This path leads to Siloam.
Worry. It is always wasted.
Worry. It is always unnecessary.
Worry. It is never God’s will for us. It is never helpful, or productive. Worry . . .
The Bible constantly, constantly carries this message. Is. 43: 1,2. “FEAR NOT, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I WILL BE WITH YOU; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.”
Worry is only ‘de-masked’ or bereft of its power, when we look from the vantage point of the future, back into the past. It is only here, in the comfort of a crisis long over and safely walked through, that worry is revealed as the waste that it is. In the present trouble, worry always seems like a reasonable and logical reaction, a healthy reaction. A reaction to trouble that will result in the trouble disappearing. “After all, How will I pay my bills unless I think about the problem all the time, dwell on the problem and after worrying through to a solution, solve the problem . . .?” How fruitless yet inescapable is worry.
We are all held and kept in God’s wonderfully safe hands.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think Life is safe at all . . . There are disasters, diseases, pain, disappointments, accidents and the like lurking around every corner.
What I know to be true though, is that we are safe. In a far more important Eternal sense we are safe.
Who could be safer than a man on the way to the guillotine, his soul and mind completely at peace with God, sure and certain of His place in heaven?
How can anything truly harm our indestructible, incorruptible, disease and death free souls?
Why then, do I still insist on worry as a way of life?
“Do Not Fear, for I am With you . . . The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want . . .” Even in this failing of mine His grace covers my weakness. “Though we are faithless He remains faithful for He cannot deny himself.” There is always a path for me. When all I see is darkness and there is no way I can see to go on He always has a path laid out for me. There is always a way through.
In my ‘pre-illness’ existence I just cruised. It is hard to remember those days but I vaguely recall a lighthearted indifference to all things eternal. I had a lighthearted indifference to all things deep in the mysteries of the Spirit. Continuously I just cruised past Jesus’ presence.
Much is made in the scriptures of the omnipresence of God’s Spirit. He is everywhere. Yet the one and only place that He has chosen to meet with me in person, the only place that I can experience his life and peace is within my soul.
Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is within you.” The only true rest and peace in all of our labors is within us. Within, as we live in unity with His Spirit.
Frequently I heard Him calling me to spend the night with him. To come and sup . . . To commune with Him . . . In my successful pursuit of pleasure I just walked right by. By his grace I was saved, and He had a small measure of my heart but there was little knowledge of His presence. Almost no knowledge of His being . . .
Worship was an experience I knew almost nothing about. I’d sing a few songs, hear a sermon, (during the sermon plan where I was going to ride my motorcycle that afternoon . . . ) Almost completely missing His touch . . . His comfort . . . The wonderful glory of knowing Him. (You know . . . relationship, I talk to you, and then you talk to me.)
I had a constant flirtation with the world, with Mammon, with sin. (Now it is only a little less than frequent flirtation . . .)
How I enjoyed being alive . . .
The world and its pleasures had a complete hold on my life. I have always had an incredible zest for life . . . Well, a zest for enjoying life. (Who doesn’t?)
Yet I can still remember the emptiness of my spirit. Always wondering . . . “Am I really a Christian . . .? My reactions to church, fellowship, and worship are so different than the reactions of my fellow church go-ers. They say things I can’t relate to . . . They all are either playing a game and pretending they are something they are not in relation to God, or I am missing out on some essential part of God’s plan.”
Into this disturbed yet undisturbed life, (I should say unformed life) God’s Spirit then had to move.
I can almost hear the conversation in heaven . . . God to Jesus, “Now, how about Roy? He just will not listen to my call and come and commune with me within his heart. He is missing out on the very best life there is on earth and my heart is breaking for him. I love him so and he won’t come very close to me.” Jesus answers, “Yes, I think it is tim.” God shakes his head sadly in agreement and says, “Oh how I wish I didn’t have to use that particular blessing on him, he will suffer so much . . . he will be in such pain for so long, but I have no other choice. There is no other tool available to me. I am jealous for his soul to be blessed.” Jesus says, “As always, I will be the one suffering within him. I will be the one carrying him through . . . I will be the one to meet with him deep in his soul in his despair.” God replies . . .
