I'm not sure why we try to put our "best face forward" all the time to impress people we really don't even know, but I am for one, guilty. It seems the "impression" and what people think of ourselves...often can rule our behavior. We fall into a trap of self inflicted wounding when we go there and it can be dangerous and very detrimental to our sanity and overall well being. Herein is our problem, we are "fallen" because we have this nature which wars against truth. It is an evil where we can either listen to its voice or command it to go away. It's part of our own understanding and our problem.
Many people think if you say, "Go away bad thoughts and negative behavior, and never come here again" it will solve the problem, but it doesn't. The reason is because we are all in desperate need of help, but we just don't want to admit our own chronic weaknesses. Our reality is that we live in an emotional and spiritual war and if you are not living in one, you are not facing a truism. Its like burying our head in the sand so we don't see the storm coming. We even pretend there isn't a storm, avoid conflict and posture ourselves all the while a raging F-5 is just above the ground, and we still don't understand.
When we hear the words, "Lean not into our own understanding" its hard to swallow because we think we can overcome just about everything, within ourselves. Its like a huge soup or special "God brew" we concoct believing we can just put in our favorite ingredients and ignore the rest of the truth, but it doesn't work that way. We want to segment certain sins because of political correctness or how we "feel". The reality is that our emotions can end up ruling our behavior and becoming our God. YIKES! Do you see how dangerous this is?
There is a way to live which seems right to us, but it is truly the absolute wrong direction in this journey of life. If we try to go to the "higher level" and to another realm, then we can be called mystic, strange or some other weirdo word to devalue our own beliefs. Our understanding can quickly become suspect if we don't understand what is REALLY happening to our hearts and lives.
As a person who specializes in sin, I need you to know something. I"M A PRO! It is really embarrassing to say that too. I so want to be this spiritual giant to the world, when in reality, I will war every day in my own heart and mind. Sin comes way too easy for me, it has all my life, even when I have thrown myself on the floor in prayer and have continued to ask God for help knowing I need Him. I am so thankful He always hears me and you know what, He has always helped me too.
Having lunch with a dear friend this week, we both agreed at how easy it is to "fall". One minute we can be on top of the world and the next, in the mire of discontent and rage. Why does this happen so often, even when things are seemingly going down a path of good? It doesn't matter how old you are, how young you are, where you have come from, what part of the world you live in or your education. In fact, sometimes education can be the nemesis for your own belief system and values. You can get so smart you talk yourself right out of the truth.
This is way better war, battle or even story than any movie can ever be written about, the juxtaposition of mortal man against the spiritual battles of all Heaven. However, a book was written years ago from an unlikely man who lived in the mountains located in the far North West part of the USA. His life was almost recluse and he had this impression of life which was incredibly profound, so he wrote a novel about it. This novel was huge. The man's name is Frank Peretti and he wrote a best selling book called THIS PRESENT DARKNESS. It was a book about spiritual warfare and how we have "beings" around us all the time who are literally at war over our hearts, minds and spirits.
If you ever read this book, you will know how scary it is because it is so realistic, but supernatural. Does that make sense? This would be a phenomenal movie, but unfortunately the movie rights were immediately bought up years ago over this book. They were sold, sold again, sold again and sold again. Going through many hands like Amy Grant, Pat Boone, Warner Brothers, etc the chain of title started bogging down as if there was a supernatural barrier which prohibited going to the next step. The movie however will never be made. The reason is simple. The chain of title and the entire project is so messed up in corporate quagmire, committed funds which are lost forever and more, it won't be made. However, I have another theory. The reason this movie is being "held up" from being made is because it directly makes the enemy mad and so, the spiritual warfare is huge.
If you are having a TON of internal problems, fighting with the enemy, feeling the attacks of sickness and even unto death around you, there is a real good reason it's happening. You matter and what you think, what you believe and even what you are going to do with the rest of your life, matters. You might be at a war you have no idea is raging, but let me tell you this...its out there and its bigger than you think.
Here is what you can do. First, commit your life to God and then begin to have a real relationship with Him. Talk to Him every day. Then realize you are in a battle and be prepared, brace yourself and know it's not going to be easy at all. Next, find a community of people where you can go hear God's word shared every week. This will not be the solution, but it will be part of a community experience you need. Lastly, really get into His word, the Holy Bible. Find out what God is speaking to your heart and listen closer than you ever have before.
Wow, it all sounds so easy, but it isn't. Thank you for taking the time in your schedule to read these blogs. I am praying somehow, some way there are people out there who understand our "sin problem" and take it as seriously as I do. My sins are limited to pride of life, lust of the flesh and lust of the eyes. Other than those three, I am nearly perfect, except for one problem. Those three cover the entire gamut of being a sinner. They embody horrible and ugly elements in each of us, so just know...God has a better plan for you.
Remember, whoever finds God, finds life.
I love you
Kevin McAfee is a film maker who writes for the purpose of inspiring others to make a difference in the world through faith in God using the visual language of film. His blog is shared in hopes of impacting culture, but his heart is in media missions and the church.