The Most Difficult Player of All
Nevertheless, becoming accurately self-aware is important to successful living in general. And, an accurate self-awareness is especially important in your friendship with God.
God is many things, but He is nothing if not a realist. God is no relational “game player.” He pretty much insists (no, he absolutely insists) that His intimate friendships be rooted in truth. And an accurate self-awareness is a big part of that truthful relational context.
So, who are you, really? And, who is that other you? Well, let’s find out.
A Great Convergence
An accurate self-awareness, when it comes to human beings, must involve an assessment of many things. Obviously, it involves a consideration of our physical being. And, it must also involve an assessment of our emotional, our psychological, and our character make up. In fact, we can never really know ourselves accurately until we truly know the inner us.
And, an accurate self-awareness is also very bound up in our environment and our behavior within that environment. Who we are necessarily involves where we are and where we came from, and even, where we’re headed. And, we are very much defined by what we do, and what we’ve done, and perhaps what we are intending to do.
So, from saints to serial killers, our identity is understood, not just in terms of our intrinsic self, but also in terms of the environment’s impact on us and our impact on it. Thus, while our identity ultimately resides within our own character essence, nevertheless, that essence is subject to a high degree of calibration by our surrounding reality.
And, if all of that is not complicated enough, our identity as a human being also involves a very basic dichotomy. It involves who we are as a unique individual – and – who we as part of the collective species.
And finally, added to all that, is humanity’s very subjective view of reality as discussed earlier. And when we sum all of this up, one would almost have to see that becoming accurately self-awareness is at least very tricky - if not all but impossible. Nevertheless, sorting out and understanding this convergence is ours to do if we want to successfully relate to our reality and to our Creator.
The Confusion Of Many Voices
And, when it comes to guidance along these lines, there is certainly no shortage of commentary out there – including this one, I suppose. Indeed, there are many who are willing to help you with the issue of self-awareness. And, some of those helpers are truly beneficial, while others – well, not so much.
For example, if you are talking to a humanist, or an atheist, or a godless liberal elitist, they may be tolerant of your view of who you are. However, in the final analysis, their godlessness forces them to ultimately define all human beings as merely specks of carbon dust hurtling across the Universe toward our own fairly imminent oblivion.
Obviously, this dismal perspective on the human identity has some drawbacks. But, indeed, it does leave one entirely in charge of his or her present existence. And, being completely in charge seems to be what these people care about most.
But certainly, we are left with this difficulty. It would seem that whoever we are, according to such teachers, we will not be that for long. Seemingly, the best we can hope for regarding the survival of our personal identity is only the prospect of a few impact tracks left behind on the path of history.
Otherwise, it would seem our personal identity is scheduled to become completely extinct at about the same time the first critical organ in our physical body fails. So, in such godless views, our identity becomes much more about a momentary contribution than a transcendent personal worth.
But, this is just one view. There are, indeed,
many others. For example, if you were to simply go out onto the street and ask
Joe Blow Workerbee, “Who am I?” he would probable explain your identity in
entirely different terms. He would almost certainly identify you in terms of
your material concerns.
It would seem that is how Joe Workerbee generally sees himself. Essentially he identifies humanity in terms of the daily gathering.
In Joe’s very pragmatic view, we are all essentially just creatures of the daily grind. So, he tends to identify himself, and others, in the more up close and concrete terms of job quality, earning and buying power, and material accumulations.
And, regarding whoever we may be beyond the realm of this “Material Man,” – well, let’s just say, Joe Workerbee is much more a man of the moment, than the metaphysical. So, Joe’s view primarily, if not entirely, identifies human beings in terms of their material prowess.
And then, finally, if you talk about who you are with such people as pastors, priests, rabbis, mullahs, gurus, etc., these religious teachers will usually describe you as a valued product of God’s creative flair. These folks tend to identify mankind as a noble creature, who is inextricably connected to higher and more sophisticated divine intentions.
Obviously, I fit nicely into this group. I am proposing and promoting those very things, even now, with this writing.
But, the problem is this. Some of “us guys” of the more ethereal passions know what’s truly behind those higher purposes. And, and some of us don’t have a clue.
