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total blunt honesty time: (time to remove all pretense and expectation)

i am falling on love with God all over again...

this book, "the barbarian way", has been a quite literal answer to prayer for me. i had been in distress for the last few months... actually, thats not the right way to say it. i had been wholly apathetic. i have never doubted whether Jesus Christ is who He says He is or that He died or what His death means for me. i have doubted, however, during my downward slide, what prayer is for and what the Holy Spirit really does, what power He really has IN MY EVERY DAY LIFE. don't judge me on this, as i have said numerous times that i am no spiritual superman. i know that this might be basic stuff to doubt.

tangent: the thing is, when you are raised in a spiritual home, you have to discover why this faith is yours and not your parents and grandparents. i almost regret that it was so easy for me... don't get me wrong, i LOVE my family and i am so incredibly thankful for the background i have had. what i mean is, i can't remember "before Christ" in my life. i never had to come to that point where i knew my life on my own would be going nowhere. so, i have to remember sometimes what I could have been without Christ.

back to the point: as Edwin McManus said so well in the book, there gets a point where we as Christians become civilized, where we lose that raw edge of our faith, where we submit to religion and legalism. Civilized, where we forget that living for God doesn't mean being comfortable and being guaranteed a long life; it means being in danger and being unafraid of death because you are not your own. there gets a point where you stop listening to God. then you can't hear him anymore at all. then you try to remember a time where you EVER heard him and you find that you can't. you're like a river cut off from it's source: dead and crackled and dry, forgetting what water was or that it was what defined you. you doubt that God even really speaks to people today. after all, our packaged faith tries to separate itself from mysticism. God did do miracles and speak to people, but those days are over, they say. so you doubt what the Holy Spirit does and where he is.

this is where i was, sadly. i wasn't openly rebelling against God... i was just pushing the tough questions i had, questions that i almost NEVER thought about, to the back of my mind. i hate to admit it, and it hurts me to say it out loud in the open air because of what everyone hold me up to be, but it was easier for me to be apathetic and sin than to face these doubts that had presented themselves in my life, choking my heart. i was removed from my source. i was dead and dry. it was like this for a while, choosing apathy over confrontation.

well, a few weeks ago, i decided it was time to confront. i don't remember exactly what i prayed, but it was something like, "God, just speak to me. make this make sense. i don't understand. help me figure this out."

ouch, thats hard to write and read. again, do not judge here... please continue.

not long after that, i picked up this book and began reading. it so specifically addressed and answered my questions that I HAVE NO DOUBT that God specifically answered my prayer and that i clearly heard His voice. thats part of the reason i write this; it is clear documentation of the God of creation clearly hearing me and speaking to me, working past my stone heart and speaking to my very soul. calling me to come and die.

the answer that i read in that book is that we so often expect God to do and be something that He is not. we expect Him to fulfill all of OUR desires and hopes and dreams, when the truth is that the kinda of desires and hopes and dreams He will fulfill are the ones he gives us as he changes our very hearts. not that the ones we have are wrong; they might very well already be God-given. it's that, like Caner says, prayer doesn't change God, it changes me. i dunno if this is making sense.

the point is, domesticated, civilized faith will continually lead me to exactly where i was: dry, dead, and callous. by giving myself over to God, being a barbarian, being crazy, maybe even a little bit insane, for Jesus. that is the true, vibrant life. that is falling in love with God, so that you are not afraid, so that you are already dead.

i am dead.

i am alive.

i am free.

Jesus Christ has once again saved and forgiven me.


Anonymous said...

I don't know why we have to go through times like this, but we all do. Of course to a much lesser degree as in a marriage relationship...I know that your dad loves me and I love him. But some days we are both so busy that we only speak for a few minutes it seems. Some days I take him for granted and then I stop and think again that I am the luckiest woman of the planet because I have the greatest husband who treats me like a queen.
God is always there loving me even when I am self absorbed in my little world. I was 12 when I was saved and I remember what my heart was like "before Christ". It is miserable. He totally rescued me from a useless and empty life and the worst afterlife! He has done the same for you even if you can't remember "B.C.".
rambling mom

Anonymous said...

I'm glad that you can be so open and honest with what you've been through, and what you're learning. I've found as great as Liberty is, it's almost hard for me to be alive here and grow in Christ. Worshipping and loving God turns into a routine, and the emotions I should behind my faith have not been there at times. I know that sounds bad, but it's true. At some points here at school, I have felt dead spirtually, and I also feel like I have been judged many times. I wish all of us as brothers and sisters in Chirst would help pick each other up, encourage each other, instead of judging one another. We all have sins, none of us are perfect!
I feel like sometimes as christians we put on a facade, like everything is totally great in our lives, we pretend we have no faults. But in reality we all have many, we all struggle with different things, with our faith at times. It's just refreshing to read this and have someone actually open up...We all need to be this honest...

Also...just thought I would share, in a totally unrelated subject...being single can be such a great blessing. God uses this time to help you grow. I get lonely sometimes, and I know it's normal, but I also trust that God knows what's best for me, when it's best for me. I make it a point to pray for my future husband every day. You never know what that person is going through, and I believe it's so important that you just pray for them. You don't have to wait until you meet them to decide to begin doing this...I know I could most definitly use the prayers of my future spouse, and I think most of us feel the same way...This wasn't meant to be written directly for you, but for everyone that is reading this.

Stay strong Harrison, and keep praying! Trust in God, and everything will work out better than you could have ever imagined! :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the honesty Harrison. I think that I am right there with you on a lot of things!! Matt H.

hurricane04 said...

I think I will join in on this chorous of supporters who are saying, "Bro - I know what you're talkin about!" As we have talked about several times before, this is good. This is what life with Christ is about. This is what a relationship with Him is. It's ever changing. Always improving. Getting "fine-tuned", if you will. I'm glad that God has used this in your life man. I'm also glad that you have a desire to figure this whole thing out and not live in apathy forever. Wow....awesome man. I am right where you were before you started reading "the Barbarian Way" I have a lot of questions. A lack of desire. I think I just need to get on my face. Thanks H.