The essence of sin is we human beings substituting ourselves for God, while the essence of salvation is God substituting himself for us. We…put ourselves where only God deserves to be; God…puts himself where we deserve to be. — John Stott
Stott’s words have been an overarching theme over the past two months. Uneasiness about the future, relationships, pet sins, ministry, etc… all boils down to my need of control. I bail constantly on this idea on walking by faith and prefer the walk by sight. Am I alone? I can’t be. Security in the tangible things: numbers in my bank account, a person believing for the first time in front of you, instant gratification, logically foreseen steps to incorporate years of school to succeed in a chosen career, Need I go on? All these things at the end of the day won’t satisfy. Security in these ever changing things circles back to my selfish, prideful, insecure nature. If I’m not alone our heart seeks out these things because well they seem good. They seem like the norm. The way of our forefathers and past generations; yet, are we satisfied?
“Thus says the Lord: Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.”– Jeremiah 6:16
I just recently watch, The Big Short. It was a good movie, but I felt disgusted when it ended. Shoot, I actually was depressed. Why? All people’s hopes and dreams, The American Dream,: ownership of a home, retirement funds, pensions, employment, all went boom once the housing market came crashing down. People lost jobs all because the system was full of crooks selfishly looking to get rich quick. The government covered it all up and once it all blew up in their face did they punish all the crooks? Did they bring about justice for the people effective by it…No. They bailed them out and used, low and behold, the tax payers money. The screwee bailed out the screwer. Seriously, where is the justice? Don’t get me started on the stupidity and ignorance coming out of our current presidential candidates but I digress…
We are in danger of drowning on the open sea, and God’s word is the rope ladder thrown down to us so that we can climb up into the rescuing vessel. It is the carpet, rolled out toward us so that we can walk along it to the Father’s throne. — Corey Russel
I am currently chilling in China wishing the next 44 days will go by quick so that I can get my three months in America before I return back to where I am called. WHAT THE EFF! Fam, I read this quote from Russel and think, “B.S. man! I’m here, and He is there. I know Him, and He answers sometimes when I call.” Where do I get the right to talk to the creator like that? When I stop to think about where I am at, what I have been delivered from, and just how much grace our Heavenly Father gives…I’m speechless. Yet deep down this flesh of mine rages against His Spirit dwelling inside me.
“My friends, we have followed the so-called practical way for too long a time now, and it has led inexorably to deeper confusion and chaos. Time is cluttered with the wreckage of communities which surrendered to hatred and violence. For the salvation of our nation and the salvation of mankind, we must follow another way. This does not mean that we abandon our righteous efforts. With every ounce of our energy we must continue to rid this nation of the incubus of segregation. But we shall not in the process relinquish our privilege and our obligation to love. While abhorring segregation, we shall love the segregationist. This is the only way to create the beloved community.” — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
I share this quote because in an hour where I loathed China I see what is going on across the pond and it scares me. The hatred and violence in my home country is straight foolish. My attitude toward China last week was like, “What am I doing in this country?! God chose wrongly with wanting me in China for four years. These people suck. This culture is bu hao. I shouldn’t be here. I miss the comforts of America, my family, and my comfort pointless past lifestyle.” Those thoughts been plaguing me for the past week. Slightly quiet at times; yet still there. Tonight, I read Psalm 18 and get to verse 19, “He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.” Fam, we aren’t meant for ordinary. Following God isn’t the practical way. Look at the forefathers of the church in the 1st century: crucified, stoned, mocked, beaten, exiled, etc… What is unique about Christianity, Dr. King’s point, lovin even those that persecute us. I can’t explain it. Sure can say it ain’t our ingrained desire to love those that want to kill us or be in a culture not your own, but if you have God and follow Him that is what you are called to do.
I can’t help but explain this feeling of freedom I get from chasing wholeheartedly after God like I was destined for this task. Search your heart like I’m constantly forced to face. Probe the depths of hidden darkness you like to mask and never evaluate. What is there? Pain over the lost of a loved one? A habit you keep going to that provides a sort of release or escape. Loneliness? Longing for that perfect soulmate to fill the void. We want what we can’t have. We search for things that ultimately can’t quench that desire to be known and loved and accepted. I offer a solution to quench that desire, Seek God. Jesus is the image of God and how to know Him is reading the Bible. Start in Mark. You will be amaze on the life you will discover.
Jesus is eternally right. History is replete with the bleached bones of nations that refused to listen to him. May we in the twentieth, twenty-first, century hear and follow his words — before it is too late. May we solemnly realize that we shall never be true sons of our heavenly Father until we love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. — Martin Luther King Jr.