Thus, the reality is, some in this group are, indeed, promoting an accurate self-awareness which really does enable people to successfully experience life and God’s friendship. And others wouldn’t know the truth regarding the human ethos if they tripped over it.
Thus, these pretentious teachers, like so many “carny people” on some “cosmic midway,” become the unwitting “hawkers” for Satan’s House of Mirrors. And, indeed, by simply hiding it among a thousand twisted and distorted religious images, these clueless boys and girls, serve more to obscure the truth of who we are, than to expose it.
Beyond The Confusion
So, very obviously, when it comes to an accurate and truly useful self-awareness, there is more than a little confusion out there. But, within what is, indeed, this “house of mirrors” we call life, there actually does exist a true reflection of who we are – both individually and as a species. It’s in the Bible (like you didn’t see that coming). So, let’s once again go there, to discover the true you – including the “Other You.”
The Roman Reflection
When it comes to a truly thorough description of the human identity, there is none better than that provided in the book of Romans in the Bible. In this pivotal book of the New Testament, we are afforded, not only a surface image of ourselves, but also an x-ray image.
So, through the insights of this divinely inspired book, we can accurately observe the obvious aspects of who we are. But, we are also allowed to see the much more deeply concealed composition of this very complex creature that is – the human being.
What We’ve Already Seen Of Ourselves
In our previous considerations, we have already understood a great deal about ourselves from the Bible, especially from the book of Genesis. For example, we have understood that we were created by God in His essential image. And yet, at the same time, we were also given a very personalized and completely unique character essence of our own.
And, we’ve also previously noted that each of us has a true autonomy of influence. We are, indeed, able to independently determine our thoughts, apply moral interpretations, and take consequential actions. Thus, we are an important influence in the Universe.
So, we are, as God designed us to be, an intelligent and broadly conscious being, with a sophisticated moral capacity. And, we have a real power to impact reality.
But, as we have also seen, there is a darker facet to the human identity. Sadly, for all of our God-given capacities and potential, as described earlier, we have also been negatively impacted by our environment - swept up into the cosmic conflict between the Light and the Darkness. And, as a result, all of mankind has become very broken.
What We’ve Already Seen Of Redemption
In previous sections we have also noted the simple to understand, and yet truly sophisticated, nature of God’s authentic redemptive plan in Christ. We have made mention that our redemption through Christ is not just about forgiveness. It is also about the immediate renewal of our character essence, and flowing out of that, the renewal of our day-to-day influence.
We’ve previously noted that this binary nature of the redemptive process, forgiveness and renewal, is anchored in the two major events of Christ’s redemptive ministry: the Cross (His death) and the Resurrection (His life). And, we have already noted that it is the Dying Christ of the Cross which furnishes our forgiveness. But, it is the Living Christ of the Resurrection which furnishes to us the divinely empowered renewal of our character essence. This occurs as it becomes integrated with His through the Spiritual baptism.
And finally, we have already talked about how both the conscious and the sub-conscious minds are necessarily involved in the redemptive process. And in those discussions we noted that the Cross primarily touches us on the conscious level of our mind, but the Resurrection is first about the needs based within our sub-conscious mind.
Remember also that we discussed, in this regard, the Essential Sin Motive and how humanity has been infected by this deeply ingrained instinct for self-determination. We talked about how this sin motive resides on both the conscious and subconscious level of our mind. And, we pointed out that for that reason, redemption must involve both of these awareness levels.
An Enlightening Extension
As we now briefly look to the book of Romans with all of this in mind, we will see a very orderly and unified extension of these ideas into the daily human reality. And through this extension, we will discover the most essential details of our identity as a human being, both in and entirely absent a relationship with Christ. And we will also be able to note the absolute genius of God’s redemptive intention to provide the devout believer with a completely new identity (character essence) in the Savior.
The Roman Dilemma
So, here is what we are about to come face to face with in the book of Romans. It is what might be called “The Roman Dilemma.” This is a circumstance which comes to the daily reality of the believer after their conversion.
Essentially, what is being initially described where we will be reading in Romans is a disagreement within the believer, himself. It is a conflict between the new, humbled man of faith (who exists in the believer’s conscious mind) and his still very self-determined “Evil Twin” (who yet lives in the believer’s subconscious mind).
