Lack is not having enough of something. Lack is falling short of something. We experience lack when we fall short of actual or perceived tangible and intangible resources we need for living: spiritually, financially, emotionally, psychologically, intellectually, experientially. Lack affects our joy and is experienced in the form emptiness, doubt, uncertainty, anxiety, worry, fear, perplexity. And these are emotions and feelings that we are always running away from, and are naturally inclined to seek abundance, sufficiency, growth, comfort, and productivity—the absence of lack. But what do we do when we experience lack, when we experience emptiness and doubt, when we fall short of our goals in our pursuit of spiritual, personal, relational, emotional, professional excellence? After all, lack is the natural familiar state of all humanity, for Christian and non-Christians alike. There is bad and good news for you Christian.
God, I just came out of an experience that I can’t explain. Where sin took me, it is so deep for my words to not suffice. Where your grace has lifted me, it is too high for my intellect to comprehend and joy to express. I have experienced your grace and mercy as you have lifted me to the heavens from the pits of hell, accompanied with supernatural peace and holy spirit given strength. This grace that I often acclaim in the songs of public assembly yet having little private and personal meaning has nonetheless come to reach me in the valley of the shadow of sin’s death. My soul was parched, I thirsted in the desert. Now as I have come to reflect upon this, I am reminded of the time Christ was led in this same desert. However, out of the desert, through perfect obedience and holiness to the life-giving and guiding Word, He came. How inverse this is to my desert experience. Like Peter sinking in the storm waters, I was almost scorched to my death with the desert drought. Instead of coming out of the desert as Christ did, I let my soul believe empty promises of joy in this desert. Unlike Christ, I disobeyed the holy life-giving and guiding Word. On the desert floor, I lay dreaming of the land that I once inhabited, overflowing with rivers of waters that bring and sustain life. There, my thirst was quenched, my soul filled, my every desire met. O Great God, how you came to my rescue as you couldn’t rejoice in my death. As I feasted on this desert sand, you brought forth a brook to my heart’s desperation and you quenched me with the oasis of your grace, even in the desert. As I gained strength to walk, You then led me out of the desert, unto the land overflowing with the river of life, that quenches my deepest thirst and washes me clean. O Great God, how immaculate is your promise of salvation and the means to this salvation—through you, and you alone. And through you, do I find the desire and strength to love you and to offer my whole being as a sacrifice of thanks for your saving grace. My soul thirst no more, and drink to your filling for this river's source is God Himself, and never runs dry.
A few months ago, as I was praying and confessing the sin of my wicked heart, God spoke to me about character, His will, and my will. He was specifically speaking to me about manhood, and how broken men are today outside of Christ. This is however, addressed to all genders.
- God's will in strong.
- God's will is definite, intentional, and determined.
- God's will is grounded in absolute, perfect, infinite, and unconditional love.
If God's will was weak, indefinite, unintentional, I think our salvation would have never happened. Our existence and being would be left to chance. The amazing thing is, God never gets confused about his plan/will, it's perfect and concretely grounded in Himself, but expressed towards us, in perfect and patient love.
The opposite is true of us. Outside of God, and when left to and with ourselves, our wills are weak! Our character being so shallow, will topple over at the smallest budge of sin. We cave in at the slightest wind of opposition and resistance. We are quick to change our minds at the sight of sin and temptation. We are quick to break vows we recently made. We are quick to go along with popular or convenient course of sinful actions due to self-consciousness instead of God-consciousness, and self or peer-worship instead of God-worship. We are quick to lie. Quick to fornicate, masturbate, watch porn. Quick to cheat, lie, get angry for the smallest things. Quick to exaggerate our strengths, and minimize our weaknesses while minimizing others' strengths and exaggerating their weaknesses. Quick to judge others. Quick to jealousy, envy, hate, gossip. Quick to pride instead of humility and submission to others, even if they are wrong. Quick to self-righteousness. And even quicker to claiming our love for God and commitment to being Christians. This is how our natural wills look like. It makes the world and everything in it about us.
Let us align our wills and character according to the will of God and only then will we have such definite, intentional, and strong wills, enduring through time and circumstances.
This blog post, is a result of a sin that I willfully committed, after I had made up my mind about what is moral, right, loving, and true and was pursuing the perfect will of God. But because of my weak character and will, and outright disobedience, I took an emotional/sinful approach at listening to the plea and will of someone else, someone that I do care about. This was the problem in the Garden of Eden. Adam, having a weak will and separated from the will of God, was similarly led into sin, not by Eve, but by his own sinful will. And today, we are continually led into deception, each time we decide to pursue our own wills instead of the will of God.
As Paul says in Romans 7:24, "What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?" Then says, "Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! (v25)"
To men: we need to lead with such strong but loving character. You need to will as God wills. You need make up your mind how your will is going to affect the woman you are leading, the family you are leading, the friendships you are leading, the company or organization you are leading, and how you are living out your own walk of faith.