Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Liberated Rest

In the last post we saw how the promised liberation of Eros and Bacchus was really the perpetually search for identity and fulfillment. Something I think most people find themselves doing at any particular stage in life. But what we saw with these two is the bondage that can easily be found in trying to "discover" ones self in sex and intoxication. Moreover the destruction of the truth of your identity and who God created you to be. Eros and Bacchus will no doubt leave you sexually confused, drunk and stoned on the floor crawling to find your identity.

Sounds exhausting doesn't it? Not very liberating in the least. I always thought it interesting that "bondage" was a name for kinky sex. Or that being "stoned" was a good thing. Or how about "Let's get sh**faced drunk". It's funny how words with obvious negative connotations are things that people seek out. I bet you didn't know the word orgy means "more work". Or that a Libertine is defined as someone with no moral restraint. Such is the deception and so are the lost. The devil has such a hold that the person knowingly slanders themselves but they don't even care. In the words of the famous libertine and sex addict the Marquis de Sade "Destruction, hence, like creation, is one of Nature's mandates." Spoken like the devil himself.

The liberation the enemy has to offer will never give you freedom. The momentary taste of pleasure is so not worth the bondage that ensues. Now you know if you have read any of my other posts that I am all for pleasure! I believe God created us to enjoy the pleasure of particular things. But I also believe that he made rules so that pleasure would never cause us any pain. The two are NOT suppose to go hand in hand! A good start to prevent pain with pleasure is to stay in the bounds of God's truth and principles. Sounds easy but you would be surprised at how many people think that God is trying to keep them from experiencing things that are going to help shape their identity. Nope. Like I said in the last post...you will never find your identity in sin because sin is not your identity. So the desire for pleasure is not the problem, it is where we seek that pleasure and identity.

"If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that it is a bad thing to desire one's good and earnestly hope for enjoyment, it is because it has crept in from the teachings of Kant and ancient Stoics. Certainly, it has no part in the Christian faith. Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of rewards promised in the gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy has been offered to us. We are far too easily pleased, like an ignorant child who goes on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by an offer of a holiday at the sea." C. S. Lewis

I think the first step to finding the joy in the pleasure of Christ is rest. It seems that we as humans have forgotten what life is like without any drama. The same negative spirit of the perpetual search of the erotic Eros or the the intoxicating downing of the god Bacchus. We feed off the the sexual self destruction and binding addiction of others. Look at all the shows on TV. Or look at what is in all the magazines. Listen to the gossip. It's crazy! What it does is reinforce that the sexual confusion and self-destructive behavior in our own lives in normal. Pain and confusion is not normal. It is not the identity that God has for you. So stop wandering around trying to find yourself! Enter into the rest of God.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matt. 11:28-30

"One hand full of rest is better than two fists full of labor and striving after wind." Ecc. 4:6

Your liberation and freedom in Christ is that you no longer have to search for who you are. It is a return to who God created you to be. It is a casting off of the heavy oppression and chains of the enemy. It is the self acceptance that you are exactly who you should be. An identity in Christ does not require you to give up pleasure. An identity in Christ only requires you to give up the pain that seeking identity in pleasure has given you.

No particular pleasure should define who you are. Not food, not drink, not sex. Things like...I'm a fat person, I'm an alcoholic, I'm a stoner, I'm a slut, I only like boys, I only like girls or I like both! Since when is is healthy to take identity in what we eat or how we look or who we have sex with? Those things should not have to define who you are. Who you are should be a positive overflow of an identity rooted in Christ. The identity that you were created in the image of. The devil is the one that has tried to get you to forget that. He is the one that delights in destroying that.

Step back from all the chaos for a second. Strip away all the layers. Lay down your character weaknesses, false identities and sin at the cross and be still for a moment. Now REST. Allow the Lord to teach and remind you who you are. Walk in his ways and learn his truth. Trust him and follow him. The pleasure will come as an overflow of purpose. A fulfillment of peace. A revelation of personal gifts and talents. A content joy within the chaos of the world. A deep passion of a heart healed. The rest of the Lord always satisfies and the spirit guided in truth is always secure.

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