Saturday, November 17, 2012

In the Midst of Darkness...He Awaits


The day is far spent and the night falls slowly upon us. Darkness unravels itself and with little notice it has become our friend. The hustle and bustle continues. The useless speech and mindless chatter consume the air. All around us, darkness. But no one is disturbed. It is now past history. Each day relives the previous, and tomorrow is a memory. How long can He wait? How long will He tarry?

The story of Jesus has become a doctrinal fairy tale. Strong verbal convictions find shelter within a lifeless existence of redundant expression. The slightest abnormal behavior seems abnormal. Anything out of the ordinary is wild fanaticism. Count off the days. Count off the months. Count off the years. Is it possible? Can darkness grow darker still? The sweet melodic sirens of this life soothe us and play to our whims. Christ comes to us through history and to His narrative we cling. Lifelessly drifting. Tired but still mounting up each day to ride the temporal hills that lead to tomorrow which leads to today.

Do not stop even for a moment or you might be detained. Feast your eyes upon that which has already died and let your heart beat with the here and now. It is all so predicable and hollow. Words, words, and more words. Like a funeral procession the church picks up the dirt to cast upon another day spent here. Religious marionettes’ dance to the music of the fallen and clap to the symphony of the material. As we were last year, so are we once again in this.

The resurrection tells the story but is systematically forbidden to enter the present. What is left of its power is found in a story but not pulsating in human lives. He is coming. It is the best of times; it is the worst of times. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouths speak. Look, the angels cover their ears. They cannot, they must not hear the worthless rhetoric which proceeds from mouths that use His name. They have seen the Risen Christ; they have heard the thrice holy praise; they have seen his hands. But who here has seen Him? Whose eyes have cast themselves upon His majesty?

This was never what He desired. This is a living fraud which uses His name like a label on a shirt. This denies His power and openly practices that which is against all He was and is and always will be. What should be the incandescence of life everlasting has been extinguished and walks with empty lanterns. Suggesting itself to be life is an observable lie. What should be a vibrating organism filled with Him is now a system, and an organized religious system attached more to days and holidays than to Him.

The light is now success; the bread is now sugar; the incense is the smoke which rises from burning money; the blood is drawn from the veins of our own labor and cleverness.

Is this the Bride that should be preparing herself to meet her Bridegroom? What kind of love is this? And on the very eve of our marriage we are frolicking with another? His sacrifice no longer brings us to grateful tears, and His coming no longer makes us desperate to please Him. But against all this the Spirit still cries out in hopes that someone will hear, anyone. Though the masses may walk their own path, the Spirit still points to a different way. Can you hear His voice? An audible voice, you ask? Oh no, it is much louder than that. And if you hear, and if you follow, there awaits the treasure of His presence.

Who can know it? And to what can that be compared? This is Jesus the Christ, Son of the Morning, and the Creator of all that is. He that soars above all human understanding desires our company. Come and dine He says. Me? Are you sure, Lord? Me? How can I refuse; how can I ignore His invitation? Can I use Him for my salvation and then leave His table to sit at the table of strangers? In that I am a thief, a masquerader, a common brigand.

Oh let me wash His feet. Let me kneel before His throne and feel His glory quench my thirsty soul. Who have I in heaven but You? I need you every hour. Give me the power to seek You every day. Do not forsake me even though I may forsake You. Bring me into Your dwelling place and let me live. Forever, let me live in You. Though I walk through this valley of death I will fear no evil. I must live in You. When I die I live, and when I live I die. Have I come so far just to turn aside? With eternity waiting in the wings how can I feast on the poison of this world? Look all around and see a wasteland of human life. And in this world I find no oasis, no fountain, no life at all.

But we must return to Jesus. Individually and many times alone and without friends. But do not hang your head in despair, this a path filled with His glory. His presence, His Being. There are no wounds He cannot heal; there are no temptations He has not overcome; there are no hearts he cannot mend; there are no lives He cannot strengthen. Oh to be in His presence. To know Him and experience Him. Crazy talk, you say? What is crazy is how we can live every day by just assigning Him some doctrinal task but never seeking Him as our necessary breath.

But He has kept His promise. He will not leave us or forsake us. But He will not force us under His wings. This life draws to a close, and His wings beckon us to come. The night is far spent and the morning is about to break. Wash your robes once again and like Mary sit at His feet. The only life you have is with Him, all the rest is hollow motion. The well is deep. If you are willing to sacrifice yourself on the altar of His majesty, you will find eternal water for your parched souls. Today, if you will hear His voice…


Steve said...

"But He has kept His promise. He will not leave us or forsake us."

There's the crux (in the word's truest meaning) of it all.

The darkness that surrounds us is very great indeed: but He who is with us is greater. He who promised is faithful: by HIS grace, we hold fast the confession of our faith without wavering.

Praise to Him, Who rules now and forever !

In Jesus, Steve

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. It was comfort to my soul.

Anonymous said...

This is refreshing to the soul.

It's true, the negative voices, among these last days' of Lot, are drowning out my thinking. It's trying to blind me, but I reach out to the Lord again, and in His mercy, He clears up the picture. Until I start allowing the fog to enter again......and I have to repent and 'refresh' my mind again.

Seems that with christians today, it's more important that they feel "right" than "sanctified". There's a sense they want justification now, they want to be seen as those standing on the banks of a river, the "good" side of the river, versus those other sinners standing on the other side.

It's like christians today have this obsessive need to show themselves to the world as successful, victorious, winners. It's like they are in some spiritual competition. They think like those under the Old Covenant, that God will strike down anyone who comes against them. They rejoice in the idea that they have some special protection. They refuse to admit defeat and believe they can outrun persecution. They are trying to reconstruct God's prophecies about the Church, and turn it around so they are the Head, not the tail. There's a great sin of pride, and a sin of rebellion, and a sin of enjoying vendettas.

Bible study at first is exciting for a new christian because it shows how God was able and is able to turn the tides on situations. But once Christ came, we know that we'll have to stay grounded in lowliness, meekness and not allow ourselves to feel even a hint of victorious self-righteousness when our enemies fall. That's a fruit of the Spirit.

Christianity in the US today, from what I read on christian sites, isn't about being a citizen of heaven; it has become an institution of heavenly warriors who want to kick dirt on earth.

Anonymous said...

Years ago, as a young christian, when trials came, I'd always hear church friends say, "All you need is Jesus".

I'd buck and try to figure out things the fleshly way, and again, I'd hear, "All you need is Jesus". I admit I'd be a bit angry at those responses. I'd feel it had a lack of involvement as a friend, and a lack of compassion.

Years later, and hopefully a little stronger and mature, I realize that there's nothing truer. Like Brother Rick posts here, "But we must return to Jesus. Individually and many times alone and without friends."

There are so few people we can trust. These days are becoming the days that nothing under or above heaven and earth can help us, except JESUS.

Anonymous said...

He knows where we are...Im clinging to that Blessed Hope!