After all of the previous sections this one is sort of obvious but, if were being honest, its the hardest one to do and to even identify. We all rely on ourselves. We rely on our own abilities to assess the situation and make choices. We are ready and aware that the consequences of our good and bad choices rest with us but of course that’s how we live. Everything we do is a choice and so as life goes on we get better and better at relying on ourselves. We believe we know ourselves, our strengths and weaknesses and though we seem to be bias toward ourselves we are also our own harshest judge. All the while however everything we do begins and ends with us.
How do we separate from self? What does that even mean?
We explore these ideas when we talk about fasting. The idea behind fasting is many fold, specifically the idea of putting God before even yourself has so much power. We are obviously connected to ourselves. We are immediately aware of every need and feeling our bodies have and of course we are always at work to satisfy those needs.
When we are hungry we get right up and go find food, thirsty we go get water, if were lonely we go find a friend of family member, if were board we go looking for entertainment. Pretty much our whole lives are spent seeking out something that is for us to satisfy one of our many and endless needs but when we ignore those needs in favor of God. Like in a fast where we ignore that our bodies are hungry and instead use that time for God then we are in that moment separating from self.
Why would we do that? Whats the advantage of separating from self? Everyone (for the most part is aware) we are just as unreliable as anyone else can be. Harsh? Yes! True? Also yes!
We are human and we get scared we get distracted we can be selfish. We don’t always act even in our own best interests for all sorts of reasons. As varied as those reasons can be they are all based around our human nature. In other words they are all about us. To make this easier or to get more out of it, to get a better reward or simply cause we don’t want t, no matter what it is its a matter of us. So if we can be mature and recognize that we are unreliable, just like every other point in this commentary. Unreliable as society, as preparation, as our best laid plans, as the economy, and anything else, then we are left with one option and that one option is the right one. That option is God.
God doesn’t falter, he isn’t lazy he doesn’t get tired he doesn’t find something better to do, he doesn’t ignore you cause you aren’t enough fun or interesting enough, he wont leave you because yo don’t make enough money or aren’t clever enough and he wont even stop talking to you because any one of the character flaws or personal weaknesses discussed in this commentary either.
2 Corinthians 5:8
8 We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
When we separate ourselves, from ourselves we are closer to God. When we aren’t on the run trying to appease our flesh then we have nothing else in between us and him.
When we ask God to take us deep this is what we mean. We may not know it but it is the essence of maturity. We have all heard the phase “pressure makes diamonds” now we are living it. The words and the events all around us are the pressure and our faith is what is being squeezed. We are all on the cusp of that diamond moment. We can leave all these things behind and come out of this truly relying on God having separated ourselves from all the other things we didn’t realize we had been leaning on.
Its not east and you know what its not meant to be. If it was easy we’d miss the value. We have to struggle and wrestle, we have to seek and find and even do battle for the things we learn cause if we don’t we wont know their value and we wont treat those lessons with the appropriate reverence.
I can’t even counts the amount of times I have been in a church service where the prayer for and from the congregation was “help us be closer to you lord”. This prayer has been answered. There is no more interference accept those obstacles we have placed in our own ways. God has given us the space and the time to really connect with him.
As for me I am running toward him, through fear, through pain, through anxiety, through the storm. I am on my way.
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