Friday, January 11, 2019

Living in a Broken World with the Spirit of God

John 6:63 "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life."

I'm always amazed at the fact that I exist. I'm a being created by God. I'm a soul designed by God for his world and his purposes. Often times I demand my own petty purposes. But God sets me right. Christ lives in me. Yet here I am in a broken world.  I try to live free from evil. I try to live for Christ.  The Spirit is willing, but the flesh is so weak. 

Here we are amongst the chaos of Earth.  We live with the Spirit of God within us.  We're called to carry the message of hope to the world.  Yet we face a world of confusion, and false ideologies, and differing viewpoints.  We struggle within even, to understand how life really is, and how Christ is the true center of life.  We struggle against our own selfishness.  We struggle against the world.  Thankfully the Spirit helps us in our weakness, as we battle as reconcilers, reconciling the world to God.  

"God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God."
-2 Corinthians 5:19-20 NIV

I recall in my early twenties there was this growing sect of young men like myself, in college, who I strongly disliked, and found myself regularly disagreeing with.  They were the cynic hedonists. Have you ever encountered this herd?  They always have these devastatingly depressing one liners. And this dismal attitude about everything, as if nothing matters, and only self service and self indulgence is of any value. 

It was an oppressive cloud of broken philosophy.  But it was everywhere.  It was all surrounding.  So many believed it.  It was great to discover that they were quite wrong. And it makes me angry when I think about it, that I couldn't counter their stupid arguments. 

We live in an age where men must destroy anything that smells of hope or goodness. It's like a dark field, and a beautiful white flower grows up, and they walk over and step on it, and stomp it into the ground. They can't allow anything good or right, because it instantly disproves their ideology.

It reminds me of the universe of Game of Thrones.  Nothing good or righteous or heroic can exist in that author's world.  And that's not reality.  There are good, decent people who fight for good in the world, but it can never exist in George R. R. Martin's universe.  If that's reality, or an accurate depiction of humanity why do people like Gandhi, MLK Jr, or Margaret Thatcher appear in history?  Why do charities exist that raise money to end cancer and sponsor children in 3rd world countries?  Ridiculous, and frustrating.  

When you hunger and thirst for something, anything righteous, it's frustrating when people live lives bent on destroying and snuffing it out.  

The ache of the heart for our age is not as it has been in past eras. In past eras the woes were the black plague, or endless violent wars, or child-sacrifice, or brutal society-wide poverty.  Many of those things do still exist in the world.  But in my little corner of the world, the United States, the agony of the heart is the struggle of information and disinformation.  

The struggle is prevailing opinions that drive society away from Christianity. There are millions of people see it as one of their goals of life, to extinguish Christianity, for what they perceive to be the good of humanity. The struggle is watching a television screen that corrupts the minds of youths.  The struggle is remembering how the television poured confusion into my own soul at a young age, and led me away from the faith of my forefathers.  

Then again, this entire system is the way God designed it to be, though it is marred by sin and chaos.  And now controlled by the enemy of humanity, Satan.  It's quite a saga. And quite a dire predicament for humanity.  We face a jungle of uncertainty before us. If we move to the left or to the right, we may slip into the pits of hell for all eternity.  It's a terrifying prospect.  Many allurements and deliciously intoxicating temptations bombard our senses each day, attempting to drive us to betray our God and compromise our dearest convictions for the gift of fleeting pleasures.  Can we make it home?  And if so, how can we be blameless along the way?  Spotless?  Only by the Spirit of God. 

Meanwhile, the war for the souls of humanity rages ever on in this place. The mind is attacked. The allurements are placed always before us. Christ appears, a flickering light, a twilight in the shadows. Lights appear along the dark roads. Shifting shadows and droning noises burst forth in the dark woods of reality. Long periods of quiet eventually come. Twilight comes as the sun sets in reds and golds. A full moon hangs in the night sky.  Mystery, intrigue, and wonder are emotions that play off our minds in the daily life. Another day on Earth passes.I'm haunted by this mysterious life we live on Earth.  It's beautiful, yet sorrowful.  It's joyous, yet shaded. There is good and evil, at war. There is culture and conflict, and science and truth.  There is great peril, and great hope for the future.  

Sometimes when I pause, wherever I happen to be, at work, in the gym, in bed at night... And I turn my attention to the presence of God.  And I can almost see that spot... that place of power, emotion and spirit, where God's presence pierces the vale of this life.  My family says I bring the presence of God with me.  They say to be with Christ was to be in the presence of sunshine.  I'm sure it's true. But I don't bring the presence of God, God is present.  He is active in the world.  The only issue is whether we are able to perceive it, and tune ourselves to God.  Then, God willing, if we give our whole selves to God, then we will make it home, spotless, blameless, and clean. 

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