I AM CONCERNED ABOUT MY SPIRITUAL HEALTH AND I AM RELUCTANT TO TALK ABOUT IT OR EVEN THINK ABOUT IT AND IT HAS BEEN QUITE A LONG TIME SINCE I HAVE TAKEN THESE THINGS BEFORE MY FATHER AND SACRIFICED THEM TO HIS WILL. ONCE MORE I DISCOVER THAT DULL, LISTLESS FEELING OF STUMBLING TOWARD A CHASM, A PIT OF ABANDONMENT.
I HAVE A VERY STRONG WILL WHEN IT COMES TO SELF DESTRUCTION. JESUS IS CALLING ME TO STOP AND LOOK INTO MYSELF AND MAKE THE CHOICES WHICH ARE MINE TO MAKE: DEATH OR LIFE. MY WILL OR HIS WILL RULING. DEATH OR LIFE: CHOOSE
THIS IS AN ACT OF FAITH TO HERE CONFESS TO SELF AND FRIENDS AND ENEMIES ALIKE THIS CORE OF MY INSANITY. BY HIS GRACE THE HOLY ONE HAS LIFTED ME AND GIVEN ME A LIFE REDEEMED. AND I AM GRATEFUL AND A BETTER MAN THAN I WAS. BUT JESUS HAS BEEN GENTLY HERDING ME TO THE STILL LITTLE POOL AT THE MOUTH OF THE SPRING TO DRINK THAT COLD, CLEAN WATER AND ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM MORE FULLY COMMITTED AND FIT TO DO MY FATHERS WILL.
I AM A HEAVY SMOKER SINCE THE AGE OF 17 TO NOW. THOUGH I DO NOT MUCH THINK ABOUT IT, BUT WHEN I DO, I RECOGNIZE IT AS MY WILL TO DIE MANIFESTED. I WILL NOT DIE BY CANCER BUT BY DROWNING IN THE FLUIDS OF MY LABORING LUNGS. RIGHT NOW, AS I WRITE, I AM CHAIN-SMOKING, A SYMPTOM OF EXTREME STRESS. IT IS A CRIME OF MURDER AGAINST MYSELF ON JUDGEMENT THAT I AM NOT WORTHY TO LIVE. AN ARROGANCE AGAINST MY CREATOR’S WILL, WHO MADE ME.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I’VE HARMED NOT ONLY MYSELF IN THIS, BUT MORE GRIEVOUSLY, I’VE HARMED THOSE WHO BOUND THEIR LIVES TO MINE IN LOVE. LYING, HIDING, SECOND-HAND SMOKE, SELF-CENTERED ATTENTION, MASKED RELATING, PETTY RESENTMENTS, ALL CONSPIRED TO DESTROY TRUST BETWEEN US AND ATE THE LOVE ALIVE UNTIL THERE WAS ONLY HUSK. MY CHILDREN ARE AMONG THE INNOCENT VICTIMS OF MY WILLFUL DENIALS.
THERE IS ANOTHER MATTER, HARDER TO CONFESS. THAT NATURAL COMPLEX OF PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL COMPONENTS FUSED, MY SEXUALITY, WAS ROUSED TO EXPRESSION IN LATE CHILDHOOD, BEFORE PUBERTY. DISCOVERING THE EVIDENCE, MY MOTHER BROUGHT ME SHAMING; SO I LEARNED TO HIDE. I WAS SUCCESSFUL, BEING CLEVER. PART OF MY EXTREME SHYNESS WITH FEMALES AFTER PUBERTY WAS DUE TO MY FANTASIES ABOUT THEM, WHICH I COULD NOT EVEN BEGIN TO ACT UPON. I WAS SEVERELY PUNISHED WITH HUMILIATION EVERY TIME I WAS DRIVEN TO MAKE WHAT SMALL GESTURES I ATTEMPTED TO INDICATE INTEREST. LOOKING BACK, I REALIZED THAT UNDERMINING EVERY RELATIONSHIP IS THE SELF-JUDGEMENT THAT MY INTENTIONS ARE NOT HONEST. THIS CORRUPTION HAS HARMED EVERYONE I’VE EVER LOVED. EVENTUALLY THIS JUDGEMENT RULED ALL RELATIONSHIPS, EVEN WITH MYSELF.
SO BY HOLDING ON TO THESE TWO THINGS, MY CONSCIOUSNESS REMAINS CORRUPTED, THOUGH SAVED. I’VE REACHED A POINT, DEAR JESUS, WHERE I MUST CONFESS MY RECOGNITION THAT I CANNOT FIX THESE THINGS IN ME NOR EVEN WILL THEM TO NOT BE. MY SENSE OF SELF IS SO CHAINED TO THEM I CANNOT IMAGINE BEING ME AT ALL WITHOUT WHAT IS AT THEIR CORE. NOR CAN I CLAIM I TRULY UNDERSTAND. I AM AT THE END OF UNDERSTANDING MYSELF. I CAN THINK OF NO FURTHER EXCUSE. MY LIFE HAS BECOME A BURDEN I CAN NO LONGER BEAR. AS MUCH AS I AM ABLE, I HAVE SURVEYED ALL THE HARM TO OTHERS I HAVE DONE AND KNOW I HAVE NOT PLUMBED IT ALL. TO BE ISOLATE AND CELIBATE DOES NOT SUFFICE TO ABSOLVE ME; INDEED, IT IS ARROGANT SELF-JUDGEMENT WHICH ONLY FORTIFIES MY DEATH-WISH.
