Lately, our church was visited by Drs. (yes, plural) Hong Yang and his wife, Esther.
He’s a funny, ON FIRE, truly pentecostal preacher – barely attached to the floor when he’s preaching. He’s like a firecracker bursting at the sides to proclaim the Gospel. It is truly inspiring to see. One of his many talents is using word play to convey the deepest truths in the simplest ways… One thing he said which really struck me was:
“… at the heart of every issue … is an issue of the heart…”
I had to write that down in my notebook very quickly (coz this guy speaks a million miles a minute) but I just knew that I would have to revisit that thought at the very first chance.
On my last post, I had mentioned that just over a year ago, I was living a life of sin… but since coming back to God, its been a long and hard process of learning and unlearning things that I had always thought to be true about myself, about my small world, about the world-at-large, about life, about the church, about God himself.
And no, I’m not talking about some kind of shifty DIY ‘psych yourself out’ process. Part of what was different about “this” coming back to God – was my going back to the light of his Truth – of his Word.
The Bible says, the truth will set us free. We say it often in the church but most of us don’t really know how that can be true. I’ve heard many a sermon on the importance of reading the Word but never had I placed so much faith in its power, never have I relied on it and NEVER have I been more convinced that:
No one can hope for true redemption, for transformation, for TRUE LIVING without God’s word…
Without the Word – you won’t know WHO you are – you won’t know WHOSE you are – you won’t realize WHERE you are (reference to God’s first question to Adam — making him realize he was NOT in God’s presence anymore)…. These three questions make up the basics of human identity.
We were created by God for his glory and his pleasure and without Him we are left incomplete for the “creation can never be satisfied without communion with the Creator”.
Without intimacy with God, without identity – no wonder we have no inkling of the WHYs, the HOWs, the WHAT FORs of living. No wonder we have no sense of direction and purpose in life – no wonder we end up living for the lesser things – no wonder we end up being mastered by our most natural desires…
Sin caused us to lose our intimacy with God, which resulted in the loss of our identity – which led to the loss of control.
It always confused me – why I would do the things that I knew were not good for me – why would I continue doing the very things that were screwing my life up. It was masochistic. Its counter-intuitive… Its as Paul had said
“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” Romans 7:15
And yes, that is THE SEVEN-FIFTEEN that this blog is named after.
Masochistic, counter-intuitive it may be — but it is the human condition…
Most of us, who secretly struggle with sinful habits — have tried countless times to STOP — without realizing that the reason we cannot stop is because we haven’t gotten to the root of the problem.
The heart of the human issue – is not the ISSUES – its our HEARTS.
We all need an intensive renovation of the heart. We need to stop running away from the Truth – hiding away in the shadows, in the darkness. If you want to be free — if you want to live — you need to die…
We need to start moving things OUT and invite Jesus in. We need to check ourselves into the Hospital (the Church) — to reconnect with the Father, through his Son and re-establishing that connection through the guidance and the enablement of the Holy Spirit.
Only then, can we live in freedom. Only then, can we truly live.