There are "altar-calls" and then there are "altar-brawls." One resurrects souls, one buries them alive. One shuts up long enough to hear you surrender to God, the other tries to shut you up long enough to force your surrender to itself. At their most extreme the both of them will bludgeon your ego and make you cry. A few weeks ago one of my posts turned into a theological cat fight... an altar brawl. The Sonship Diaries was an ugly attempt at beholding the silky maleficence of sin and the glory of grace all in the same breath. I admit not only that I communicated poorly but that the reason behind my rhyme was peripheral at best.
So I've been reading, thinking, and talking to Jesus. Flipping theological pancakes, if you will... And realizing that I've still got some exploring to do before I wrap my upper story around the whole mess. Yes, flipping theological pancakes. Don't think too hard about it.
I'm sure tomorrow the whole knot will untie itself and God will throw the last punch. But today I'm re-reading forgotten pages in the Psalms and holding a match between my grubby little fingers and up close to the very combustable pages of "My Opinions" - a book authored mostly by me and mostly for me.
Psalm 105, 106, & 107 retell the entire story of Israel... Start to finish. It's ten books condensed into three nail-biting chapters. Somewhere in the middle of the story I tripped over this little biblical shoelace:
In the wilderness their desires ran wild,
testing God’s patience in that dry wasteland.
their. desires. ran. wild.
Imagine. It overtakes you. An overwhelming, devouring, consuming desire. Adrenaline coursing through your veins. Mouth salivating. Heart pounding, harder and harder, in your chest. Eyes glazing over… And your mind becomes completely overwhelmed with ravenous lust. An ex-slave-master come to give you a taste of aged wine. Your entire being longs after it. It’s undeniable… you like the feeling. You let go... you give in. Wrong feels so right.
Can it satisfy?
Who gives a rip?
This was Israel's attitude towards the God that fed them with magical bread and had worked no less than twenty monumental miracles for their sake in a matter of days.
Some nights I hear rapping on the door of my heart. Nearly Midnight. The old Slave-master waits outside uninvited. Dressed to the nines and whispering through the mailbox slit. His words are an intoxicating toxin.
And then I awake from the dream at the mention of the name of Jesus. The old Slave-master is a dead man. His epitaph reads "It is finished" - chiseled into stone with diamond. His whispers are heard neither here nor there. He is dead, thus saith the Lord...
I forget often that I am not like Israel. Because somewhere between Exile and Pentecost something actually happened. Something actually changed... drastically.
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
So today I reckon him dead because Jesus reckons him dead.
And as He stands in victory, sin's curse has lost its grip on me. For I am His and He is mine, bought with the precious blood of Christ.
More thoughts will inevitably follow.