But, be advised, while we will approach this human dilemma from the standpoint of the believer, you will also observe that this condition speaks volumes to all of humanity – believer and non-believer, alike. It shows all of us why we are the way we are. It shows us why we do what we do. It truly identifies us for the creature we have become. Irrespective of Christ and redemption, and the God agenda for mankind, this Roman insight truly answers for us all, on the deepest level, the question we are asking: “Who are we?”
The Evil Twin Within
So, the disconcerting reality which the new believer soon discovers is that within all of us, even after conversion, there remains this subconscious alter ego which opposes everything to do with our new found faith. Thus, this subconscious you, the other you, has absolutely no intention of voluntarily cooperating with the decision of the conscious you regarding this new life in Christ. In fact, he or she couldn’t be less interested.
The apostle describes this hostile mind-set of this rebellious subconscious person in this way, “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.” So, there remains this subliminal hostility on the subconscious level, even after a legitimate conscious decision to embrace the Lordship of Christ. (Ref. Romans 8:7 - NKJV)
The apostle, Paul, also describes the daily result of this disagreement between our conscious and our subconscious mind. He says “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.” (Ref. Romans 7:18-19 - NKJV)
So, the apostle captures the essence of the “Roman Dilemma” here. It is the frustration of seeing and desiring to walk the high road of godly purpose and demeanor, but being unable to actually do so.
Paul, goes on to explain further. “Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I [the conscious man] who do it, but sin [the subconscious, still self-determined, man or woman] that dwells in me. I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward [conscious] man. But I see another law in my members [the subconscious man] warring against the law of my [conscious] mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members” [subconscious mind]. [Brackets added] (Ref. Romans 7: 20-23 - NKJV)
It’s no wonder that Paul would desperately cry out. In the place of us all he writes, “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Ref. Romans 7:24 - NKJV)
But then, the apostle answers his own question and sums up the situation. He says, “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the [conscious] mind I, myself, serve the law of God, but with the flesh [subconscious selfish appetites] the law of sin.” (Ref. Romans 7:25 NKJV)
The Carnal Condition
What the apostle is describing here is what might be called, ”The Big In-Between. “It is a condition that the believer encounters after conversion but before he or she becomes connected to the character essence of the Living Christ through the metaphysical merger with the Living Christ.
In these more modern times, we have come to call this in-between condition the “Carnal State” or “Carnal Christianity.” The word “Carnal,” which has to do with humanity’s more base nature, is one of several terms which the Bible uses in connection with this time of the divided heart within the believer.
Others terms involved with this in-between state include “the flesh” (which refers to the body of selfish appetites which drive this subconscious person), “the old man,” and the “carnal mind.” All of these biblical terms essentially refer to this ingrained subconscious person within each of us who stubbornly insists on remaining self-directed – even after our conscious person may have genuinely embraced Christ as our Savior and Life Guide. (Ref. Galatians 5:16-24, 6:8 // Romans 6:6 // Ephesians 4: 20 – 22 // Romans 8:7)
If I Dood It, I Dit a Spankin’
Red Skelton, an acclaimed comedian of years past, created a character in his comic routine called “Junior, the mean ‘widdle kid.” Junior was a mischievous little boy who just could not resist his more base inclinations.
Often, in the course of Skelton’s comic skits, this little guy would anticipate an action he very well knew to be the wrong thing to do. At that point, as if thinking out loud, he would turn to the audience and say with his childhood impediment, “If I dood it, I dit a spanking.” But then, after a brief pause, and with a beaming smile on his face, he would then deliciously declare, ”But I dood it anyway!”
In this mischievous little boy, the comic unwittingly captured the carnal nature of man perfectly. And, though he made it seem a humorous thing, in reality, when it comes to an intimate friendship with God – this subconscious rebellion is certainly no laughing matter. It is the absolute enemy of God’s every noble purpose and the sure poison of a friendship with Him.
It is this subconscious rebellion against God’s authority which causes believers and non-believers alike to choose the wrong path and make bad decisions, even when we know better in our higher consciousness. And, it often causes us to do so, even at the risk of serious consequences – just like Junior.
