and in the heart of every human being -
there is what we call
"He has planted eternity in the hearts of men;
yet they cannot fathom..." (Ecl 3:10-11)
i h a d s u r v i v e d
for many years as a devoted believer before i realized
that i had been avoiding a question - and that honestly facing it would change... everything
...I was doing all the 'Christian stuff'...
...I led youth groups. I read and studied the Bible. I wrote music and performed gospel concerts. I served in food banks, prisons and homeless ministries. I earnestly sought 'His will'. I 'led worship' (sic). I did sound & media ministry. I prayed. I was even asked to be an elder, ...etc. etc. etc....
I was doing lots of good things (and I truly did them whole-heartedly and cheerfully) - which, looking back, is exactly where the enemy wanted me. Doing lots of good things. Even things that helped others. And of course, doing those kinds of things made me feel good inside. (Alas, but not quite 'good enough'...)
Oh, I was 'saved', no doubt. I had repented and believed. And on top of that, everyone thought I was a great, spiritual guy. Everything was working 'according to plan' so to speak.
- ...except for ONE thing...
I can't explain exactly how, but somehow, I instinctively knew - deep down inside - that something was wrong - even in the midst of all of these 'spiritual' activities, my Bible reading, and even my praying. But I couldn't (or perhaps is that "wouldn't"?) put my finger on it.
The whole time I was doing (what I have now come to call 'american christianity'), I didn't realize the danger I was in - by my ignoring a deep-seated question - the question that was placed there to drive me to the hidden truth - the 'hidden riches of the secret places' - the places where God and I would truly, intimately, connect - where he longed to heal the places that I so desperately needed to be healed; the things that I didn't even know were effectively crippling me - even as I 'faithfully served him'...
...But I wouldn't go there.
Finally, as a result of continuing to ignore the question and instead continuing to pursue 'the path of righteousness' (or so I thought), I eventually ended up losing the very thing that was the most dear to me; my family.
- ignorance is bliss (...or is it?)
'The human problem' is that the question drives us even when we're ignoring it. And that's the most dangerous thing. Because the question causes an insatiable 'hunger', we WILL fill it - or die trying. We have no choice in that; because it is indeed planted in our hearts. It's literally the way we're built - from the ground up. There is NO escaping it.
So ignoring the question won't make it go away.
Perhaps you're just realizing it for the very first time right now...
if you take a moment to ponder what you've read here so far:
Do YOU have a feeling ..
that "there's something wrong"... that deep-down you're naggingly dissatisfied with your life / your faith experience... that there's "something else" you should be doing?
...do YOU feel it - even now - as we have?
- so, are we truly free...? (...or perhaps not so much?)
Jesus said “you will know the truth and the truth will make you free. (See sidebar.*) Well, the full meaning of what he said (when we fully translate the meanings of the original words) is:
“you will come to intimately, honestly and fully experience the truth-reality (which is both the [invisible] spiritual reality AND the [visible, tangible] physical facts)* - and your full acceptance of that integrated truth-reality will make you truly free”.
...but have we really done that?
As long as there's any truth we're avoiding - any pain or loss that we are holding onto (even inadvertently) - anywhere in the truth-reality that we are not willing to 'go' - the only honest answer is alas, no. And to whatever extent we are NOT willing to face the truth-reality, we are NOT (nor can we ever be) truly free.
But be encouraged; have you ever noticed just WHO Jesus was addressing when he said that? Check it out:
to people who already believed in him, but were not truly free... YET. :-)
Even as he spoke, many put their faith in him. To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "IF you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. THEN you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
John 8:30-32 [emphasis mine]
So you CAN indeed be truly FREE. And the good news is that...
it IS easier than you think! But... are you willing to go where you need to go - to BE truly free?
- facing the question - and finding LIFE
Jesus came that we might have an abundantly overflowing life. Not overflowing with activities or 'things' - but a life overflowing with... LIFE! Deep peace. REAL Joy. Love.
Meaningful, sincere friendships. A REASON to be hopeful - NOW. True POWER.
a life that others WANT,
a life that you can't help SHARING... naturally.
...A fulfilling, satisfying life which, of course, also includes 'space' - some free time to just... enjoy it. Without guilt. Without shame. Without that nagging, never-ending feeling of "shouldn't I be doing something else right now?"
Jesus' disciples honestly faced the question. They were face to face with him, so they didn't have the luxury of hiding from his discernment - as we can. He didn't let them get away with it.
However, we can get away with it - and the evidence indicates that most of us have.
But if we let it, the question will...
- ...expose the lies we have believed (that have kept us from
realizing the true power of God in our life) and
- ...lead us directly to a true, intimate friendship with Christ,
where we WILL find freedom, peace and
power beyond anything we have known before.
Where's the place that you've been avoiding?
The place that you don't want to go?
That's where we must go.
It can be scary. It IS uncomfortable. I know. I've been there. I AM there...
...But DOING something 'scary' (that is, exercising courage**), being vulnerable - could also mean feeling ALIVE again; perhaps for the first time in many years.
And this is where we must start.
The question is indeed "out there".
It's waiting for you - if you're brave enough to face it...*
... and honestly answer it.
And the best news possible is that the answer is out there, too.
"It's looking for you - and it will find you...
...IF you want it to."
So the question now becomes:
Do you want it to?
If so, we'll see you at the
confessions of an
Meanwhile, IT is driving you...
© 2007-2013 Paul Andrews