And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd — John 10:16
It’s that time of the year where the closing of one year ushers in the new one. People renew their commitment and goals, gyms become overcrowded for the first month or so, healthy diets become the trend, and our social media gets filled with memes, gifs, and pics saying: “Be the new you. 2016 sucked and hopefully 2017 will be better. Love yourself more in this upcoming year. New year means a new chapter to write. New possibilities, because this is my year.” Need I go on? You get the point.
What’s upsetting fam is that we get caught up in the wrong hope for the new year. Some tend to think, “Money will come this year to pay the bills. I will finally meet my soulmate this year. The crapped that happen last year is over and I will catch that break this year.” These material and worldly hopes reign primary in our lives when honestly it should be tertiary or even quaternary. That being said, if you reading this at the start of 2017 or sheez, stumbled across this blog well into 2017 this can apply. I’m presenting a challenge to you my fellow sojourner: Pray and ask God to open the eyes of your heart and see Him in your everyday life. Simple right? Seriously, it’s that simple. I’m not going to scare ya and throw ya in the deep end just yet, that will come in 2018 ha
Christ must be brought into every square inch of the world and the culture, but one’s faith must be shining and bright and pure and robust. It must be free of cant and “phraseology” and mere religiosity, or the Christ whom one was bringing into the world and the culture was not Christ at all, but a tawdry man-made counterfeit.” — Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Bonhoeffer was a man wayyy beyond for his generation. I’m currently finishing up his biography and to read this man’s insight during the German and Nazi Reich rise to power is fascinating! God revealed to this man small snippets of His true presence through men and women of the faith globally, an African American church in Harlem singing worship music and praises to God, and the continuous outpouring and devoted life to reading God’s words and hours in prayer, aligned this man with God’s heart. I believe this is missing in our times.
You know there’s a level of authenticity I love to facilitate through these post and in my interactions with people. I mean why waste time with small talk, it’s kinda pointless. Well, there was a time in my life, June 2014, I doubted the existence of God:
I was out in Bonnaroo hell raising it up. My job assignment allowed me to get there ahead of time and let’s just say I rode that ganja carpet ride. In my later addicted years instead of weed countering my anxiety it actually backfired and tended to amplify it. One of those nights on a ride I freaked the F out! I mean I was seeing some shit. Heard demonic voices Yes, I believe in demons. Yes, they are real. Yes, I note this experience was while I was under the influence, but sober as can be I have also talked and seen demons. and saw something around my fellow coworkers when I was in my tent. Now God was already a month earlier stirring my heart to search for help. Well in that hour of my ride I got on my knees in prayers alone in my tent and said, “God. I think you there. I mean I know you were there when I was younger, but I don’t know if you out there now. Tomorrow I NEED to see you. I don’t know if you exist or hear me, but I been seeing all this darkness, so if you there show me you and your side.” Next day, I’m randomly assigned a shift where I wasn’t suppose to be throughout the duration of the festival. I’m sitting there, sober now, and my shift is a 12hr shift. Out there I see for hours, felt like all day, was a rainbow. Genesis 9:13-15 hit my mind:
And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.
Okay, literally, that verse wasn’t in my mind when I saw the rainbow but it was enough for me to remember. I grew up baptist, so I heard this story all the time. I could regurgitate the facts to you at the drop of a dime and yet over time like maybe you right now doubted His existence. THAT RAINBOW was God’s tangible living proof of existence to me. One speaks about blind faith and that Christians are trusting in a God they can’t see. He’s alive, open to talk, and you can live His life destined for you. My challenge stands to you: Pray and ask God to open the eyes of your heart and see Him in your everyday life.
“Confirmands today are like young soldiers marching to war, the war of Jesus Christ against the gods of this world. It is a war that demands the commitment of one’s whole life. Is not God, our Lord, worthy of this struggle? Idolatry and cowardice confront us on all sides, but the direst foe does not confront us, he is within us. ‘Lord I believe; help thou mine belief.'” — Bonhoeffer