Monday, September 26, 2005

The Human Heart

I hope you don't mind, Jenn, that I am responding to some of your posts here. I just had too much to say to try to leave it in the comments.

Jenn and I met through Rachel. You can read Jenn's first entry here to learn more about why she started her blog. Jenn isn't a Christian, but she's exploring it, and she feels like the Lord is beginning to really show her some things.

In this post Jenn responds to my post about our friendship with God:

I read an entry in this lady's blog today (a friend of Rachel's that I eye every now and then) that touched me very much. It was about the realization of God's love and him wanting to be friends with us. I left a comment (a very humble, non-confrontational one) that wasn't saved due to some error. I felt I had to share it in general so I decided to rewrite it on this post.

Jenn relates a spiritual turning point that has occurred in her life (emphasis mine):

I don't always hear what is to be said, there's almost thirty years of experience yelling at me behind the lines. It is very hard for me, because there is always a constant nagging in the back of my head. Well, I've been a long time friend to God's greatest obstacle, and I fear it will be a while before THAT guy stops whispering in my ear. Sometimes I feel possessed with all the things I sometimes feel like doing. Things that I hate, that I would hate myself for saying or doing. I will say this, I am much better at putting that evil behind me! When I just shush all the voices and scream in my head, "NO! God, what do I do! Please help me! I can't think straight!" He listens and gets right to it. Thank God! It sucks being a crazy person, but I feel forgiven, always and that is a blessing.

Today was a sort of turning point for me. A lifetime of succombing to the selfish, cruel ways of mankind changed. I won't go into my day so much except to say I handled a situation quite differently than I would normally have. I used prayer and faith to lead my way and it prevailed!

I sometimes feel that I am being too stubborn with my search. I have far too much doubt and feel pride way too often. I spent a very valuable era of my life devoted to psychology and philosophy, then totally unaware that my studies would lead me to where I am today. So much time was given to trying to understand human nature and the study of knowledge when all along all I really wanted was to have spiritual wisdom! Not that some of that "knowledge" isn't very helpful at times...We are only human.

As I read her entry, I realized how alike we are. I also struggle with stubbornness, pride, and rebellion. That tainted human blood beats in our hearts, and until we are finally made perfect and dwell with God, we will struggle. I am excited to see that Jenn is beginning to see the answers. Every solution has its genesis in crying out to God, in admitting our own fallibility, our weakness, our despair.

Romans 7:15-25
I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Jesus delivers us from our sin, from ourselves, from the power of the devil. When we are set free, it is by HIS blood. When we resist the devil, it's by God's power, granted to us by His mercy, His love for us. He shows His friendship over and over, first by the sacrifice of His only Son, and then in our daily lives, when He responds to our cries of desperation or our expressions of love. He responds. And that's what is mindblowing, and what Jenn is experiencing. He doesn't wait for all our ducks to be in a row before He begins showing us His love and His mercy.

There's a mystery there, but it's a beautiful one: the process of recognizing our state before God; seeing our sinful state and our vast shortcomings; and knowing that we know that we know He is there, He is good, He cares, and He is doing something about the stains on our clothes. He's wiping the tears from our eyes.

Jenn, I am really excited about what God's doing in your life. There's a lot to learn--for all of us--but your realizations and your responses are on target.

I'm looking forward to hearing more about your journey as it unfolds, and, perhaps, walking a mile or two together.