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pursuing the upward call with fear and trembling

just a 44 year old man seeking to share my meanderings with the world at large or the blogosphere at small

Monday, October 19, 2009

Because He Cares

Life has so many peaks and valleys, for everyone regardless your race,gender,creed. We all face a lot of good times and a lot of bad, some tilt way over on one side of the scale. No reason given as to why, but it happens. There are many who have chosen to de-convert from Christianity. They have decided they can no longer believe as they once did, and I'm sure the reasons vary for each person as it does for those who come to faith. I can definitely see and make sense of why some get soured on what is put forth as Christianity at times, especially the health/wealth message, but also ones where God becomes alot like the wizard of Oz,demanding certain actions of any who come before Him and threatening to destroy if they disappoint Him.

My post title comes from a verse, I believe in 1 Peter, where Peters tells us to cast all our anxieties upon God, because He cares for us. There is no caveat there. It doesn't say because He demands perfect faith, perfect obedience,or any kind of performance from us. He cares about us and wants to take all our worries and troubles upon Himselfm because He is big enough to handle it.

I am seeking to come to grips in a new way with fear, as i have sought to deal with it in endless frustration for so long. I think a large part of that is my thinking there has to be an action I do, a way I willfully or in a certain level of faith make the fear disappear. I think my focus has been off and He is the One to remove it. How to grasp this and accept it is the tricky part. A part of me holds back and is like, *I don't know, i see ways You have let certain things happen, if i just completely let go and trust You then You may cause something to happen as a test or something.* I then go through ruminations where i challenge that thinking and realize that actually He doesn't have to wait for me to do anything to cause something to happen. My worst moments are those times when I worry sudden death could happen any second and i am in one of my *down times* and don't want to meet God then. Just sharing how it happens in my head, lol.

I worry about how i write on here at times. But then i take it back, because this is my place to express all areas of myself, especially ones i hold inside and only share silently to God. It is therapy a lot in my writing, it is also healing and challenging, especially to recieve comments. No matter how hurting,struggling,questioning or anything else i am, I have the bottomline that God is love and He cares for me. He cares for all of us. He is big enough to hear our cries, even when we choose to reject Him, He knows we can come back.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Inner Talk

We all have an inner dialogue going on within ourselves. It differs for each one of us. Is the *voice* a mixture of conscience,our parents,our desires,others and God??? I thought about writing this post in a way I saw on another blog. Me- then Voice- just like that. Maybe i will sometime. Iwish the *voice* i dialogue with would just chill and not challenge me so much and cause me to reflect so much. Of course it is not just a single voice, at least I am not schizophrenic right???? lol Hmmmm :)

Why is it so hard to accept and internalize Gods love??? i speak to and for myself here. My inner battle has been so much to take and let fear go, because the fear is Gods love is somehow blocked from my experiencing it as He intended for me too. This happened because I was lacking faith and obedience from an early age. I go back and forth, well Gods love is free and unconditional, and His grace is unearned. You cannot work for it and nothing you could ever do would make Him love you anymore or any less. Countering that are thoughts saying - you have been weak, you have been selfish, you have been so obessed with death and pain as opposed to fixing your eyes on Jesus and resting fully in Him. You have too much fear and worrying about what might happen, when you should be worryfree and always acting to serve Me and love others.

When i am interacting with others, whatever setting that might be, I can get away from all this junk i just said going on in my head and its great to have that, great to be with people. I don't know how and why i have lived this long, had so much of the experiences I have had and still struggle with this *inner talk* in the way I do. Even as i write this my *voice* is saying- why do you talk about this, always self-absorbed worrying what others will think,afraid to fail,afraid to succeed. God just brought through your heart troubles and your still back to all this. Let it go, get over it,overcome it and move on already.

