Saturday, September 29, 2007
I ended up, after a brief moment of butting heads with mom, getting very frustrated and irritated and getting very angry. But I despise my anger. I hate my actions done in anger. It wasn't that I felt condemned or anything, but that I had a genuine hatred for my sin. I just wanted it to go away. I also saw in that moment other areas where I suck. With selfishness, bitterness, pride, and laziness. I had afterward, started talking to God. In the middle of talking, I thought of people who preach law. I yelled to God very angrily, "How in the hell do they do it!?" I went on for a few minutes about how they must live in some fairytale world where they must not know how pitiable, wretched, blind and poor they really are under the law. I was very angry with people who basically say "suck it up". I really wish they would take the time to look into themselves under pure, undiluted law and see how wretched they really are. Sure, you can look nice, happy, holy, and whatever. But is that a true reflection of the inside, or are people trying to, "Clean the outside of the cup?"
It really got me angry when I thought of people I've heard preach law and self sanctification. It sounds so ridiculous to me now when I hear someone basically say something like, "Produce in yourself the fruit of the Spirit." It makes no sense to tell someone to have the fruit of the Spirit. Sure, you can mimic the fruit of the Spirit, but you can't produce it. I would love to see any human produce genuine agape, joy, peace, kindess, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. I would love it if I could do that stuff simply by willing myself to do it. I've even tried. But to no avail. It is the Spirit who gives life, the flesh profits nothing.
I feel a little guilty for writing this, but it's what I felt.
Friday, September 28, 2007
I formerly wanted to be martyred to prove my sincerity to myself and to God, thus putting faith in my faith and not in Jesus. I would literally be so stressed out about this because I wasn't sure if I would deny Christ or not. I had no idea what I would do, so I was worried constantly about this. I would be stressed all the time. But I wasn't putting faith in the gospel with that preaching that if I wasn't obedient, I would go to hell. Which actually prevented me from putting faith in the gospel. Because now I had to rely on my own faithfulness. So faith in Christ was nullified through faith in myself. You can't balance grace with law. I've tried and tried. It doesn't work.
But I find through trust in the gospel, I am definitely more likely to endure persecution. Now I know that it's not me, but Christ. My salvation is sure and safe. It doesn't depend on me, but Christ.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
"Watchman Nee once asked a class of children, 'Who is a sinner?' and their immediate reply was, 'One who sins.' He responded, 'Yes, one who sins is a sinner, but the fact that he sins is merely the evidence that he is already a sinner; it is not the cause. One who sins is a sinner, but it is equally true that one who does not sin, if he is of Adams race, is a sinner too, and in need of redemption. Do you follow me? There are bad sinners and good sinners, there are moral sinners and there are corrupt sinners, but they are all alike sinners.' "
So not much is going on lately. I've just been putting my full weight in grace. I notice I love prayer so much more when I'm in complete grace. Because in grace, God can hear me. I don't have to make huge, articulated, well explained prayers. I can just speak and believe God hears me, regardless of my behavior. I've been thinking about praying the psalms lately, but I never get to it. What I really want is simply a constant awareness of God's Spirit in me and my union with Him. I get tired of having to sense closeness with God only when I'm doing something like praying, reading the Bible, meditating, etc. I want to go mobile. lol. I ought to be able to have an awareness of God's presence even when I'm not doing any of the above. That's one major problem with me and doing my obligations. It's hard for me to focus on anything else other than God, because I get so irritated, anxious and homesick when I'm not aware of Him. I want to run and pray or read a grace book, or blog, or bible verse or whatever. Then when I'm able to, I don't. Because my body wants to watch TV or whatever and I'm sitting there hating every second of it because I want to be close to God.
Monday, September 24, 2007
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Tonight was just the cherry on top.
Mom and I were driving back from a church she decided to try called, "The Body", then on the way home I expressed my opinion on what repentance for salvation is. I got yelled at and blasted pretty hard. I was accused of being "obsessed with the subject" and whatever.
I'm still pretty angry and left with a sense of insecurity. I got that heart sinking feeling.
I was just introducing the idea that I couldn't reconcile repenting from sin to be saved with "We don't clean ourselves up before we come to God". I told her I don't think quitting sinning has anything to do with salvation. I'm not saying people don't quit sinning. I'm saying sanctification is by the Spirit and not by human effort. I do believe in a change of heart toward God. But I believe repentance for salvation is repenting from the sin of unbelief.
She said "How do you expect anybody to get saved talking like that?" I said they will "Believe on the Lord Jesus and be saved".