And, this subconscious adversarial nature of ours is not only a stress to our relationship with God – always coming between us and pushing us apart. It is also a constant stress to the believer’s own peace of mind. Always, in this heart-divided state, the believer is torn by a split loyalty. Part of her very much wants to love and serve God, and yet, part of her is still always pulling toward self-determination.
So, our Spiritual baptism into the character essence of Christ is first aimed at fixing this one intolerable reality in the human condition for the believer. Our metaphysical merger with the Living Christ is first about conquering this evil inner twin who opposes and would always defeat our conscious faith.
A Self-evident Reality
Serious believers need no great convincing that, what the apostle, Paul, is describing here in Romans is an accurate representation of what they experience after conversion. Oh yeah, we know this condition. We have all felt the pressure of this chronic waywardness that lives within our inner person - even after conversion.
So, just as Paul describes, with our conscious mind we have given ourselves to God. But in our subconscious mind, this carnal self visits constant havoc upon all of our noble intentions. And though we can see the high road of God’s pleasure and good will for our lives, this heinous twin in our lower consciousness keeps us from embracing those things consistently.
Thus, every day we fight this inner battle. Our conscious mind subscribes to God’s way, but our subconscious carnal mind refuses to go along. And so, it pulls us the wrong way and tempts us with a thousand evil ploys.
If This Is Redemption
If this is redemption, if this is the newness which Christ offers to the world, who needs it - right? But this is not the newness which Christ offers. It is merely an encounter with the depth of the psychological brokenness which requires that remedy and newness that Christ offers.
So, for the new believer, this is merely the dark reality of the human condition which is exposed by our new found faith in Christ. But, it is by no means our lot in life as a believer in Christ. This carnal condition, this time of the divided heart, only exists between the time of our conversion and the moment of our Spiritual Baptism into Christ which liberates us from this “wretched” circumstance.
Purpose In The Suffering
And certainly, this is a painful and disconcerting time in the life of the devout. But, this period does serve very important purposes in our journey toward newness and the growing oneness of an enduring friendship with God.
This inner psychological battlefield is where we confront the reality of our carnal person. It is the place where we can accurately see ourselves for who we really are as a human being – and not just on the surface, but deep down in the normally unseen regions of our make-up.
This is the place where we are humbled by our failures. It is the place where we are made desperate for the fullness of the Living Christ through the frustration created by those failures.
It is in this place where we begin to intuitively seek after the “the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints.” Paul describes that mystery this way, ”Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Ref. Colossians 1:26-27 NKJV)
This personal wilderness experience in “the
big in-between” is the place where we are thoroughly emptied of our
sense of self-sufficiency (we are humbled) in our subconscious so our heart and
our life can be entirely refilled with the sufficiency of our Savior.
The First Order Of Business
So, it’s simple, really. This “incorrigible doppelganger” which lives deep beneath the surface of our conscious awareness, even after conversion, has no intention of ever surrendering to God.
Thus, there is really only one option for dealing with this subconscious trouble maker. He must be subdued by one stronger than himself on that foundational level of the human psyche where he lives.
And, that is exactly what Jesus does as He enters the believer in Spirit form by the Spiritual merger. This is the remedy that Paul reveals if we just continue reading in Romans through chapter eight, where he answers his own question from chapter seven: “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?”
His answer in chapter 8 of Romans is this, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus [His shared character essence] has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law [the awkward external rules] could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us [a reality based righteousness] who do not walk according to the flesh [subconscious selfish appetites] but according to the Spirit [the Spirit Christ within].
“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded [self-centered] is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity [hostility] against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh [following their self-centered appetites] cannot please God.
“But you are not in the flesh [driven by selfish appetites of the Carnal man] but in the Spirit [the character essence of Christ], if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
“But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life [a daily divine vitality] to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” [Brackets added] (Ref. Romans 8:1-11 NKJV)
How It All Works
So, when we literally become personally
integrated with the divine nature of Christ, through this mysterious
metaphysical merger, here is what happens. The divine character essence of
Christ, in the person of the Holy Spirit, goes immediately to our subconscious
mind to settle the issue of influential humility vs. self-determination (Faith
vs. Sin) on that subconscious level.