I don't write this as self-pity, or as seeking anything in particular. i write this just as self-expression of what really goes on in my head, and even so, God loves me and seeks to guide me through. There is that reality of His Presence, I pray He will help me to accept His love and trust Him even as I feel caught in my own *inner talk*

Monday, October 12, 2009


We all know what that word means right??? Opponent,foe,enemy and any other synonyms that fit. Know what else it means??? SATAN!!!! I wish i had a soundbite of Dana Carvey saying that!!! LOL Yes, definition of satan in the Bible is adversary. It is actually a transliteration of a Hebrew word which is ha-shatan or the satan. I have written on this before but hopefully knew readers are always stopping by so......

Satan as adversary is NOT a proper name. It's not like Peter, Paul,John, Satan. It is actually a function. Satan functions as an adversary. A key also is that anywhere the word satan shows up in the Bible, you can use adversary and it means exactly the same thing. This is HUGE!!! The reason why it's huge is that translators belie a doctrinal prejudice by using satan, because it reinforces the doctrinal teaching of satan being a supernatural fallen angel. If they use adversary, that connotation is not given.

God alone is immortal and omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient. Satan is said to be able to tempt us and attack us anytime.anywhere so we have to beware and alert for him. How can a being who does NOT have omnipresence accomplish this??? How can he be attacking me and at the sametime be attacking President Obama if he does not have omnipresence??? See the dilemma??? There is no place in Scripture where it tells of satan and his angels being cast out of Heaven before Adam and Eve ate the fruit. Isaiah references lucifer and that has been interpreted as satan and his fall due to pride. Look at the entire context. Lucifer means shining one or lightbearer and is referring to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, who had been attacking Israel and putting himself above God. The verse in Revelation is apocalyptic and is referring to the Old Covenant system which is being judged and abolished to bring in the New Covenant. This is a whole other discussion though.

The main point is, satan/adversary is actually the inherent sinful nature we recieved from Adam and Eve, which Jesus came to destroy and did so by living a perfect life which He also sacrificailly gave up for us all to save us. Look at all the references to sin and rebellion against God throughout the Bible. Look how it points to mans disobedience, mans pride and stubbornness. works of the flesh. If satan were truly a supernatural angel with powers like that of God Himself. shouldn't God have had the writers of Scripture make him a much more central character??? Shouldn't satan be the one to recieve punishment and judgment as opposed to us mere mortals????

Hope to hear any and all comments on this. The analogy of the angel and devil on our shoulders is really more accurate than it gets credit for :)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Why Don't You God?

Ever ask that question??? I know i do. Probably alot more than i even realize in my mind. Why don't you-fill in the blank- God??? I mean, does it not say right smack in the Gospels, ask and you shall recieve, knock and the door will be opened??? So,why don't You God??? I think the answer would be obvious if God were a magic genie but He is not. That verse does not intend to be making God a virtual cosmic bellhop or vending machine. Who is the one in charge here???

I have been contemplating the issues of pride and resistance. Pride is really wanting to trust in ones self, to take credit and want to have things go our own way. It can get turned upside down for christians though, feeling like we just cannot do anything and are just messed up and broken. Our vision gets blurred. Does not the Bible say we are Gods workmanship??? Aren't we to have victory in Christ?? Rejoice in the Lord always and be joyfilled always??? Indeed it does, but the other side of the coin acknowledges we are clay pots that leak, weak vessels who are easily cracked and broken. The victory does not come from our own efforts, much as we may want or think we want it too.

I have written so much about fear on here, have battled it and sought to escape it, dealt with it in endless ways. I think a root at the bottom of it is wanting to have MY way of overcoming it. I have felt weak and unable and so I want to be the one to overcome it. Of course, I want to do that in a way that bypasses hard work,pain,toughness in standing strong. i want fear to evaporate easily like air in a balloon. I want all the risk and unknown and scariness which is encapsulated in fear to be taken away, so then fear is overcome. Well, if fear could be handled that easily it would not be fear would it???

I think my heart trouble has been serving to teach me lessons God wants me to learn. He is the One who gave me life, who made my heart beat, my entire self exist, so Who else to entrust my death to but Him??? I have gone round and round with this so many times in my head, my feelings have always taken over and made me feel I have no chance at beating fear, but of course in my own strength that is true. Silly me loses sight in all this somehow that He ultimately takes care of fear no matter what it is. He doesn't make it all go away, but He is right there as it happens and once it goes. He will be there always no matter what my feelings may try and say at times. He embraces me even as I tremble and want it to just go away. He will see me through.

