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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Problem Is in Me

Man seems to forget that he is created in the image of God. He was imprinted with God's characteristics of love, forgiveness, justice and even holiness. Man yearns to be reunited with his creator. This union is the only wholeness that man can have. God is the only one who can fill man's inadequacies. All of mankind has fallen short of God's glory. Man looks to be restored. Thus, he looks for the One who is perfect but doesn't know where to look once he has rejected God.

So, people have looked to others to unite with that will allow them to feel whole. They have accepted priests, presidents and policemen. They have sold their souls to professional athletes, pop stars and projected images on movie screens. And each one has disappointed them for each one has the same problem as they do. They have all fallen short of God's glory.

Some have turned to science. Surely, this is the place to find that which is perfect and will give them fulfillment. Yet, they find that does a great job of hiding itself. It never seems certain because the theories are ever changing. Too many of them appear to be religions all to themselves. They are unproved and any contradicting evidence is explained away or ignored. This happens as the scientists state their theories without any doubt to their validity.

Others have lost themselves in their leisure. Maybe they are distracting themselves. Maybe they are seeking perfection in themselves. Leisure activities should be fun rather than driving the individual to feel complete. Yet, even murder is not beyond the ones who believe others are in their way of their ultimate pursuits.

So, should we be surprised that people are rioting over the injustice of some policemen? I don't think so. They are looking for justice and finding that those with whom they have placed their trust are unjust. The violence often comes from a sense of helplessness. They don't know what else to do. It makes no difference how irrational it is. It doesn't matter that the vast majority of the police would have been just. These people are seeking justice but don't know where to find it.

A people who turn their backs on God will find a world of chaos. Man has fallen from God's glory and does not know what is right or wrong within himself alone. He is imprinted with God's image but that image has also been marred. Man seeks his own glory as well as wholeness. He is conflicted so that on any given day he can be the saint or the sinner. And the ruler of this world appears to be winning right now.

Is there a fearful world on the horizon? I want to be one who is full of hope and I am. I know that God Himself can turn all of this around. I know He can heal our land. I also know that God does not force us into compliance. I know that His people have become casual in their faith. I know that He will respond if His people will simply come to Him wholeheartedly.

As seminary students we all heard the stories of the great revivals. We all dreamed that we would be the Evan Roberts who would return to our home churches to preach a message in which one of the revivals would break out. We wanted to be the D.L. Moodys, John Wesleys and Jonathan Edwards. We longed to be looked up to as the new R.G. Lees of our generation. Maybe our hearts were in the wrong places. We were seeking our own glory, weren't we? its no wonder that there hasn't been a revival.

Yet, God's promise is still true even if there aren't any people who really mean what they say in their prayers. Maybe we want to want to turn from our wickedness. Maybe we want to want to be humble. Maybe we want to want to pray. We're just not there yet. Yes, I include myself in that "we."

It is at these moments that I realize how far I have fallen from God's glory. I want to be His without any reservation but I am being pulled by the world around me. I commit myself once again to find that the commitment doesn't last. Yes, I press on but I am afraid I will simply fail one more time. You see, I am created in God's image and know that my fulfillment can only be found in Him but too often seek my own glory rather than His.

Who can save me from this? Jesus. Even now I know that my turning to Him will bring back the peace that I so often lose by pursuing exactly what the world seeks. I have forgotten that He must be Lord of each day. I have forgotten what that means when I do not seek His glory.

A saving commitment to Christ is something I need daily. It should be just as "new" as the day before. It should have the same joy for I am uniting and identifying with my Lord. Maybe the real problem is that I have kept trying to do this on my own. Just like the rest of the world.

Romans 7:24-25 (ESV)
24  Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25  Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. 

1 comment:

Anthony Chia said...

We are NOT there, yet

Indeed, we are NOT there yet. This is true for most, if NOT all, and that includes me.

But there are some, nowadays, who think and teach that we are already there; purportedly, it is just a matter of you NOT psycho-ing yourself enough, like they, the hyper-grace preachers are able to do so?! When you have this added into the fray, things get even more confusing for people. And confused people get more confused.

There is indeed a problem with us (NOT just you), and it is NOT, we are arrived or perfect and that we have NOT psycho-ed ourselves enough, but it is we have fallen, and that we have come a long way from home, from where we just tapped on or ride on the righteousness of God.

We were created in the image of God, but we were NOT created to handle the knowledge of good and evil; that was one reason (if NOT the reason) why God prohibited Man to eat of the fruit from that Tree. Man could love God perfectly before the Fall, but NOT after, why? Because before, without the knowledge of good and evil, Man just tapped on or rode on the righteousness of God. By volition Man could love God perfectly before the Fall; first Man (Adam & Eve) fell because they were deceived (Now, you know why Scripture has much to say about wisdom and (against) deception).

Fast-forward, Jesus had to come, and with that the indwelling Holy Spirit had to be given, but why? It is because the Holy Spirit is the counter against the exploitation of Iniquity of the knowledge of good and evil.

The Holy Spirit is the "bridge" between us and the mind of God; Scripture said it is the Holy Spirit who knows the mind of God, just as it is our spirit is the one who knows us, apart from us (the soul). Many of us are superficial in our faith, and we are superficial, fatalistically, in that we are treating God as a genie in the bottle. Don't deny it, all of us are guilty of that; it is only a matter of degree. We are NOT after God's heart, but our own. We are NOT full of faith, we are full of ourselves; we are full of facts (and a lot of bullshit knowledge); and we worship knowledge and sight. We like what the Devil keeps on whispering in our ears - throw your self-control to the wind, be yourself.

We are called to be like Jesus, and if you and I know enough of the life of Jesus, we know, that posture is what God prescribe for the world. But, alas, the world, under the instigation of the Evil one, does NOT want that.

Salvation is personal. Faith is personal, and it is a personal relationship restoration with God, that God is after, even when there is the corporate dimension of God's plan. Salvation is a personal walk, with God, despite the odds against a person. It is a choice, a commitment, a conviction, and faith, and it is ginosko-knowing God. It is loving God.

My friend, ultimately everyone has to come before God and answer for his life (NOT how other people have lived); yes, personal. My friend, you, you, you continue to try...... to love God. You, my friend, you try, and don't fall for "Silly, it is God loves you, NOT you needing to love Him!" Trying is NOT a dirty word, to God; it is how we do it, that matters. The world may NOT give a damn, but God does. It is he who does my will, who loves me, who ultimately comes to me.

Anthony Chia, high.expressions