Unlovely, nay frightful, is the solitude of the soul which is without God in the world—this chill, houseless, fatherless, aimless Cain, the man who hears only the sound of his own footsteps in God’s resplendent creation.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence, by which He has granted to us His precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.
~ Peter, in 2 Peter 1
Oh beloved, it is true.
We, those of us who have been through the Colony, and any of you all who are reading this little blog, can probably attest to the following. Those of you who cannot agree, have probably not thought down through this enough. Forgive this fool of writer, but this one is going to be real. So, if it causes you to feel the fear, then maybe it has communicated properly.
We are in a terrible battle to understand who we really are. The forces arrayed against us are mighty indeed. Any of you brothers who have had the iron grip of addiction grabbing your souls know exactly what I mean. The battle is only partially about the chemicals or whatever was (or still is) our thing.
The bigger part of the battle was that we were alone. We were travelling this globe, and we had no idea how to connect with people. And any of the connections we made with others were more like collisions. So, any time we tried to get close to anyone, we basically ended up getting hurt, or hurting others – or both – most of the time.
This is where the lies come in like a flood…
You are alone… You will always be rejected.
You will never get better… Might as well keep going.
You are a loser… Even in heaven people won’t be your friend.
Your pain is not even worth fixing… Just smother it with (insert whatever here).
Your salvation won’t even save you… Eternity will just be a long, waking nightmare of walking along a tunnel of time. Even god will run out of things to do.
And on they go.
As we listen to the lies; the lies that we are separated, unlovable, unfixable, and that even the seeming solution of heaven will end up being a hell worse than we can imagine, in comes this creeping panic. We look around with wild eyes and reach for the only thing that brings us a fleeting moment of comfort. But, as we all know, this doesn’t even work – but we stay in this ever-spinning process of using and losing and hurting and disconnecting even further.
Can you feel it?
Do you remember the panic? Maybe it was just me, but I doubt it. Years of working with hurting and addicted people have helped me see that this was one of the main tools the liar used to bring brothers like you and me to ruin.
Read the passage again. Note the wording. This is not some finely parsed classical Greek, written by a scholar. No, this was written by Peter, a fisherman, and somewhat blunt kind of guy. Now, surely by the time he wrote 2 Peter, the Holy Spirit had smoothed out quite a few rough edges in this apostle. But, what we find in every person who grows in the Spirit, their personalities do not disappear. They grow strong, and wax wise. So, said more simply, note that what Peter is saying is being said by a guy who pretty much just says things like they are.
All of the passage above, is pretty much the exact opposite of the lies we have been listening to. All of this passage pretty much speaks to exactly who we are, now, in Christ. And, understanding exactly who we are, is the perfect antidote to fear.
You are not alone. You are in equally included in a faith bought and made real by a G_d who does not change, and cannot lie.
Things are already better. His Grace has saved you. You are already at peace with G_d. And, this will only be multiplied as you walk with Him and experience ever-greater portions of His infinite favor and power.
You are not a loser. You cannot lose. You have already won. His divine power has already given us all of everything. We own the very keys to the Kingdom of Heaven, in Him.
Your pain has already been healed. You are known, personally, and intimately. You are precious to the very King of The Universe. You will never be alone again.
Your salvation is already bigger than you yet know. You are free from time, and the world, and corruption, and failure. None of this will follow you into forever.
And then… comes the part that blows the doors off of our tiny little concept of what is going on. Remember, Peter is a straight-talker. He is not given to fluffy words and stuffing in his syntax. Read it, and let the isolation and panic and lies flee away: “so that through them, you might become partakers of the divine nature.” This word, ‘partakers,’ in the original language properly means a mutual belonging, or a joint-participant.
Can we see it? What?… Yeah. You’re in.
Not only are we not alone, we are on the team – on the first string. We are G_d’s posse. We are, if you will have the humility to accept it, included within His very inner circle. We are beyond fear. We are eternal. We are Home. And we are whole.
Beloved, are you feeling alone this holiday season? It is a lie. Jesus did not just die and go down through the grave to resurrection to give us a little comfort in our loneliness. He did all of this to completely pull us out of the whole mess, and into the very Presence of G_d, forever.
Tonight is your night. Time to abandon fear, and panic. Time to begin your participation in who you already are, in Him.
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: Relationship is the final stuff of reality.
~ Dr. Larry Crabb
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; Let such as love Your salvation say continually, “The LORD be magnified!” Psalm 40:16