There is a strong longing in the heart of most persons to succeed. That’s a given. By “succeed” I mean a desire to be accomplished in life so that others might reckon with such status attained. You hear severally from the lips of men how they hope not to die a commoner but to leave their marks in the history of humanity, and claim fame for their legacies. This leads to all manner of pursuit. We set targets for ourselves, compete with our imagination of others, and are pushed constantly by the perception of the external environment.
These false projections in the world are further complicated by our perception of time and its effect on desire. Many feel a sense of urgency as age furthers, so as to avoid a loss of motivation and energy to chase their dreams later. To be 40 years without owning a home, a car, stable income, proper savings, or a family is generally seen as unacceptable in society.
All these seething within a person’s mind and baked by the environment of extreme materialism, is a soul-numbing combination that really hinders the true development of sound character required for a qualitative life.
This is the context of the heart with which many come to Father God. Actually, many find Father in the spaces between need and wants, where what dominates the heart is the desire for things – healing, work, family, food, house, prosperity, education, etc. While the love of the Father will almost always take care of such desires with time, He certainly moves past the things that we want to challenge our notion of where the true value of life lies.
The Father dropped something in my heart this morning and I want to briefly share some parts that may apply to you. I’ll share it in five paragraphs.
I have found that knowledge has greatly increased with the proliferation of information and the tools to access this. For this reason people in this generation know a lot more at their age compared to people in previous generations. Our kids today are already interacting and functioning in a context of information overload, as I even heard my 3 year old niece once reacted to her dad’s intense play by saying: “daddy stop terrorising me”. Knowledge and concepts, peddled by written or spoken words are daily communicated over portable mobile media, which perform multiple functions, and our generation is already saturated.
Here is the problem. The Bible records in 1 Cor. 8:1 that “knowledge puffs up”. A very close observation will reveal the link between the rise in knowledge and rebellion in the heart of men. Rebellion has taken hold of many because they are bloated with “knowledge”. They think they know much now and can question everything. While the ability to question is a positive quality that can bring progress, however without understanding, it leads to rebellion. This is where many today have pitched their tents – a rebellious heart is present with them.
For the patient minded, read on.
One of the most frustrating things that we often have to deal with in our lives is the question of the existence of God. If you are human, you probably would have pondered on the issue and wondered if at the end this was all a big lie. Often times, you rebuke the thought and “keep the faith” because you have been taught to believe the consequences of streaming along that thought is quite dire, and damnation awaits the one who finalises that position. For those who have pushed that envelop further, it can take a course requiring some empirical evidence, such as saying “if you are God, can you…”, or “if you really exist, blow some cool air on my face”.
Even for those who tend to take their faith in God seriously, there are moments when they arrive at a seeming inaneness of it all, staying spiritually aloof for a time and floating in the nothingness of conviction. It can be quite painful and grievous for some. Most will deflect the matter from causing pain and pray out something like this: “I wish You would speak to me and let me hear you beyond any reasonable doubt”. Oh! The number of times I have wallowed in those moments, even after extended periods of deeply fulfilling spiritual renewals.
We are often challenged with the concern of building our faith on what we have heard and received from others, or sources other than the self. We hear others speak glowingly of encounters with God and we rejoice momentarily, sometimes shiver from an attack of goosebumps, and join a collective frenzied expression of exuberant praise. However, we soon settle back to human nature and realise how dominant our emotions have played a huge part of what we profess. While this isn’t necessarily demeaning, it leaves much to be desired; for we are yet to touch something more tangible to our inner person, and we know it.