Principle 2: Earnestly believe that God exists, that I matter to
Him, and that He has the power to help me recover.
“Happy are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4)
No. I am not about to drop 800-1200 words telling you you’re crazy. Some of us are, definitely. Why is that? We have all heard the definition of insanity: doing the same thing and expecting different results. It is the same for us as believers. Especially in our habits and with our hang-ups. But, just like Pastor Nick at New Passion Church made clear this past weekend in his message: we do not have to stay there! Because, through Jesus we have been set FREE. Jesus restores us to SANITY.
How? Why? Because, accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior, and relying on what He has done for us provides acceptance towards us in that while we were totally depraved in our sin, He died for us (Romans 5:8), so that we would not be burdened by the debt that we owe Him so long as we proclaim Him as our Lord and our God. Further, it gives us new life because our Old Self, our Sinful Nature, that fallen junk that we inherited from Adam through Original Sin, it has been nailed to the Cross with Him and we have been reborn in spirit through Christ our Lord! Also, He takes up residence within our hearts and the Father provides a Helper to us in the Holy Spirit so that we may rely on His strength for the moments that we are weak.
The truth is I know a lot about INSANITY. I used to try to do the same ignorant, selfish things a lot and I fully expected different results each time. Whether it was trusting the wrong people and inviting in influences that could get me off track, or thinking that I could drink a few beers and it turn out differently than the last time, or even those moments when I allowed myself to fall victim or simply gave in to the Sin Trifecta: the Lust of the Flesh, the Lust of the Eyes, and the Pride of Life.
I mean, when you wake up to discover that you threw up in your siblings 40 gallon fish tank and sink because she’s cleaning it up and trying to be nice about it as fish were probably going belly-up, or your hanging out a taxi cab window hurling your guts up from downtown Huntington, WV, all the way to Milton, WV, as the driver barrels down I-64, or you wake up having urinated all over yourself and then tried to blame your wife, saying she threw some sort of pee-smelling liquid on you…I would say that is insanity. That is just one area in a plethora that I can choose from.
I have been there in several areas and in many ways. In fact, when I think of who I used to be, I think of the moment in the film Heart of Man where the Father has given the son a violin, and they are playing and all is well but then the son hears sin calling, it’s like a fleshen siren song pulling him away and he proceeds to walk off from the Father as He continues to pursue, playing His violin fiercely but ultimately the son walks off of the cliff and well, I won’t spoil it…watch it for yourself. But, that was me. I had a God-sized void that I tried to fill with all the things that would make me feel better about the wretched, sinful person I was.
The beautiful thing is that in Christ, we have a remedy for all of that. He is the only one that can stand in that gap for us. He stood in that gap of alienation and deprivation when He hung on the Cross, He overcame all of it when He rose from the tomb and He is our Light in the Darkness. When no longer have to stay on the carousel wheel of crazy. We can get off and find solid ground in the Lord of lords. He awaits each of us right where we are. He knows our depravity better than anyone. He sees us in our heart conditions and our thoughts. He knows what we are thinking.
As terrifying as that is, consider this, Jesus knew what all of the Pharisees were thinking as they stood in front of Him thinking it. The biggest issue with the Pharisees is that they had all the religious indications, they knew all the 613 Laws of Moses and could wield the Law like any good lawyer today. Outwardly, they had it all together, they had their spots in the Synagogue, their circles and places of prominence on the religious council…yet, Jesus called them white-washed crypts. Anytime I think of that, I think of the mausoleums always shown in movies centered in New Orleans and how beautiful they look on the outside but back then, what was inside of a crypt was non-embalmed, decaying, and reeking corpse that most likely had maggots writing under decomposing flesh and flies buzzing about. Yet, that is what Jesus called them. Fake. Religiously alive on the outside. Spiritually dead on the inside. He knew it about them, and He constantly warned them, corrected them and presented His better alternative. Yet, they simply could not stop the insanity.
What about you? Are you caught in a crazy cycle? Are you suffering from the definition of insanity? Maybe it is not you, maybe it is everyone around you in almost all areas of your life—if that is your situation, then perhaps stepping back and examining how it could be you is necessary because it’s never all them, all of the time. And, rather than run to someone who will tell you exactly what you want to hear(—they are always around when we are trapped in insanity, too: “Nah, man, you aren’t drinking too much, she is just a nag…” or, “Dude, it’s natural to look, we are hardwired to recognize attractive women, 8 billion years of biological evolution…” or even worse, “Nah, man, you are totally spot on…” when we are so far off base that anyone actually close to us could call us out on it, no problem—) rather, than turn to our pseudo-accountability, turn to those who are pushing forward in an actual relationship with God; better yet, turn to the Word of God, see what it says about where you are, and then pray on it honestly with God. Because, one thing that is certain—He sees our hearts and the content of our minds. Even when we don’t want Him to.
Until Next Time