It’s that little thought that starts the whole thing…that small little whisper that mimics majesty and True intimacy, bading you, come and listen.
“What you have in God is not enough…He cannot be a teardrop and terrential downpour. He cannot be the specifics and the stars…Somewhere in between all that depth, your heart will always want and need more!”
For me, almost always it starts as an outrageous whisper…First spilling mutiny into the air…declaring open war against my heart and my energies…it asks me to choose outright rebellion against God.
“You deserve to be happy, to be filled, to eat and drink your contentment in any and all forms…you alone know your heart Justin…who better than you to dictate everything and anything that should surround it and enter it? It’s your right to choose what’s best. You know you think God to be too lofty at times to truly be of absolute portion to you, for you, all the time, in the little times…(whispered) right now.”
Often times I try and interrupt this forked-tongue sermon, as that’s the best as I can describe it…for it truly must slither its way up to me in order to go unnoticed, and yet, be just noticed enough. The enemy is a poet to me, aquanited with my intimacy. He is the the father of Lies, but all too easily I think we demote such sinister and insidious character as to being incapable.
I think we like to think…Surely the dark is flawed, only able to commit petty theft in dark alleys, wherein such power is only consuming and capable if we are unfortunate enough to stray into it. He can most capably surround us, entangle us, pursue us, and ensnare us. The grace of it is we’ve forever been given the tonic to conquer, the capacity to prevail, and the reliance to lean fully into our Victory over our moments given by God in His Son’s sacrifice. The war is most certainly over and won in God’s name, but the battles rages…the body count drawn high and nigh, and so does God equip us to wage daily an enemy that have nearly a forever of anticipation to draw from.
The enemy has been a keen observer of the human condition longer than I think we want to give him credit for. Has he not been watching us live since we first did so? Even if theologically you care to argue that one way or the other…and I think it’s somewhat open-hand in either direction, which is code for it doesn’t greatly matter…he’s been around a long time… he is exceptionally good at what he does… evil…and he lives it do to it to us!
After outrageous whispers of rebellion, the enemy opts for charm and sincerity, as is the only words I would ever allow in after such adulterous talk of cloak and dagger. Thankfully when (which is not always) I do interrupt those slithering sermons I hear the following…
“You’re right Justin…uprightness and unwavering allegiance to God, especially when it’s not convenient, is the truest test of our Love.” We should not grow faint in this effort. Tell me though…when all this spiritual battling leaves your tired, perhaps even from denying me…don’t you just want to be comforted, simply, immediately, honestly? I know you do. The reason I ask is because I wonder why your King decides it best to constantly test his soldier. Does he not think you are capable in how you are right now? I would never think and choose to weaken my right arm in order to then call upon its strength.”
And then it comes…in a drape of wickedness, so filthy that’s it’s impressive…carrying an allure that you know without question could coax angels into murder.
“Justin…why not give me but a few moments here and there? I would be content and delighted to receive you as you are…and I would adore to have you, even if but for seconds over all your lifetime, if it meant that I would in fact get to be part of your life. I would not ask for more than you could give…and I’m really good at what I do. I will satiate you, as best I can, when God is multi-tasking away his day. Don’t think of it as going against God, but as helping him. A good gift, even if from a sworn enemy, is still a good gift, is it not? I will still always pursue you, even if you deny me, because I can love you too. The pursuit of you is reward enough for me. When and if you slow down enough to let me catch up with you…I consider that only to be above and beyond…nothing more or less than Almighty God sharing what he too loves. I’m not going to leave you Justin. I’m not going anywhere.”
Now…if you didn’t have the context of this blog to frame the words above, wouldn’t they sound like anything but murderous pillow-talk. It bows to my unwavering notions of God; It speaks of not abandoning me (one of my biggest fears); It even uses the words our and we to describe an intimacy that my ears literally try to create instead of steadfastly awaiting. My night’s air are often filled with war…they stink of brothels of lesser and greater affections. My spiritual heart-attacks feel so very real that it hurts and exhausts without ever being touched.
That said…there I sat…only hours ago, going through what is unfortunately a rather typical night for my heart. Sometimes the intensity varies, thank God, but more often than not it’s the same old storm that finds me when the world goes to sleep.
But on this night, as is the God that campaigns for my affections, He threw a storm into the sky that was both startling to the already underway summer, and disarming to the very dearest of anticipations. There was literally, somewhere midway into the thunderstorm, a clap of thunder so loud it sounded like the world was breaking open from the top down. The dark night filled with a light black hue was playing host to some amazing crackling of electric blues and whites. It reminded me of the thunderstorms that I stood out in when I was back in Kentucky just before last Christmas. The lightning on this night took to smashing against this world, breaking on the sky for all to see, then falling and darting through the night downward like a tailor-made wedding train for the bride of night.
I thank God for fighting for my heart… For rattling cages with kisses contagious, so does my God pursue after me. On this night I was hunted with thunderstorm.