I asked what repentance meant then if our behavior has nothing to do with salvation. She said it's basically saying you're sorry and trying your best to quit. I know she just doesn't quite understand my point, but it's got me feeling down. Again, I'm not saying people don't feel sorry for their sin and repent from sin.
To be honest, I was excited to get blasted for it in a sense because people persecuted Paul because of the teaching of grace and accused him of preaching, "Let's do evil that good may come". - But then I thought and realized, this is my mom. Why am I excited she's angry at grace? Then I felt crappy for that. But when you're angry and hurt you tend to be blinded from the important things.
I'm just left with this feeling of "Am I right?".
If repentance is more than just feeling sorry for your sin, then how sinless do I have to be before I can consider myself truly repentant? Am I just splitting hairs? I don't want to spread lies. If it's wrong, I want to know. But Paul said we don't receive the Spirit by works of the law or adhering to the law, but by faith and faith alone.
But, John the Baptist told people "let him who steals steal no longer" and so on. So is repentance turning from sin or unbelief? - Or both?
Thursday, September 20, 2007
I was addicted to Enya when I first started searching for God. I wasn't saved then I don't think. I had no understanding of the gospel, but God had put a STRONG love and desire in my heart to know Him.
Anyway, This is one of the songs I played over and over when I thought of Him. I remember not being afraid of a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g. I would have gladly died for God. I would have quit any sin gladly. I remember flipping through channels and seeing girls gone wild commercials and I wouldn't be interested in the least. I was on this mountain for awhile. I soon came to understand the gospel.
But then came standard procedure grace, Calvinism, Arminism, performance, etc.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
On a lighter note, mom and I have started school again to get my GED, or, as Chris Rock once said: "Good Enough Diploma".
I forgot how much it hurts to sit in a desk for a few hours. I've also realized how terrible I am at math. Terrible seems to sugar coat it. I'm pretty good at English though. So I have no worries about that.
I'm very "out of it" lately in everything. I forget things, I can't focus, I goof off, I drive myself completely insane. I feel like I caught airborne ADD or something.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
I can't pray. I want to. I can't keep my mind on Christ and allow Him to live in me...One reason is I simply cannot concentrate on Him. The other is I keep breathing against the machine as Steve McVey put it in his book Grace Walk. I try, rather than rest in my identity. I feel like I talk about and read the Bible and grace, but never apply it. I want freedom to just be in love with God and then just...live. I want good works, but I don't want it to be a job. I want it to be from life. Everywhere I go, Christian make Jesus like boarding school or boot camp. And the weight of oppression I feel when they teach that just completely disables me to love God. I try, but to no avail. "The flesh profits nothing."
An old best friend came by tonight and I felt "yucky" because I wasn't in "holy mode". I acted ...normal? I talked about old times and tried to be funny. I didn't mention God. I wasn't preaching the gospel. I didn't try to say all the right things. But I still felt nagging voices telling me how unholy I am. I can say really foolish things an act foolish, then feel like a complete loser afterwards. Not condemned, but just..stuck. Stuck in a body that wants things I don't want it to want.
If I seem repetitive, it isn't intentional.
Friday, September 14, 2007
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Throughout the day I feel I have lack of control. I sort of feel like I'm drifting. I guess it's still getting used to the transition from law to grace. I backslide into law very easily without knowing it. And I'm honestly afraid of pure grace. I guess I had this idea in my head that as soon as I come to grace, I would stand firm without a problem. I thought I would have a lot more consistency with things like prayer right from the start.
My biggest fear is that I'm just drifting, not really doing anything. I want to have deep fellowship with God. Always thinking of Him and obsessed with Him. I want Him, but I don't allow myself to have Him, because my flesh is screaming to be fed.
I feel out of control and between two worlds. One foot in law and one foot in grace. It's like grace still hasn't fully sunk in yet. I'm not sure. It's this most difficult thing in the world. About like threading a needle. No wonder Jesus said the Gate is narrow and the Way is difficult. I constantly feel the need for guilt and condemnation, because I feel without it, I will just sin like the devil. And I worry that if pure grace sets in, I will drift.
I know that is wrong. But it just hasn't been totally absorbed into my being yet. If that makes sense.
On top of that...I have a lot of fears. One being I haven't been to church in a few weeks. The other is this voice saying "People don't like you". "They know you're evil".
It's ridiculous really.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
'Look, you scoffers,
Be astounded and perish;
For I am doing a work in your days,
a work that you will not believe, even
if one tells it to you.' "
Monday, September 10, 2007
A professional football player, husband and father loses his memory and has suffered brain damaged in a car accident. He was in a coma, eventually woke up, but didn't remember his family. The brain damage caused him to think he was playing football or something at times. He would go in violent rages and forget where he was. Sort of like people who have been in a war and have flashbacks.
