2 Oct 2015

Dangerous Places in the heart that can kill you

You may think I overstate my case. Death? But I assure you I do not.

We have a view and experience of what it means to be alive. If you read the Word, you find what commonly passes off as 'living' doesn't make the cut of what the Original Intention was {for the whole story on this, please read my book Shed Those Leaves}.

In fact, the word 'death' occurs quite a bit in the Word though it always get trumped by Life (see Resurrection).

This one word is also used to describe three kinds of death:

physical, bodily death - when our body stops to function
permanent spiritual death - when our separation from God is final and irrevocable
current spiritual death - when our lives do not comply with our faith claims

Modern science confirms what the Word says: we do have some influence over our physical passing. Sinful habits that persist can lead to death. But of course, since we are not exactly tracking it, we commonly think that we have absolutely no say. Death comes unannounced for most; and even if you have years or months to wait it out; it will always still feel like a thief sneaked up on you.

The second too is tricky really. Many people obsess over this and want an iron-clad guarantee that once they are saved; they will always be saved. I suppose a very simple analogy can help here. You could be rescued from drowning, but you can choose to jump back into the churning waters. So we certainly do decide on this one; but the decision is not a sales deal or a transaction. It behooves you to think why you were drowning and help others out. Based on what Jesus tells us in Matthew 25, it sounds like there can be some surprises in the end.

The third kind is a daily reality: it's called dying to sin and self in order to truly live. This sits squarely on our shoulders; or should I say, in our hearts.

Why so moribund you may ask?

Well, I was sitting in my special chair where I regularly consider the big questions when I found my thoughts drifting towards a region of the mind-heart that belongs to what I call a dangerous place. It is one of 3 R-rated places in our hearts. I have wrestled with self and sin enough to know that these places starve us of Life and can lend us in a state of spiritual stupor, where we become pale, waterless clouds that live adrift with nary a purpose.

Listen, no one alive has no regrets. Yes I have them; such as this one, where I let my friends down.Or what about the job I chose not to take for some filmsy reason that isn't well-thought through? Who knows what phenomenal success I will be enjoying now if I had taken it.
I once tried to comfort a friend who was unable to forgive herself for years. The regret drove her to depression and shaped her decisions after that. It is easy when we are leafing through our album of regrets for the enemy to slip alongside and say: 'where was God? Didn't He guide you? Were you so sinful?'

This is like the emotional part of Repentance. It's necessary. being sorry for what we have thought/said/done cannot be a cold exercise in the calculation of personal merits! Tears often accompnay genuine repentance. But some of us can be quite absorbed with this..and then the enemy suggests: 'you just won't make a very good one will you? Better not be so h-o-l-y'.

We counter-accuse when we feel accused. It's our defense mechanism. We may not say it out loud; but when we are still smarting from unkind words or licking our wounds; it is easy to begin hurling accusations at those who have hurt us or let us down. We label them, put them down, reduce them to their mistake. The enemy is more than happy to add ammo: 'and it isn't the first time is it?'.

Looking back is important in helping us move forward. But it has to be an intentional time set aside to prayerfully consider one's life. Then we visit the places prepared and armed.

But all our minds drift at times, and our emotions tag along and often quickly magnify everything with their uncanny ability to get highly detailed and sensational. At such times, it is important to know not to dawdle, but to turn around and get out quickly. Cry if you must, Rant in your journal. Take a cold shower, run in the rain, have tea and read a book, hit the gym. Beware that dangerous places exist - and you can be safe.

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