I HUMBLY CONFESS MY SIN AGAINST THE LIFE I HAVE BEEN GIVEN. ON MY OWN I HAVE NO FUTURE; IN MY SELF I AM WITHOUT HOPE, EXCEPT IN THEE. ONCE AGAIN I AM ON MY KNEES. I SURRENDER TO THE JUDGEMENT OF THE HOLY ONE
I AWAIT THY WILL. THY WILL, NOT MINE BE DONE…
There is nothing more holy or more intimate on the face of this earth, as long as we still wear our earth suits, than being in deep water and experiencing deep grace.
Psalm 32 is the greeting I will slip on to the table you eat at today. And when you have eaten that food, think often on how v. 5 and v. 7 frame our condition: we hide in the one who already knows everything about us.
In the place of Spirit-wrought repentance, waiting with confidence, we may not be always learn new things about the depth of our own sin (sometimes we may, but not always; sometimes it is with a sense of despair that we realize we knew all along how bad it was–to the extent that we ever do completely understand “how bad it is”)…but in that place we always learn something new about the One from Whom we seek refreshment and strength.
Depths of mercy we’ve not plumbed before. Shades of specific comfort we haven’t experienced before. He Himself meets us there, and that is always unfathomable, so we keep on “fathoming”.
http://mailboxesandoldbarns.com/2011/04/01/battlefield-jesus/ (these words came to my mind on the wings of the Ode to Joy, [Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee] Like most of the word pictures I wrote during the desperate months of 1982 and1983, I was not “trying to write a poem” when I wrote this–only needing to nail down a word picture of what was/is so, sometimes it seemed I was transcribing what was written by the hand of Another.)
You are sheltered in a precious and holy place today, Spar Harmon. Your Father loves you and is holding you. There is no safer place to be. Linger there.
…I left you a small gift on your site- an image roused in me as I read, begging to be written…then here your words that it sometimes “seemed I was transcribing what was written by the hand of Another.” You surely were touched, lifted and sang Jesus in glorious witness, majestic splendor. And again, I am thankful that you exist…
The Psalm 32. Well yes, Psalm 322 says it all as if foretelling what I was led to.
What was for many months a vague feeling that I was being led, now is clear…
I will have to come back later, sleep is rolling over me…
Well there is no doubt Spirit is working in me. So far it seems the sexuality issue has been lifted from me. The freedom left by that deliverance is not a giddy lightness of being, but a grounded serenity. I know it is conditional on the maintenance of my spiritual fitness. Moments when I draw close to Him and have memory of what has so long burdened me, but which is now removed, a peak of gratitude, relief brings tears…the feel of being cared for and comforted is so rare and it so immediate and Real and wordless and I cry helplessly…an excruciating happiness.
Psalm 32- the moment I commenced to read, amazement, then tears prevented reading past v.2 for a long while. Then I went on- amazing perfect fit to the moment- then the promise of v.8, the assurance I deeply needed; the admonition of v.9, so apt to my stubborn balkiness; v.10, the torments, I know well; now, the unfailing love I can Trust enfolds me; Now can I sing – Joyful, Joyful I adore Thee, tochter aus Elysium….
Since, I have reread many times and have gone on: 33 and 34 hit me strong where I worry at the state of my country…34,v. 13 and 14 are anodyne for paralysis when evil phantasms threaten to overwhelm…
The Scripture is coming alive for me, once more channel to my need of God’s grace…
Your MBOB site is a wonderland to wander in and fundamentally peaceful and restful.
My heart is full of gratitude to know you, and by extension, the Treeper family…God Bless you All…
Spar, Jesus did pay it all on the cross. Humans are not perfect. As we walk with him he molds us as we yield. I too have the same struggle with the smoking. I have smoked for forty three years. I have pleaded and begged and scold myself for not mastering this. I have tried quitting with no real success. I must try again. All things are possible with God.
The idea that I must try again does not work for me. I have already tried and tried and tried….and after each painful crash from my own efforts is the even more painful realization that there is yet something in me that stubbornly refuses to let go…For 4 years this lesson keeps being pounded in: I will never by my own efforts fix what I judge to be wrong with me. Remember cunning, baffling, powerful, Spar. Then it is surrender time again. Let go and let God. Have faith/trust in His guidance and power, and JUDGEMENT. I didn’t try to quit drinking and it worked; I gave it up to God, with the admission that I could not help myself, nor even be wholehearted in my desire to stop, but especially that it was not for me to judge myself.
Thanks for your comment– “He molds us as we yield” Yes, this.