“MAKE IT SO”
Inexorably, Immediately, like a Giant tank bulldozing sandcastles the suffering begins.
Immediately Jesus calls, “Come to me Roy, Come, and I will help you.”
“I have always been seeking you. Up till now you have only gathered my manna from the ground outside of the camp. Now you must come into the temple. Come into the Holy of Holies where I dwell. Come to the altar that I have built within you, that stands alone above the troubles and sorrows far above the the storms and pain that are flooding your life . . . Come into the Holy of Holies and partake of the shewbread, the bread of my presence. The bread that has been reserved for my priests, for that is what you are, and you will never experience true life apart from that bread for I am the bread of life Come and eat, and be satisfied.”
My ability to actually hear, and respond to this call at that point was exactly zero. At first I didn’t want to come, didn’t want to stop. I had no interest whatsoever in ‘the inner life’ and in fact wasn’t even sure that it really existed. The longing of my flesh was for the lush valley, the pleasures and ‘fun’ of outer life and so the years began to pass.
Me blaming God . . .
Me questioning and pleading . . .
Me turning to medicating sin to try and escape the pain . . .
Me flipping out thinking life was over . . .
Jesus just waited, patiently cooling his heels, plain and unadorned in my spirit, all the same with me and carrying me through.
At length with nowhere else to go, I began listening at the door. It is an inner door within all men, a door deep in the soul . . . This is the door that the bible refers to in the book of Revelation. “See I have placed before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength . . .”
Weeping I listened and curious, began to draw near.
As the seasons have changed over the past nine years I have been passing slowly through this door. The door itself within me is the temple itself. And the inner temple itself is formed, maintained, and sustained by His Spirit.
Inside I have found both that which repels me, and that which draws me on.
The repelling element is the continual discovery of the selfishness of my self. The continual realization that I am only interested in myself . . . That I live only for myself . . .
The primary ‘sin nature’ that plagues me and creates a stink around me wherever I go.
This discovery is an inevitable result of the inward journey through the soul to find Jesus birthed inside and by no means is meant to disqualify us from His love and communion. I understand now that when the Bible says, “No one can call Jesus Lord unless by the Spirit.” It means just that. The soul is always Lord to itself. We all consider ourselves omnipotent and will never bow down to Him. This is why it takes such an act of His Spirit to bring about His Lordship.
Jesus said, “You are the SALT of the earth.”
It is a great comfort to me to know that salt is actually a homogenous mixture of two very separate elements; sodium and chloride. Chloride, in the wrong mixtures and amounts is a toxic chemical. If you breathe chlorine gas, you’re dead. However chlorine mixed with sodium is a substance without which life would be impossible.
I am, deep in my sin, chloride, a poisonous mixture of lust and self-centeredness that blesses no one, is unable to be or do anything good at all. But here in the stillness and communion with my dear Lord I become a new creation. The spiritual mix of my soul and his produces . . . SALT . . . New, Brand New Life . . . “Behold, I have made you a NEW CREATION!“ declares the Lord in the last chapters of Revelation.
Now for that which draws me on . . .
And on . . .
Oh, my soul says ‘Yes, Yes, Yes’ to He that draws me on. Yes to Jesus who calls me ever deeper into the door. When we pass away from this life we at last will be finished with the door and can check out the mansion itself. But now we travel through the door. Jesus said, “I AM the door, all that pass through me will be saved.”
The one quality that I have found, the single most important discovery that has literally taken possession of my life is His love. The Bible says, ‘The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning, great is you’re faithfulness, Oh Lord.”
His is an active love that is always interacting with my soul.
His is a faithful love that always helps, always blesses, and always speaks, though not always in words.
His is a love that will never fail, never stop, never give up.
His is an eternal love that will always be pouring out of His inner being, even as it wells up within mine.
For this love I can stand any pain, pay any price, bear any burden, and follow him into and through any icy or fiery trials He leads me through.