Sunday, March 27, 2011

Not Nathan's Way, God's Way (Only One, Pt. 2)

This has been a years-long epiphany to me and there are so many people I want to shake and wake up with this, but that's something that only the Spirit of God can do. I mentioned a coworker in the previous entry who seems to epitomize many of the attitudes that I see many people in the world carry, but this coworker refuses to see what I'm trying to say. This coworker and another person I once talked with both said the same thing when I started talking about Jesus. Both accused me of self-righteousness and said, "How can your way be the only way?" In addition they added that they believe in God or Jesus in their own way. They have their own way to practice faith. I wanted to slap them awake so bad, not in anger or bitterness to hurt them, but it's like I wanted them to see what they were really saying, because I cannot count the number of times I have explicitly told them that I have no self-righteousness in and of myself, that only Jesus is self-righteous and that "Nathan's way" of practicing faith will lead me to hell just as much as their way of practicing faith will lead them to hell. IT'S NOT ABOUT FINDING OUR OWN WAY TO GOD, PEOPLE. WE CANNOT CREATE A WAY TO GOD. MY GOAL IS NOT TO FIND MY WAY BUT TO PUT "NATHAN'S WAY OF UNDERSTANDING GOD" IN THE GRAVE, NEVER TO RETURN. "NATHAN'S WAY" NEEDS TO DIE. THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY TO GOD AND IT CAN ONLY BE FOUND WHEN ALL OF US PUT OUR SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS IN THE GRAVE FOREVER AND DIE TO IT SO THAT WE CAN HAVE JESUS' WAY! I do not know how I can say it more explicitly. I just want to trumpet this truth to the world somehow.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Only One

Sometimes, especially recently, I get tied up in analyzing everything including God. I start to wrestle with and grapple with all the idiosyncracies and inconsistencies of life and become overwhelmed by them. I start to get angry at everyone, including God and especially at myself for being so overly analytical. I get so angery at God for being so big and inconcievable that He does not even seem to make sense. Nothing in the world makes sense. It's in these moments that I begin to see that I'm thinking of life the wrong way.

I started to learn long ago that I'm not supposed to go through life analyzing and figuring everything out. I'm supposed to enjoy my life and enjoy my God intimately. God relates to us in relationship. "When I applied my heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done on earth, how neither day nor night do one's eyes see sleep, then I saw all the work of God, that man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun. However much man may toil in seeking, he will not find it out. Even though a wise man claims to know, he cannot find it out" (Eccl. 8:16-17).

Another, but related subject is thus: many of us do think we can figure it out. In fact, I think that all of us are fulled by the delusion that we can figure life and God out. I know that I have repeatedly done that. Man-made religions are our answer to a mysterious God whom we cannot contain, but desperately want to contain. When we believe that, we give ourselves to the ultimate self-righteousness, where we believe that we can just practice "faith" our way or do life our way and get somewhere. As an example, I questioned a coworker about his practice of faith today and he told me what he has always told me: "Nathan, everyone has their own way of practicing faith." And I told him the same thing that I always tell him, "_______, You are right that everyone practices their own way to faith and that is the problem because all of our ways will lead us to eternal separation from God. Nathan's way is going to lead him to hell, just like yours will lead you to hell." And I again pointed to the one way God provided: His own way. Not Nathan's way, not Billy Graham's way, not the evangelical Christian's way, but only one way and that way is Jesus. My opinions about Jesus will not get me to heaven, my practice of religion will not get me to heaven, but only a living and vibrant faith in a Man named Jesus. Jesus is the only Man in history to do it right. Only He can claim true "self-righteousness." And he said that to be in eternal life is to know Him.

This almost brings me full-circle to what I journaled about above, because analyzing God will get me nowhere. I need to return to being in love again. I need to return to having intimate fellowship and transaction with Jesus. He is the only way. As far as how you practice your life, faith and religion, that amounts to a hill of beans to me. But to for me, TO LIVE IS CHRIST. Are you intimate with Jesus, the One in whom God became a person and wore our flesh?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Great Disruption of Our Lives

Father,

I'm so afraid, but You command me not to fear. I come to Your name boldly and with confidence. Show me what it is to overcome and to have the downpayment of that in my soul-mind, will and emotions. I must have your sustenance. Otherwise, I will not stand in the day of the LORD. Where is the patience of Christ? Where is the confidence of Christ? Where are the fruits of righteousness? Where are the fruits of faith? Where is the grace of God? You are good and full of mercy! You are good and full of mercy! You are good and full of mercy! The day of Your wrath comes slowly, for You are slow to anger! Your are patient, that we might repent! Your anger is but for a moment, but Your mercy endures forever. You show Your favor to us and sometimes rebuke. I shall not walk in hopelessness or fear! Father, in the name of Jesus deliver me from a spirit of mockery toward Your coming. Break my agreement with it and fill me with Your Spirit of expectancy, sustained by Your fury and Your joy over me! I do not feel that I can hold on any longer now! What about in that day? You will ultimately disrupt our lives and You will not ask permission. Something in our spirits says, "Our American dream and way of life is the way it ought to be and it cannot be taken from us. It is not right that our comfort and peace and way of life be taken from us. Surely God will not disrupt all that we hold dear and the incredible peace we feel right now."

Father, you have declared war on this selfish mindset that has no root in truth and yet our souls are in agreement with it. Disruption is coming and a new kingdom is coming. It's coming with force. We can either be ready to receive the coming kingdom with open arms, or we can be in denial now and be caught off guard when it breaks in. You have told us that the only worthy work which we can do in this life is to believe on Your Son, Jesus. All of the other emotions, mindsets, choices and actions which we live in based on any other premise are ill-placed in something that is only dust which will be blown away with the coming of God's kingdom by force. Any other work other than the work of believing Jesus and all of who He is as expressed in the Bible (that is, placing faith in it) is a waste of time with no lasting value.

Father, will you sustain our hearts? We do not have what it takes and we are not ready. Can we depend on the great anointing which we believe is coming? Can we depend on Your promise that those who want righteousness will fully mature into it? Can we respond confidently in the fear of the LORD as You intend that we might know only one comfort, the comfort of Your holy Spirit? Any other comfort is a false comfort, a salve and a band-aid that only covers a deep wound which Your Spirit alone can apply healing to. We, Your remnant do not cop-out of this life You have placed us in. We do not turn back in fear. Did Jesus turn back in fear? We do not accuse You of injustice in Your anger. We do not hold offense at Your words, for You are justified in Your words, Your rebukes, and Your judgments. Without holiness, no man shall see the LORD. We come confidently believing that You will fulfill in us what You are requiring of us. We eat the "bitter-tasting scroll." We receive the harsh words of Your prophets and we build our foundation on Your words, with Christ as our Cornerstone. We refuse the temptation of offense, but we will rejoice in righteousness.

Our only hope remains Jesus. Oh, that we would align our thinking with Jesus' thinking (read the Bible), and align the emotions of our heart with Your emotions (praying the Bible and receiving Your emotions what You have revealed through Your Word), and align our choices totally with the choices Jesus made in His relationship with You. May our work, our play, our preparation, our relationships, our obedience, our submission, our thoughts, and our ways of conducting our lives be completely aligned with You. We argue that we cannot do it, but You have vowed that You will do this in the remnant of people who fully commit their hearts to You. You are determined and able and You will do this.