I am broken. I am selfish, egocentric, prideful, weak, jealous, spiteful, a coward, a liar, and a hypocrite. I am sure I have many other “attractive” qualities besides the ones I just listed, but I am usually blinded to them. This is a part of who I am, but not who I was created to be. I never saw myself attributing to these qualities, but I knew I could be susceptible to them. These characteristics helped me in pushing back God with my heart, but through the brokenness of humanity I saw grace, and I was then able to accept Him. By God revealing to me my shattered pieces I became humbled. I am humbled because I know I cannot sew back the tattered rags of what was torn apart in my past. I have tried, and still at times try, to become my own tailor of salvation.
Now, I confess, what I am about to share with you are things that I currently believe God has revealed to me. Through scripture, study, prayer, and godly fellowship, I have come to know such things. I will be wrong at times, and/or have some details mixed up. Obviously, I am still ignorant on many, many levels of spiritual insight. I am human. However, God is real and intimate with those who pursue Him. I am pursuing Him. Which is why I want to start this blog, so that, I may grow in Him by journaling my struggles and joys in pursuing God.
I am blessed with a family who taught about Christ and what He has done for me. I grew up knowing who God is. However, I was conditioned to believe in a “god.” What I mean, is that, I never really experienced God. I went through the motions like every child that grew up in church, thinking “this is what I am suppose to do,” and not question it. Even though God was being taught through text and words, it wasn’t until I experienced the actions of others that truly helped me see who He really is. Witnessing how my parents handled their emotions, finances, and relationships had an incredible impact on my upbringing in Christ. I hate to echo an idiom, but their “actions speak louder than words”. The problem with modern Christianity is that it talks a lot. Very rarely did I get to learn about the real God through words alone. Only by dealing with life, I was able to start to know who He really is. I am grateful for the knowledge given to me from my family. However, I still worshiped the wrong god.
“You shall have no other gods before Me.” Exodus 20:3
The issue for me was never wondering if there was a god, but rather, the issue was following the RIGHT God, the God who is my salvation. (Isaiah 12:2)
“You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. “You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing loving kindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.” Exodus 20:4-6
What does God look like, smell like, feel like, and sound like? These were questions I never had answered as a child, and so I learned to stop asking. “I don’t know,” became a familiar answer for the foundation of my theology. So, without knowing, I became passive and apathetic to His teachings. Also, what I didn’t realize, was that my fears, ambitions, and toxic desires filled in the “I don’t know” gaps of my knowledge in Christ. So when Jesus says,
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7)
I would take this verse, not in context, but only interpret whatever I wanted it to be. And so, through the spectacles of my selfishness, Matthew 7:7 was read as, “Jesus will give me anything I want!”
I followed bits, and pieces of a god I thought would give me anything I asked for. Like a child seeking Santa Claus, I would make a list and make sure I do all that was asked of me so I can get what I want. God is not Santa Claus. I knew that in mind, but I didn’t know it in heart.
The knowledge of mind and knowledge of heart are two separate understandings of the LORD. Basically, I may know one thing, but feel another. Because my feelings were apathetic to my knowledge in Christ, I ended up depressed, unsatisfied, and angry. I sought out for worldly affirmation to fill the void in my heart. I needed EVERYONE to like me, adore me, laugh with me, and praise me for my attempts to achieve great things. I was so blinded by my selfishness that I thought my ambitions would be a blessing to God, but instead they were minstrel rags of heresy. I wanted God’s glory for myself. I wish I was exaggerating by saying that, but I’m not. I am truly ashamed and weep by the very thought of it.
God has revealed the lies I followed by shattering false truths and idols that I held onto. I can breathe freely with contentment. Even though my dreams, ambitions, and desires are not completely filled and old expectations for myself have become a dull burden, I can now truly rest, in both heart and mind. I will follow the Author of my salvation (Hebrews 5:9) by trusting in the Lord with all my heart and not lean on my own understanding. But in all my ways I will acknowledge Him, and He will make my paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)