Our friend Eric wrote us, saying: “I’ve come to accept where I am and am still finding out who I am. I believe that knowledge and acceptance for both where and who I am will come in His time.”
That’s an interesting subject, don’t you think? Just who are you, beyond all the things you think and do? Who is the real essential “you” that will remain, perhaps still waiting to emerge, when this life is over? What we have here, in this world, is only the scaffolding, not the enduring structure that is being built by God. More from Victor on this central purpose of our existence, becoming ourselves!
Years ago, the Lord revealed to me that salvation was all about becoming the real me that He originally intended. It was becoming free to be just me, not what I thought, pretended, wished I was, or hoped to be, and not somebody else, like some billionaire, movie star, or “great man of God.” We all have ambitions, delusions of grandeur, pipe dreams, and silly wishes, all these coming from within, from the proud, independent, so very foolish carnal man, the self, the ego, the guy who, in Adam, walked away from God, deciding he could do it on his own – that man of sin, the son of perdition.
In effect, we lie to ourselves. And all the time we try or pretend to be something we’re not, we suffer failure, loss, defeat, and humiliation in varying degrees. We continuously suffer disappointment, frustration, and disillusionment (we are in a continual state of illusion). In our horrid selfishness, we hurt ourselves and everyone around us, 24/7. It is that Death and Hell the Scriptures talk about, a horrible prison where we pay every penny for our lawlessness, for our refusal to acknowledge and appreciate our Maker, Jesus Christ.
So He died to deliver us. He subjected Himself to Death and Hell personally, directly, that He might bring us up and out of there. To leave Death and Hell ironically entails death – death to what we thought we wanted, and death to what we were in – that terrible state we called “life,” that state we, in our madness, clung to as so precious and promising. In the state of sin and separation from God, we are in a state of being delirious and delusional, though sincerely thinking quite otherwise – that we are intelligent and rational; in our darkness, we don’t have a clue about the reality of things.
Worse still, we even find ourselves enjoying our chosen path of self-destruction, we encourage all those around us in it, and we spend our existence digging our pit ever deeper! Isn’t that crazy? But it’s true! That’s the way it is. That’s the madness of sin and separation from our God. And to comfort ourselves (because we know we also suffer), we set up other gods. We do things to occupy, entertain, and relieve ourselves in our death, darkness, and insecurity.
Without Christ, what we have called “life” is a living nightmare, a continual state of being surrounded or pursued by some danger, constantly trying to escape, but finding we are on a treadmill going nowhere fast, or that the enemy is just a bit faster and smarter. And should we temporarily get what we are after, we are destined to lose it, or we live in the fear of losing it, which is as bad, or worse. This is the lot of all men on earth without the sure and personal connection to their Maker. And they don’t know it.
So in His chosen time and way, Jesus comes to turn us around 180 degrees, upside down, and inside out. As Peter could not see himself being crucified right side up when his time came, so we die with Him upside down, not worthy to die right side up as He did. Get that? We aren’t worthy to die, to identify with Him in any way, but He accepts us anyway. That’s love. That’s mercy. That’s grace.
And all of these things the world calls madness or fantasy or escapism, and despises them, but we know these things to be true, having experienced them for ourselves. And we aren’t the only ones. Many have gone before us, including those who wrote the Bible, testifying to these very things and willing to lay down their lives, so that others might enter into life as well.
Now I am free to be me, the guy God intended me to be. I have peace, power to live, and fulfillment in Jesus Christ, Who redeemed me from the grave. He took away my bitterness and shame and fears. He paid off my debts to Him and fellow man. He awakened me from my sleep of nightmares to a reality of cool, comforting breezes and sunshine, and has placed me in a verdant, fruitful garden with beautiful flora, birds singing, and a fresh brook of sparkling water – all things pleasant and enjoyable. He cleaned me up to enjoy these things and has set me firmly on a rock foundation that can never be moved or shaken. He put a new song in my mouth and in my heart. And He has called me to help guide whoever will to that same place, that same state of being.
So far, few have come, but that’s okay, because each person has his/her appointed time. Meanwhile, they must suffer their chosen way. When they are made ready by their trials and circumstances to choose a better way, they will come. That’s the way it was for me. “Hot shot” Hafichuk to “holy” Hafichuk. The world loved the former and hates the latter, but I wouldn’t trade my change anymore than I would trade a sumptuous, delicious banquet of the finest and most wholesome foods for dog dung. Honestly, without exaggeration, that is the way it is. And I thought I had something before Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life introduced Himself to me nearly 40 years ago. Wow!
I write this for you, Eric, I write it (just now come to think of it) for all the timber framers who spent weeks with us, and I write it for all. God is great. To know that, we need to confess Jesus Christ as Lord and believe that God has raised Him from the dead. Confessing it with our lips and believing it in our hearts, He raises us from the dead and proceeds to set us up to reign with Him on His throne in the heavenlies. What a change! What madness of thought to the world! What reality! What deliverance from a nightmarish existence to dreams come true! The delusioned call it delusion and the enlightened call it reality.
That’s the way it is for me. That’s the way God will make it for those He calls and chooses, even as the Bible, that most hated Book of books, testifies. It can’t get better than that.
– November 17, 2010