“Finally, we may master our evil selves by developing a continuous prayer and devotional life. Through this process the soul of man will become united with the life of God. Yes, this is possible. Man can know God. This has been the ringing cry of the mystic throughout the ages. God is not “wholly other.” God is not a process projected somewhere in the lofty blue. God is not a divine hermit hiding Himself in a cosmic cave. But God is forever present with us. The God of religion is the God of life. He somehow transcends the world, yet at the same time He is immanent in the world. And so, by identifying ourselves with this knowable God our wills will somehow become His will. We will no longer think of our selfish desires. We will somehow rise above evil thoughts. We will no longer possess two personalities but only one. We will be true, because God is truth; we will be just, because God is justice; we will love, because God is love; we will be good, because God is goodness; we will be wise, because God is wisdom.”
~Martin Luther King, Jr. June 5th, 1949
“But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and may share His sufferings, becoming like Him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.”
~Paul, The Least of The Apostles, in Philippians 3
Oh beloved, it is true.
The world rattles our cage.
Circumstances scream for our attention.
Sickness weakens our bodies.
Fear draws our eyes towards the waves, instead of Him.
Bitterness’s root chokes our soul.
Anger shatters intimacy.
Lust drives our impatience.
And, in all of the above – we feel alone.
In all of these behaviors and situations there is one root cause and one primal need drawn upon our souls by our Triune Creator. We want to be known. We want to feel like we are Home. We want to have Him look at us and be delighted to see us. We want the fear and doubt and noise and distraction and everything to just stop.
Brothers, imagine this for one moment: Imagine Jesus as He really is. Perfectly Love, too wise to make a mistake, and too kind to be cruel. Imagine, for just one quiet moment, all of the sin is behind us – we have persevered in faith – and gone over the river… Imagine the moment where HE looks you in the eye; and is delighted to see you. And then – as we have ever hoped (even if unconsciously) our Maker, Redeemer, King, Saviour, and Friend draws you into His arms to give you the hug that all your yearnings have pointed to throughout all your life. OH!!! What a moment!!!
Home. Safe. Known. Whole. Free. Real. Forever.
Can we see it?
The above gives us formerly lost boys of the Colony of Mercy a view into the crazy things we have done with chemicals, needles, pills, bottles, images, and smoke. Really, what all of us were doing was trying to find that moment. We hurt and wanted a satisfying hug from God – but we reached for something temporary, fleshly and physical.
Of course, it didn’t work. So, as we tried more and more of the same thing – and kept getting the same (but worse) results – we began to fall into a spiritual panic. We truly didn’t know what to do. But it was this final crisis that broke us. In desperation, we called out to Him.
And because He is Who He Is, He answered us, and set us on the path Home in Him. Beloved, that hug is guaranteed. Start asking Him to show you the moment when all the tears and pain are wiped away – LITERALLY – by the Hand that made us. Oh man. What a blessed Hope!
For me, I am beginning to see that hug come, and have even begun to “taste of the ages to come.” G_d has met me in some very deep crevasses of my being over the last 90 days; deeper than I knew existed. Even after the furnaces of the trials of losing my four kids, and the crushing weight of the mission work in China and Indonesia, He has been bringing me some deep healing and even deeper freedom. This season may be one of the best of my Life in terms of knowing Him.
So, what about you?
What is He doing in your life to help you see that hug is in your future? Are you going through struggles and changes that are trying to push you off the Path He has for you? Brothers, in Him everything is going to be FAR more than just OK. Think it through. Think it through like Paul writes above “that I may know Him...” When we think ‘with the end in mind,’ we can become convinced that we are headed Home where there will no more death, no more sorrow, no more crying, nor any pain.
Tonight is your night. Time to know You are already known and Loved with an Everlasting Love. We cannot lose. We can also know that, in all of the craziness of Life, we can know Him – and have an ever-growing confidence about That Day we meet Him.
Christians know by experience that true religion is a union of the soul with God, a real participation in the divine nature, the very image of God drawn upon the soul, or, in the apostle’s phrase, “it is Christ formed within us.”
~Henry Scougal, Scottish Puritan mysti
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.