I am beginning to understand, the depth of being a human. For so long, I have been struck by the disturbing voices I sometimes encounter when I set my conscious towards the voices of my heart. One cannot imagine the horrifying imageries, the distorted perceptions of reality and most frightening of all – the elongated daydreaming’s of self. I have become so full of myself that I – yes, I – have grown weary of myself. Self-consciousness of who you are is a dangerous road to enlightenment. Be assured, the word enlightenment here is not used as an endeavour to discover truth, or to attain some sort of intellectual supremacy over my fellow neighbour. I have the fullness of truth in the testimony and revelation of Jesus Christ. Thus, I use it loosely. In a way wherein one uses love to describe food. I need it, but I can live without it if need be. Hence, self-consciousness or in a more contemporary contextualisation, ‘mindfulness’, is a dangerous way to discover truth. What happens when what you discover or discovered does not quench your depravity – that is, your unending devotion towards doing that which you hate to do. You always find yourself doing it but since you lack the power to stop – hey, ‘I might as well revel in it for “now”’.
The self can perpetuate a falsified picturesque version of the human, nonetheless, the materialist world also has the same endeavour. Both meta and physical realities desire one thing – that is, control. The unconscious desires control over the conscious realm. It hungers for recognition, for truth, for the moments of wrongs and the limited moments of right. It feeds of the fear of never attaining immorality, for it is at this point of moral obligation that the power of thought is heightened. Let me use myself as an example.
Though I am a born-again Christian, one who is a slave to righteousness. One whose sole desire is to seek the face of the Lord, the Lamb who sits on the throne of heaven. I find within me, a grievous contradiction. You see, the prickling feeling in my heart to latch onto evil is a powerful desire. Though the orientations of my heart are geared towards the things of the Spirit (love, faithfulness, joy, obedience, mercy, peace etc), I find another law working within my members. It induces pride through materialistic gains (sometimes in guise of ambition), intellectual prowess, and most deadly of them all, self-preservation (the necessity to remain important, remembered, to leave a legacy). I find a warfare. An eternal battle is being waged within the depths of my soul. A poisoning one at best. It makes me feel ashamed, almost as if I am nothing. Nothing in the majestic eyes of Christ and nothing within the fleeting eyes of the world. On the one hand, I love this world with all its passions. Whether it is good or evil, I love them both. And on the other, my heart desires to serve a man who died on a tree. A King who speaks on my behalf. Hence, His will for me to overcome evil with good is evidentially critical within my members. Yet if I want to be wholly submitted towards Him, I must surrender all passions. That is the conundrum. To die to self is the excruciating pain of carrying one’s own cross. Hence, I can only describe this tedious turmoil as a fleshly blown bubble, trying to escape the diverse currents of the air.
With all this going on, I have realised something triumphant today. I, yes, I, cannot do anything about it. I cannot hide these thoughts, these thoughts of vanity. The troubling thoughts of double-mindedness, a worthless soul who gets dragged by any and every wind of doctrine. If I could fight the good fight, I will be champion of the world by now. However, the One who authored my faith has commanded me to fight the good fight of faith. Through His own Spirit, that is the Spirit of truth, the pillar of my quiet assurance. He causes me to hope in a hope that does not and cannot disappoint. The perfecter of my faith has perfected that arts of peace. I mean He alone is the Prince of Peace after all. Therefore, by His grace, my peace is also perfected. The cool thing is, He has even promised to make my enemies to be at peace with me because I call on His name.
Therefore, yes, in the naturalistic sense of my humanity I cannot begin to fathom the power within the testimony of Jesus Christ. As in, with the framework and the rational of the naturalistic thinker, I am a bubble being tossed to and fro by another law – the law of sin and death. In this state of being, if I cannot even escape my own thoughts, how then can I begin to conquer an entire city? In the scriptures, I came across a word in the Psalms. The Psalmist writes, “the secrets of the Lord is with them who fear his name”. I know that in the book of Proverbs it speaks of the fear of the Lord being the beginning of wisdom. In another place, it says one “who rules his own spirit, and is slow to anger, is mightier that one who takes a whole city”. This then begs the question? Are you, O man, looking to yourself to overcome your depravity?
John C. Lennox, a distinguished mathematician puts it this way:
“Not only did we not create the universe, but we did not create our own powers of reason either. We can develop our rational faculties by use; but we did not originate them. How can it be, then, that what goes on in our tiny heads can give us anything near a true account of reality” (Can science explain everything? p.47)
Let me end with this…
With all that has been said above, I still struggle to walk sometimes. Two years ago, on a day like today, after crushing on a girl for 8 years, I finally and unknowingly opened my mouth to ask her on a date. The boldness to partake in this conversation spewed out of nowhere. Though she said yes – due to reasons beyond my understanding – I had to close the distance between us before I could get to know her. In that moment I realised that life is not what you make it, but when you choose to make it. For I have no control over outcomes and consequences. All I know is, whatever is sown, it will be reaped. I sowed my feelings towards a girl two years ago and I reaped the words “yes, I will marry you.” (lol happy days). Have I lost anything? Of course not, I am gaining a wife. But in the mist of all these occurrences, I have and am still sowing a seed of faith in Christ Jesus. And though I am in the process of losing everything to apprehend Him. Be assured, you and I will gain a hundred-fold for trusting in His name. But without wisdom, and without love, my endeavour means nothing. Henceforth, begin your walk with Christ with the Fear (trust) of the Lord. That is the duty of man, and the entirety of his days on Earth.
“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead” (Philippians 3: 10-11)
Close the distance!