Christ instantly dethrones that stubborn subconscious carnal force within us by merging His character essence with ours. As a part of that merger we receive a whole new value system – His value system (interpretive context) – on this subconscious level.
The first impact of this new Christ-based value system is to establish, as ascendant, the value of influential humility (faith) before God, the reign of which is based in the sufficiency of the Living Christ. And this Christ-based faith now becomes the prevailing and prime value in the believer’s subconscious - just as it is on the conscious level.
The Apostle, Peter, describes this transforming merger between the human nature and the divine nature this way. “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (Ref. Joel 2:28 / Luke 24:49 / 2 Peter 1:2-4 NKJV)
A Brief Sidebar
And, perhaps we should again point out, at this point, that this grace-producing value system overwrite, is the very essence of the metaphysical new birth. As mentioned earlier, in very real terms, these Christ implanted values become our new “Character Essence DNA,” instantly altering how we think and who we essentially are – at our core.
And thus, they also alter who we will become over time. But again, also remember, as noted earlier, this new character DNA, this new Christ-based value system, is received in primordial or infant form. And, God then uses time and life’s circumstances to bring full expression to this new “character DNA” – again, just as happens in our physical development.
And, as discussed earlier, just as there are inevitable mistakes and setbacks in the physical process of growth and development, these also occur in the process of growing up into a full expression of the values of Christ. But, these struggles no more discount the verity of the Spiritual developmental process than they do the physical.
Again, these difficulties are a natural and necessary part of the path to maturity. They are actually required to bring us to a mature character essence in Christ, as the apostle said, “…till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect [complete or mature] man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ …” [Bracket added] (Ref. Ephesians 4:11-15 NKJV)
The War Is Finally Over
With this Spiritual merger with the Living Christ, the tug-of-war in the believer’s divided heart finally ends. This happens because her heart is no longer divided in its loyalty between God and self. Rather, her heart is now undivided. Rather, it is singularly devoted to God on both the conscious and subconscious level.
And, having this singular primary devotion is, in fact, the true nature of Holiness. To be undivided in your devotion to God is the very definition of Holiness. And, it is the Living Christ who empowers this devotional singularity, through this indispensable Spiritual merger.
And this, then, positions the believer to become thoroughly and profoundly new as he or she begins to live life guided by the values of the Living Christ as her interpretive context. Now, in the very real terms of the believer's everyday life, “…old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (Ref. 2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV)
The “Scary However”
This Roman insight into how the redemptive plan is designed to impact the believer’s inner person on the subconscious level makes obvious the indispensability of this symbiotic merger with the Living Christ. But, the “Scary However” is this. In these more modern times, alarmingly high numbers of believers neglect this Spiritual completion. Far too many believers in the grass roots of the modern Church are unaware of even the possibility of this thoroughly trans-formative opportunity.
Many in the Church, these days, assume themselves to simply be consigned to the daily failures and frustrations of that in-between, carnal condition of the divided heart. So they just accept the failure-confession-forgiveness, failure-confession-forgiveness cycle as their final redemptive lot in life.
And again, others assume the Baptism of the Spirit to be a mostly imperceptible benefit which is automatic and intrinsic to the Conversion Moment. So, they do not invest themselves in tenaciously seeking this divine completion after their conversion - as the Bible instructs us to do. (Ref. Luke 11: 5-13)
Still others view a realistic newness in Christ as more of an option than a natural necessity of the redemptive process – truly a huge and dangerous error in thought. Thus, with all of these erroneous views in the modern Church, this authentic and thoroughly redemptive Gospel is quickly becoming experientially lost to the modern Church in favor of what might be aptly called, “The Minimal Impact Gospel.” (Ref. 2 Corinthians 6:9-11 / Matthew 3:5-11)
Truly, in these more recent times, “easy believe-ism” and witless pop-preaching have very effectively drained away real clarity in the modern Church regarding God’s extensive redemptive intentions. So, by now, the modern Church has become widely victimized by these things.