It is like a scared little boy resides inside me and everytime ultimate fear rears its head he goes on full alert wanting to chase it away. I feel and think like i have to be invincible and fearless whatever it may be, when Jesus tells me to accept my vulnerability, tell the little boy its ok and trust Him through it. I pray I keep learning this day by day more and more and find that this need to focus on fear will slowly leave just like the air in a balloon.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

God/Love Never Fails

He's got the whole world in His hands. Great lil song that speaks a deep truth. Gods Being is truly unfathomable. He really is way beyond any human scope to fully figure Him out, and that is a very good thing. I don't think we would want a God who was like a rubiks cube, a bit of a challenge but aha, able to conquer it and master it. No way jose, never happening with God. I have gotten a bit of a breather from Him in the quiet times last few days. My constant wrestling with fear becomes so wearisome and I chuckle to myself that He is there just rolling His eyes and saying- will you just let it go and give it to Me already!!! :) Sometimes i get caught in my mental maze of clutter and feel like all I go through is my battle with myself and my limitations which I have ambivalence about. He gives me lots of small ways to remind me He is always here and has guided me through all kinds of adventures in spite of myself.

I got a message to a query i had made on overcoming guilt and shame and forgiving yourself. The person said what pride and audacity is it to want to recieve my own self forgiveness and overcoming this on my own as i see fit, than to accept and want to rest in the forgiveness and grace of God??? This just really hit me. I have not thought of it in that way but it really made sense. How could I seek to control fear and certain outcomes that I didnt want to happen??? Underlying all this has been the knowing that death is universal to all of us, none of us would go through it if we could help it, but ultimately it is in Gods Hands and we trust ourselves to Him in it. I wish my feelings would just go along with that all the time, but maybe God allows for them not too, just as happened in the Psalms. I do not fear death every second, but it has been frequent. The psalmists are good models for expressing those feelings anytime they emerge.

God is way bigger than my ability to figure Him out and to try and control Him. Amen He understands why i try anyhow.

Saturday, October 03, 2009


Well my last post was tough to do in ways. God had just blessed me so much by healing a part of my heart, yet I felt the pain of failure from the past which still manifest into the present. I have been greatly encouraged by reading blogs which mention how several of Gods servants in Scripture had crises of faith even after huge achievements for and with God. Elijah, Elisha and a few others of note. Even though they experienced amazing personal experiences with God, they doubted Him,ran from Him or felt apart from Him in some way.

I read a post about calvinism at a blog just a bit ago. Rachel Evans blog if you want to read it. it hit me so strongly. She wrote about why calvinism made her cry. Ultimately its because it turns God into a God who is like the wizard of oz than the God who says He is love. Sovereignty, calvinism holds this as the highest virtue of God. His power. Well, didn't He withhold His power in order to give His mercy and grace??? My epitome of my struggle with fear is that God made it so i am not *elect* and really living on borrowed time, with no hope really because it has all been decided. Again, this is my fear that crops up inside me, not my belief. The fear is followed by punishing myself internally for being so selfcentered and worrying about myself and my destiny as opposed to just accepting Gods sovereign will. I worry for anyone and everyone who is not *elect* under this scenario. I honestly do not want anyone to burn in eternal torment in hell.

I still have more wonderings to express on fear and faith and God and how they all interact. I am an INFJ personalitywise and so feelings play a huge role inside me and how i function. I am on top of the world when my feelings are aligned with God and feeling at peace with Him being present and in control and all. Problem erupts when for whatever reason, my feelings change and He can't be felt, it feels like He is hidden or gone. Anxiety happens then. But of course God is present as He always is. Try getting my irrational thoughts fueled by distraught feelings to buy that though.

I am thrilled God is Sovereign. I am more thrilled He uses His Sovereignty in grace and not anger.