Posted on January 4, 2019 by America's Keswick in Freedom Fighters
“No matter how much we may study, it is not possible to come to know God unless we live according to His commandments, for God is not known by science, but by the Holy Spirit. Many philosophers and learned men came to the belief that God exists, but they did not know God. It is one thing to believe that God exists and another to know Him. If someone has come to know God by the Holy Spirit, his soul will burn with love for God day and night, and his soul cannot be bound to any earthly thing.” ~St. Silouan the Athonite
“And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.
~ The Encourager, Hebrews 11
Oh beloved, it is true.
We do. We really do. We live time-torn lives. We have been born into a world that simply does not work. Any victories that come our way are merely fleeting, or tragically pyrrhic. And even the deepest moments of intimacy, formed in right relationships with people, leave us somehow unfulfilled.
Somehow, before we began to understand, we thought that this dull ache, this ‘Great Homesickness*’, would be sated by the sense of His Presence in our lives. And, in many ways, this has made a difference. We now really do now have a Blessed Hope for the future that was missing in the past. But, instead of the applying a balm to the injury we have received from the world, this Blessed Hope is like salt in the wounds of our desire to be away from the pain, and living with Him in peace.
And, it is in this place of being totally hopeful, but feeling the incompleteness of our lives, that we come to a choice. We do, each of us really do, come into a crisis of faith. A part of us feels the death around us and is repelled. Another part of us feels the same thing but perceives that the solution to the pain is to walk back into the world that shattered us in the first place.
We can miss it if we are not careful.
Can we see it?
The passage is clear. We are going to be in this world for awhile, but we need to have a clear picture of what is happening, and who we really are, if we are to survive this crisis. For, the outcomes of our faith, are not predictable.
All of us are going to have amazing and powerful experiences, but some of the amazing stuff is going to be amazingly painful. All of us cling to an identity, but it is likely that our sense of who we are, has been poisoned by the toxic roux of our doubts, misconceptions, fears, sins, and the fallen world around us. Said more simply: We are going to wander this planet, and we are going to experience loss. The question is, will we be faithful?
As it always is, our actions are driven by our understanding of Who He is, and our identity in our relationship to Him. If we do not understand our adoption into the very family of The King of The Universe, we are likely to cut and run back to the ruin we just escaped.
But, if we know who we are in Him, we can walk out into the trouble, operating as a ranger of the world – knowing that our King has already overcome everything we will face. We can go out into the pain that we will surely experience, but now that pain will context, meaning and the potential for eternal returns.
So, are you in a crisis of faith? Good. However, the question you (and this fool of a writer) need to answer is before us: Will we wander alone? Or, will we wander as an emissary of our King; Him abiding in us, as we abide in Him?
Tonight is your night. We all have to wander this world, but we do not need to do it alone. He will be with us always. He is already faithful. Will we be faithful too?
* “The Great Homesickness.” One Wild Life, Gungor, 2016
Written by Makala Doulos: Makala Doulos is a child of G_d, a husband to his wife, a father to his children, and a teacher to his students. But mostly, he is a prisoner set free by Jesus. Love has invaded his life, crushed it, and made it new. Now, G_d’s Love is what constrains him to live in full surrender to the freedom The Father and Son and Holy Spirit have bought for us all. Grace and Peace to you all.
Daily Quote: The soul that has come to know God fully no longer desires anything else, nor does it attach itself to anything on the earth; and if you put before it a kingdom, it would not desire it, for the love of God gives such sweetness and joy to the soul that even the life of a king can no longer give it any sweetness. ~St. Silouan the Athonite, Writings
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. – Galatians 2:20