Thus, it has become increasingly easy to ignore the need for this personal completion after our conversion. So, in the main, across the modern Church, we tend to simply focus on forgiveness, and then just embrace a defeated kind of peaceful co-existence with our unruly subconscious self and the daily failures it produces.
But, that is not now, nor has it ever been God’s intention for believers. His intention is a thorough, Christ-empowered renewal of the believer’s character essence through this life changing, metaphysical merger between Christ and the devout believer.
And, resulting from that core newness, the authentic redemptive plan enables a consistent, reality-based righteousness in the believer's lifestyle. It is a righteousness designed by Christ’s grace (innate goodness) and empowered by His strong faith (influential humility) and operating through His energizing nature within the believer.
The Roman Implications
This Roman description of who we truly are as human beings is a very accurate description which entirely accounts for the basic identity of all humanity – both in and outside of a relationship with Christ. It shows the sophisticated nature of our brokenness and the sophisticated renewal which Christ provides for that brokenness. Indeed, this Roman glimpse is a piercing x-ray of our inner workings which speaks volumes to the whole of the species – believers and non-believers, alike.
It’s true, of course, that non-believers do not experience the struggles and humiliation of that carnal, in-between state where the heart is temporarily so deeply conflicted by a new found faith. Obviously, they would not experience this; because, for non-believers, no such conflicting faith exists.
In non-believers, always, both the conscious and subconscious mind are in complete agreement on a self-determined life approach. Thus, both levels of their consciousness are devoted to and content with a self-directed life. Both minds reject God’s interpretive authority and hold tenaciously to the right to be self-sovereign.
So, for the non-believer, there simply is no conflict between the conscious and subconscious man. Both are darkened; and they simply agree in that darkness.
Nevertheless, we can note that this self-centered, inner twin still does exist in the non-believer. And even in the non-believer, he becomes a force to be reckoned with when their more noble self opposes him in any way.
So, indeed, the Roman Letter does speak to the whole of the species as it clearly exposes the existence of this darkened subconscious nature which flows directly out of the Eden failure. And, thanks to this Roman exposé, we can now clearly understand that it is this ingrained, evil alter ego which twists God’s love and grace into a suspicious thing, and His protective truth into a thing to be feared and doubted in the carnal mind.
Thus, Romans is painfully accurate and honest about humanity’s inner darkness. But, the ultimate implication of the book is not the negatives that it exposes. The ultimate implication of the book is the positive solution which it touts. The ultimate implication of Romans is its pronouncement of our absolute renewability through God’s perfect redemptive remedy: a personal and constant connection to the Living Savior.
It is just as the writer said. “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” (Ref. Romans 8:1 NKJV)
The Final Leap
“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” Jesus did not speak these words casually. They frame the divine intent for each of us: a rich, and elevated, and deeply fulfilling life, both now and in the everlasting existence to come. (Ref. John 10:10 NKJV)
But, it is common in the present world, even within the Church, that we struggle to believe in this pervasive personal renewal as being real and imminent. Sadly, it is far too typical in these days, that we seriously stumble in our faith at the thought of a truly profound life transformation which reaches so deeply.
Perhaps we stumble partly because we struggle to believe in anything that we cannot actually achieve for ourselves. And perhaps we stumble partly because it just seems too good to be true.
But, whatever the case, too often, we remain unwilling to let go of that inner thing that says, “Don’t take faith too far.” Thus, we continue to cling to the delusional certainty and safety of the more self-substantiated life-plane. And in doing so, we never quite find the courage or the moment to whole heartedly leap into the divine arms which can transport us to the higher one – a life-plane not of our own substantiation, but of Christ's.
But, in fact, a consummate friendship with God requires this personal leap of abandonment. Without it, you can never find that confirming peace “that passes understanding” in your relationship with God. Without this final, completing leap of faith – the leap which embraces and establishes Christ at the very foundation of our character essence – our redemption experience ultimately become fruitless and empty.
We started this discussion by talking about the value of an accurate self-awareness and asking the question, “Who are we as human beings?” By now, perhaps we can see that Christ only ever enables us to answer that question by confronting us with a much more telling one. It is this. “Who are we willing to become – in Him?”