Anyway, the family takes him back home immediately, against the doctors advice, thinking that he would be alright once they got him around familiar settings. So they bring him home and he starts going in these fits of rage and things. He isn't himself anymore because of his brain damage. So the family finally decides to send him away to get professional help.
Eventually he comes home, and acts like he's himself again. He appears to remember everything. He's acting sane and in his right mind. Only he isn't- His wife, as he's sleeping, finds cue cards that had fallen out of his clothes. Cards that tell him what to say and how to act.
Anyway, I thought this was quite similar to the Christian religion. We want immediate results, so we whip our cue card (the bible) and learn what to say, what to do, then try and do it. Only it can never fix the problem. It patches it up, and hides the problem. It does nothing to heal the brain damage. It's phony. It's like those plastic fruit bowls that my grandma uses to decorate her dining room table with. It looks like the real thing, but it's fake. A carved idol. A counterfeit. Bootleg righteousness.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
I used to understand "It is done!" differently. Now I'm able to see it as an echo from the cross.
He is also, "The Beginning and the End." I believe this could possibly be reference to our salvation and sanctification. "From faith to faith." It is Christ through and through and there are no grounds for boasting.
I'm still wondering what this means in Revelation19:8:
"It was granted to her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure- For the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints."
My guess is that the righteous deeds are our deeds done in faith? In other words, allowing Jesus to live through us. Because, as it's written, "Apart from faith, it is impossible to please God".
Anyone have any other insight on these two passages?
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
In the same way, I believe works without faith are dead.
Works are the effect, not the cause. God is our focus and our love. Not works. The works are a natural over flow. Which is why the bible refers to it as the fruit. Fruit grows naturally on a branch when it is connected to the vine.
"Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor figs from thistles." We can't be alive if we are dead. Good works don't come from striving, but being. Apart from Him, we can do nothing. If we don't abide in Him, we are withered.
I've always heard this as if I don't produce fruit for God, then I will be withered. But Jesus says exactly the opposite. If I try and produce fruit, I will be, "cast out as a branch and withered."
"A good person, out of his good treasure, brings forth good."
Good fruit is suppose to be (super)-natural from the indwelling life of Christ. How else could we, "run and not grow weary"?
I may be the biggest contradiction in the world. I pretend to be Christian around my brothers and sisters, but when I'm not around them I get angry at things they say.
I'm very intolerant against the slightest hint of legalism. And I hate that. I will dissect every word Christians say to make sure it's in line with the gospel. I don't want to hate my brothers and sisters. I don't want to sin..I don't want to be selfish or lazy. But I find myself doing it more often than not.
I've lost focus of Christ today. I had the thoughts that I must not be a Christian because I'm so evil.
My friends pray for me and all I do is think evil of them because I'm afraid they're going to scare me with legalism.
I try not to allow myself to feel condemned, but the weight of my sin bears down on me so hard sometimes.
Saturday, September 1, 2007
I had always questioned this, because of how repentance is defined by the Church. It just contradicts something else I hear from the Church, which is "You don't clean yourself up and then come to God."
Also, it just doesn't make sense with the freeness of the gospel to me at all. Now, I believe in repentance, but I do not believe it means "turning away from sin". I'm sorry, that just doesn't make sense.
If repentance is, as they say, "Not just feeling sorry for your sin, but turning away from it", then no one has ever completely repented because no one is ever sinless. So there must be something deeper here.
Also, I'm reminded of what Jesus said in Luke chapter 13.
"Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish."
Which brings me to the ridiculous theories, some so-called Christians have come up with about Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Some have said these people suffered in that way because of "all their sin". Do we even read the Bible? Having eyes to see, do we still not see?
The sin is unbelief. This, I think, is the sin we repent of. Otherwise, if repentance were turning away from sin, then how much sin must you turn away from before you're able to come to Jesus for salvation? Excuse me, but I thought Jesus was the Physician. I thought He was the Savior. But you're saying I must reach some unknown level of sinlessness before I can be saved? I thought you just said that we don't clean ourselves up in order to come to God?
If you think I'm saying It's ok to sin, you've missed my point. My point is that sanctification does not start until after salvation. And this is an ongoing process. - Edit: If anyone has any information on how to speed up this process, then please tell me.
This is just another reason I think people are hindered from coming to Christ. People have put cost on salvation. People cannot quit sinning. Even if they did, you still have the problem of spiritual death. So even if they do eventually learn to muzzle their sin, then what good is that if they're dead on the inside? First let them come to Christ and receive Life.
I may be wrong on this, but I just don't see how todays definition of repentance fits with the gospel.