Friday, January 23, 2009

"Removing the Veil" & the "Blessedness of Possessing Nothing"

I will never be able to do this writing justice for all the depths it deserves.. The mere title alone conjures up instances in my own personal life that I, in hindsight, see as refining moments. I will by the very nature of this blog expose some personal experiences that I am very ashamed of but now with the help of Christ, I can see the reasoning behind those "times" and just like a blacksmith must heat the metal in order to shape it to the tool he desires, so also has Christ placed me under some intense heat in order to shape my stubborn, carnal self.. In the end, I am grateful beyond measure for the work Jesus Christ has performed in my life and for the abundant Grace I have experienced..

AW Tozer stated it so perfectly "The cross is rough and it is deadly, but its effective. It does not keep its victim hanging there forever. There comes a moment when its work is finished and the suffering victim dies. After that is resurrection glory and power, and the pain is forgotten and the joy that the veil is taken away and we have entered in actual spiritual experience the presence of the living God"

Perfectly and accurately said...His reference of "the victim dies" is meaning we die to our self..We finally Tapout and allow God to rule and reign in our heart, and surrender ourselves totally.. I also should explain for clarity the veil he speaks of..which is not the Temple Veil pictured above that seperated the Holy place from the Holiest of Holies..although the word picture is the same.. The "veil" is woven of the fine threads of the self life..To be more specific, the self sins are self-righteousness, self-pity, self-confidence, self- sufficiency, self-admiration, self-love, etc..

In human experience, that veil is made of living spiritual is composed of the sentient, quivering stuff of which our whole being consist, and to touch it is to touch us where we feel pain. To tear it away is to injure us, to hurt us, to make us bleed.

To rip through the dear and tender stuff of which life is made can never be anything but deeply painful. Yet that is what the cross did to Jesus and it is what the cross would do to every man to set him free..

See the problem with "us" is we are not willing to let everything go..We try desperately to hang on to portions of our self and still try to worship and follow God.. This method of Christianity where we conform God to our lifestyle and use Him like a vending machine is utter rebellion in the face of God.. See Self can live unrebuked at the very altar. It can watch the bleeding victim die and not be in the least affected by what it sees..

I am an absolute testimony of this Christian..I have tried to hang on to so many things, tucking them away in my little corner of my heart, allowing no one to see or least no one in this world..but God is the One who searches the heart and He sees these little indulgences we have tucked away and until we let them go and surrender, God's conduit of abundant Grace will not be opened up and allowed to flow..I know when I came out of mantra was " if it is to be, it is up to me"..I, Me, Myself was in control of everything that happened..It was my decisions, my hard work and my internal fortitude that drove my success.. I Took ALL the Credit and gave God none..In fact God never received the first Thank You.. God was a mere vending machine lever that I pulled when faced with very difficult circumstances and once that storm passed, God was forgotten.. My idols were career, earning potential, success in this world, sports, keeping up with the proverbial " Jones' ". Slowly but surely I was allowed (by God, but unknowingly at the time) to acquire a successful career in sales with six figure incomes, the house with the yard, fence, pool, hot tub; the right clothes to fit the part, the right cars that made me feel important...I had reached the pinnacle of my life..or so I thought..Thru all this, God slipped further and further from my everyday life until he became nonexistent..That is the point in time that God began to strip me of all I possessed.. I don't mean He took it from me. I mean He "STRIPPED", "TORE", "RIPPED" it from my life and my world as I knew it begin to shatter..The six figure income gone, the house gone, the BMW gone, the Boat Gone, and most importantly MY Pride..GONE.. and almost my dear and precious family..(which is a whole different blog on why God saw fit to allow me to keep my family).. I was left barren and broken..I wondered what happened? Why did God allow all this pain? I was not a drunk or a thief..I was mostly least more good than bad in my eyes..I actually had the audacity to try and blame God..(Good Grief..what in the world was I thinking).. God had begun a work in me that He was determined to complete..

He had Broken me!! My spirit was crushed.. My will powerless.. I had nowhere else to turn but Him..The Cross became so clear and so evident as to my path, that it was unmistakable.. I was pulled from the desolate pits, the muddy clay and God placed my feet upon a new rock, making my feet secure and put a new song in my mouth praising Him..(Psalms 40:1-4 My life verse). I was a changed Man..The "Veil" had been ripped away and no longer blocking my view of my Most Precious and Wonderful Lord.. I could now see..He had peeled the layers off my blind eyes and unplugged my deaf ears.. All my life I claimed I was a Christian..after all I went to church, I was mindful of others, I was mostly a good person..But Now..something was totally different..God placed in me a THIRST for Him that I can not explain..A Desire to Know Him.. To TRUST HIM, To DEPEND on Him..To become a true disciple of His..(Disciple = Surrendered to God, Separate from this world, Sober in Self assessment, Serving in Love and Supernaturally deals with evil).a Follower..To take up His Cross Daily..To Finally LIVE OUT what was inside my heart..throwing caution to the wind..

That leads to my final point..The Blessedness of Possessing Nothing(which I will also write about in the future in more detail)..I possessed speak of..only the bare essentials to live..A vehicle to get us to work and back, an roof over our head (rented..not actually possessed)..and this nothingness spawned a new era in my life..With all that "stuff" gone, I could now focus on what mattered.. Studying the bible, praying, listening, following Hard after God..Seeking His will and aligning my life with His..I have but four words to express the results of such action..LOVE, PEACE, JOY & HOPE!!! That is what lives inside me..Life will change, things will come and go..but God is never changing and a Rock to those who know Him.. I would be amiss if I told you I never experienced storms anymore..I do!!..its just that I have peace and joy during them because I know who is in control..I know who has His hand on the wheel of my life.. The veil of my self has been removed and all the distractions of material life are fleeting...and my desire to share ALL this with others is mounting inside me..

Let me leave you with one just one more quote from my favorite book..."The Pursuit of God".....

"God is so vastly wonderful, so utterly and completely delightful that He can, without anything other than Himself, meet and overflow the deepest demands of our total nature, mysterious and deep as that nature is"..and I second that motion

To God be the Glory

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