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25 March, 2014

Turning from Attachment to Desire


This piece from Ransomed heart is so beautifully said, I could not do it justice if I had said it with my own words. But, this process to teach us to turn away from self, from the longing to possess stuff, and from building the coveted earthly life that all of us wish for, is not easy to remove. It is so deeply ingrained in us that even Adam and Eve had it and they failed to deal with it properly. We can easily underestimate the self and its desires, goals and plans as we find ways to soothe our consciences to get what we want. This part of us is stronger than anything you know that God has to violently pull it out of us. I said violent because the pain that He has to bring us through to get us there is brutal. It is worse than having heart surgery with eyes wide open. By the time He finishes with you, it is strange to see how you are aware of all the scars in your soul. It is weird because it is an invisible surgery to your invisible soul. But, God is Himself a spirit, so the surgery is as real as any surgery you experience in real life.

One thing that I was grateful for is that before God dealt with me, He taught me to stop seeing the Bible as a story, but to live out in my soul the realness of His word. There are days that I was able to get through the pain as I remember what others before me have gone through. For instance, Moses, when he decided to leave toward the wilderness after He killed the Hebrews. I could literally feel his anguish. I could feel his confusion from the life he was leaving behind to go  toward this God forsaken place in the wilderness where he had no idea where it would lead him.  He had to deal with the uncertainty, the loss of what he was leaving behind, the lost of prestige, the loved ones that you are being separated from. There is pain all over but your mind is working miles an hour to get you nowhere. Strangely through the pain you are also numb all over. As the dust settles because you are too far ahead on this path to go back, you are suddenly becoming aware of God’s working in you. You wish He would stop because you cannot see how this path can be beneficial to you in any way. Then He tells you right there, that’s the attitude you have to lose because it is not about you.

Then, just to come to terms with the idea that it is not about you, is not that simple because you have to learn to lose yourself in Him, accept all that He brings you through, even being able to say ADIEU to everything you are attached to because you might never get them back. He will remain there with you until it is well with your soul. While He is with you, but He cannot work it out for you unless you come to terms with it to a point where your soul learn to cope with the loss and say it is well with my soul. It is funny now, to see how you cannot repeat those words when face with the reality of your life. You fight with everything you have to say “it is well with your soul.” Your soul has to go through the process of accepting there is a God and it is not you. Your soul, has to come to terms with the understanding that you have a master and only His will for your life counts.  Oh lala! It is painful. God does give riches, but only to those He wants to. If in the end all that we are doing is to get His blessings, He can see us coming miles away. Actually, He knows even before we knew we wanted to come to Him for His blessings. I had to lose this attitude of expecting anything from Him in return because He hates it with a passion. By the time God is finished with us, all that is left is His desires for us in our hearts. Our hearts are turned to Him and we find joy and delight in what delights Him.
  
Whenever I see someone going on and on about getting riches from God, I cringe. The Gospel of prosperity you see going on out there, is simply coming from people who have no idea who God is. They do not know Him personally, nor do they have a relationship with Him. Now it might be difficult for us to believe that is possible and the people coming to us from television with this kind of message are not that legitimate, but remember we can only look at the man on the outside and words are cheap. In the same ways Satan knows the Bible, they know it too. When we are captivated by the message as if we are a bunch of mindless sheep it is because we are not spiritual, so we cannot see what needs to be seen with the eyes of our hearts. The beauty and the captivation that comes from it all comes directly from Satan. Remember, everything that God does, Satan is able to replicate it to a certain degree. Unless we know Him personally and intimately, how do we know we are looking at a knock off? We can’t make that distinction unless we go on with Him through this journey that has room for one only in the furnace of fire and sorrows where we receive ourselves back from Him.

So, even though God has to take us through a process of the surgery of the soul to take that deeply rooted part of us out of the way, we find that it is a daily struggle and we have to live and walk diligently in the Spirit to avoid the temptation of the flesh. I am still struggling, but I am truly working in progress. When you think about how do you think Moses a man so admired by God, a man who loved God so much, a man so meek who has seen God’s glory, that God bragged about him. Yet he was able to sin against God in a moment when he was not watching and let what was happening in his life got the best of him.  I got to stop myself there. Those who are used to me know that I could go on and on….. and on… (LOL)


Take care and here is the Ransomed Heart devotion, below


So much of the journey forward involves a letting go of all that once brought us life. We turn away from the familiar abiding places of the heart, the false selves we have lived out, the strengths we have used to make a place for ourselves and all our false loves, and we venture forth in our hearts to trace the steps of the One who said, "Follow me." In a way, it means that we stop pretending: that life is better than it is, that we are happier than we are, that the false selves we present to the world are really us. We respond to the Haunting, the wooing, the longing for another life. Pilgrim begins his adventure toward redemption with a twofold turning: a turning away from attachment and a turning toward desire. He wanted life and so he stuck his fingers in his ears and ran like a madman ("a fool," to use Paul's term) in search of it. The freedom of heart needed to journey comes in the form of detachment. As Gerald May writes in Addiction and Grace,
Detachment is the word used in spiritual traditions to describe freedom of desire. Not freedom from desire, but freedom of desire . . . An authentic spiritual understanding of detachment devalues neither desire nor the objects of desire. Instead, it "aims at correcting one's own anxious grasping in order to free oneself for committed relationship to God." According to Meister Eckhart, detachment "enkindles the heart, awakens the spirit, stimulates our longings, and shows us where God is."
With an awakened heart, we turn and face the road ahead, knowing that no one can take the trip for us, nor can anyone plan our way.