope.”

As I spoke to a person who is very important to me this evening, that is what they told me. We were talking about losing people from this life and the lack of hope there is if you aren’t sure whether or not they took hold of Jesus’ presence in their life. 

 

Disheartening, right? (well, so I thought…)

 

YES! It could be sad, but what good are you if you think the worst in an already horrible situation? Man does not know another man’s heart and soul, though many a time we think we do. Sure, you can judge a believer by their spiritual fruits; but you have a plank in your eye, (as I do mine) so our view of most people’s fruits are completely faulty. 

 

If you are a proponent for the once saved, always saved doctrine, then you trust Jesus’ sovereignty [Jesus’ omniscience/omnipotence (all-knowingness/all-powerfulness)]. And if you trust Jesus’ sovereignty, then you have at some point realized your own lack of judgement. If a young man finds Jesus and follows him, but a few years later goes on a 10 year struggle with alcoholism and idolizes that god, but then later thinks “What the hell have I done…” and turns away from the evil that is addiction; was he NOT saved for that 10 year span? I don’t really see why he wouldn’t be?

 

As long as we are here on this earth, our natural tendency (as sinners) is to full on sprint away from the Creator God, also known as Dad. We are so incredibly A.D.D that when we see something shiny and new and instantaneously amusing, we would much rather have that than the sometimes seemingly distant love of our Dad. So, we run. And we run fast and we run hard in the complete opposite direction than what was initially meant. If running to Dad was natural and easy, there probably wouldn’t be a very popular worship song about it.

 

Why do we get to run to Dad?

Because Jesus gave us HOPE.

Not the kind of hope people like to think about when they read Jeremiah 29:11. If they truly understood that verse, they would know it doesn’t mean on this earth. True hope and true joy are found in the presence of the King of kings and Creator YHWH. Jesus made it possible for us to experience the presence of the King of kings and Creator YHWH and made it possible for us to be sons adopted before time itself. Jesus not only gave us hope. Jesus IS hope.

 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT:

So, to tie this all back in where it started:

The way I judge another man’s heart is horrific. The way Jesus judges a man’s heart is with full clarity. So, why not hope for the best? Why not hope that I am wrong? It all boils down to pride. And I can’t wait for the day when I get to be away from my pride on Eternity’s shore. But for now, Jesus Christ, my hope and glory, will be my joy through the pain and suffering experienced daily on this Earth.

 

Brothers and sisters, have hope; have Jesus.Image