Thursday, June 28, 2007

things are changing.

Age-old structures of my old self are beginning to crack. Habits of sin are being challenged in new ways by the Spirit. I agonize over the cold deadness of my self-protection, and I want to want God more than anything. I'm not there yet. I'm what Crabb calls (in SoulTalk) a "defeated religious man," who still believes that this life (and this God) can be managed to the point of blessing and life, but has given up hope that it will ever happen. So far, I feel only despair and coldness. I want change, but nothing has taken it's place yet.

For me to try to do it myself would be to fall back into the old way of linearity (if I do "A," then "B" will inevitably follow). What is the New Way of the Spirit? How do I keep first and second things separate and in their proper place before God?

Sometimes I wonder if I'll make it; I have my doubts when all I see is deadwood.


Andy said...

I apologize up front for presuming to know exactly how you feel and for being preachy. That being said, I will now presume to know how you feel and be preachy.

I think I understand your feelings (although our different histories have no doubt shaped us differently). I have had and continue to experience them, though my optimism level seems a bit higher than what you describe(at least today!).

I have great hope for you, brother. I have no doubt that this chapter of your life will, in the end, be for your glory and that the Lord will again prove himself faithful to you. The following passage is always comforting to me in times of despair:

"If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" (Luke 11:13)

God longs to shower the joy and peace and hope of his Holy Spirit upon us. And when he doesn't, he still knows what he is doing. And in my experience, times of despair (i.e., lack of joy and peace and hope) have, in the end (and not without great pain), increased my capacity for future joy. God is Lord of every feeling you feel, brother, and you will be delivered. The world is not chaotic pointlessness. Don't stop hoping. Everyone who knows you knows that God fingerprints are all over your life.

Clinging and waiting with you.

Scott said...

Thanks, brother. I am not totally without hope because abandoning Christ never enters my mind. It's difficult to be in the transition stage between recognizing where you are and knowing you're not where you should (or want to) be, yet you have no power to make it happen.

Your words are not preachy or inappropriate!