February 20, 2017

Learning to Live for God

Learning to Live for God

His oath, His covenant and blood, protect me in the whelming flood. When all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay. On Christ The Solid Rock I Stand, All Other Ground is Sinking Sand. What a blessed hymn that is, a hymn that my heart can now fully appreciate, a hymn that resonates deeply with me. Allow me today to share bits and pieces about my unshakable faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and how it came to be. This is my story.

I am a young man, with a past chequered with sin. Like Jacob, the days of my life have been few and evil. I was amoral and hedonistic, with no sense of direction or purpose in my life. I lived solely to appease my flesh, which left my spirit lacking fulfillment. Despite momentary exhilaration brought about by my hunts for amorous pleasure, I still ended up feeling empty and hollow inside. I didn't know, let alone understand what I was chasing. All I was aware of was that I was addicted to "the life". Addicted to both the pain and the pleasure. All I wanted to do was chase after the things I thought mattered to me, I had my priorities upside down and had no clue where I was headed. I lived each day as though it was my last one; and not in a positive way. As the hollowness deepened, so did my sadness which quickly transformed into depression and I finally found myself wrapped in a cocoon of anhedonia (a debilitating inability to experience happiness or pleasure). My depression got to such a dark point, that I began contemplating ending my own life. All I had been doing -as the ecclesiastical philosopher puts it- was vanity upon vanity, like chasing the wind; I had been chasing the wind!

In spite of all the "fun" and "friends", I had reached a point where so much self-hatred was being directed inwards that I had begun thinking of forcing my own funeral! I had suckled from the teat of hedonism, found the milk bitter but for the life of me couldn't spit it out. I didn't want to go on living in such a manner, but could not make the necessary change. I tried googling and found many self-help and philosophical articles, blogs and books and read them all. I tried to practice whatever ten or twelve-point-step plans the authors had prescribed to no avail. I still found myself drifting back to old habits(old habits really do die hard), and this compounded my misery. A series of signs followed each failed attempt to better myself, signs that led me to suspect (I wasn't much of a believer) that some greater power was watching out for me, that God wanted me to want more than to just escape from my woes. It dawned on me that these self help books and articles weren't going to cure what was ailing me, they weren't going to even teach me how to be a help to myself.

There was a God-sized hole in my heart and soul that couldn't be filled by all the man-taught self-discipline in the world, nor by success, nor by any father-figure or mentor, that God-sized hole in my soul needed GOD. I finally broke, my tortured spirit caved and I needed to be put back together bit by spiritual bit. So like the parabolic prodigal son who after spending himself dry in a foreign country went back to his father on knees and begged for forgiveness, I did the same. I went back to my heavenly Father on my knees and cried, and begged for forgiveness and made deals with Him offering my Lord this and this in exchange for Him doing that and that for me. I am exceedingly happy to testify that in my anguish, The Lord answered! He told me in a still small voice that all He wants from me is my life as a living sacrifice. For me to realize that He loves me, for me to live for Him, to do what pleases Him, to shun evil and do what in is right before Him. That people, was the Day I gave my life to Christ. And honestly, since then, the change in me has been remarkable and palpable.

I am no longer that desperate creature looking for love in all the wrong places, I am a disparate creature, fundamentally different from the person I was before. I now understand that even though I may lack all the human love in the world, My Lord loves me, and I will be careful to obey Him and walk that straight and narrow path of righteousness because His Spirit that dwells in me, strengthens me to be like so. I sing for joy for Christ is mine and I am now His. He has forgiven me of my sins He has canceled my guilt and set me on the path of salvation, that I shall in the end be named among the sons of God.

I do not know about tomorrow or what the future holds for me, but this I know; that I will never be the same again, I said goodbye to the world, I may dwell in the world, but I am not of the world because I closed the door to that past life. I have made it my life's mission to walk the straight and narrow path, to run the race for I know there are higher heights to reach spiritually; and whatever the Lord needs to do, He shall do it in me. Hosanna to the Most High God. May His name which is greater than all other names be praised. I often wonder, Who am I, that the Lord would care to feel my pain and care for a worm such as myself? So I pray that the lover and Savior of my soul to help me to never forget the pit from which He delivered me and how He made me stand in awe of His boundless love. He has truly done me well... I will sing and praise even in my darkest hour for He has shown me time and time again that He is worthy of my life. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me and I will dwell in the house of the Lord, now and forever all the while praising The Lord!!!