Friday, January 6, 2012

The Last Day - A Blog Book Chapter 3 - What is My Last Day?

I’ve waited a few weeks to publish chapter 3 of my blog-book, because I’ve wrestle with my own last day. I tend to run from pain, yet I’m learning to run to the pain so as to find it’s cause.

I’ve not had the awful experience of losing a friend or loved one at their own hand. Suicide is a god awful thing, but many have lived and died through the experience. In the gospel book of Mark, chapter 1, verses 9-13 we see an initial description of Jesus being led by the Holy Spirit into a time of great temptation. Temptations, that if heeded could lead to the very end or Last Day of God on earth. Yet without fail, Jesus navigated the temptations of Last Days and came out victorious.

In verse 10, of Mark 1, the author records, as indicated in the NIV, “Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water; he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.” I find it powerful and very common yet often unnoticed; “heaven being torn open”.

When was the last time you noticed “heaven being torn open” over you or your time of victory or defeat? It’s likely never; or if so, rare to the uninitiated. For far too often, in the moments of run up to any and all last days, there is war in the heavens above us. If we so choose God’s way, then the renting of heaven is not in vain; but if not, all heaven has been torn for little or no reason.

We must understand that for God, and less be known to us, Last Days are very significant. As Jesus entered into one of the most profound seasons of temptation, the enemy of all our souls, and the enemy of our flesh, plied the idea of self-elimination, so as to remove the pain and struggle needed for a greater birth.

In Matthew 4:6 and Luke 4:9 we read the account of the devil tempting Jesus to have His last day in the throes of earthly torment, yet Christ defied the pain and struggle, without giving into the false relief of self-elimination. And for most Christians reading this, we’ve been taught or understand to some degree the need to die to self and live for Him. And therein lays one of the most deadly traps; the trap to believe that we are not worth saving. The trap that says our elimination just might be better for all persons involved. Yet Christ alone has proven that each individual is worth something greater than the suffering of a temptation to eliminate self.

Now granted, Jesus was tempted to make the jump from the Temple panicle as His last day of suffering, yet without yielding. We too will face many days when the enemy of our souls tempts us to the level of self-pity and loathing, where we decide we are no longer worth keeping. And for that I am empathetic with many of you readers.

But Last Days are varied and sundry. And the most critical of Last Days; my own Last Day, must be something of grave and victorious acceptance. For on one hand God offers life and power that we may live, He clearly teaches that we too must “die” to self. How crazy is that? Yet divine sublime is far greater in scope and impact than any human heart could ever understand. A mystery indeed is the Kingdom and Power known to the few.

Confusion and temptation comes when the devil tells us we are not worth keeping. We are not worth saving. We are not worth our carbon foot print, so just get the hell off the planet. And far too often we buy into that sales pitch. We, in the name of false humility and legalistic Christianity, determine that “we” are the problem; therefore if we would just go away, everything would be better. Yet oh how false those thought are. For as believers in Christ the Son of the Living God, we are promised Life, and the enemy of our souls has perfected his sales pitch, and we pause and listen to his “Sham-Wow” sales presentation. And many buy it… lock-stock and barrel. And check out before their ordained time.

So; What is My Last Day? It is and will look something like this. It’s a moment; it’s a time, when I say no to self, yet without the ugly self-loathing self-talk that so often accompanies those caught in the belief of a lie. It’s a day when I know I must die, yet feel so empowered to live. It’s a moment when I listen to that voice and “use the force” instead of using my own products of religion. It’s a day and a moment when the Voice of God, calls that which is “not” into existence, while simultaneously falling back into that “water grave”. All the while and simultaneously dying daily, yet living each moment for the glory of God. What a beautiful and divine paradox, only lived by the esoteric of the initiated – the Living Dead.

I can tell you that the enemy of my soul has indeed tempted me to “just go away”. But by the grace and providence of God, I have not. But I have experienced and desired too even more so, die daily. Can you get your mind and heart around that enigma? I really do want to go away, and disappear from the stage of life and performance. I do want to die, but do it God’s way – so I shall live.

And you too shall live. If and when you come to your Last Day; when you come to the place of understanding that you must decrease, so as to exalt His increase, you will be rewarded by the delight of living and dying Your Last Day. I’m not dead yet, but I’m hoping for that divine flat line moment, when I no longer am, and Christ IS. When the Imago Dei once again shines greater than imago ego.

May God ordain your Last Day – very soon.

What is My Last Day? It is the day that I am able by faith to mix the reality of death and life into the same crucible and come out whole, and dross free. Maybe you’re okay with dross, but I’m not; if I’m going to be all He died for me to be.

What is Your Last Day? When will it occur? What will it look like? I can tell you with much certainty; Your Last Day is doable – according to the grace meted out to those who believe. Amen

Seek your Last Day. You’ll be glad you did.

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