Saturday, April 14, 2012

God Has Already Dealt With the Forces of Chaos Within

Linda bought these tulips a few days ago.
I have met many people who do not pray because of a fear of what is inside them. James Houston writes: "Beyond the defects in our character that we know about, lurk deeper fears and anxieties that are even a secret to ourselves." (Houston, The Transforming Power of Prayer: Deepening Your Friendship with God, 49)

Thomas Merton writes: "Who can swear that his intentions are pure, even down to the subconscious depths of his will, where ancient selfish motives move comfortably like forgotten sea monsters in waters where they are never seen!" (Merton, No Man Is an Island, 115)

Some people have a loveless, abusive childhood past and cannot shake its images. Some struggle with the dark forces of addiction, and these forces seem to rise up within them when they try to pray, screaming words like "Shame" and "Failure" and "Worthless." "Some people fear to look inside   themselves at all. It is as if looking into one's soul is to look through a window of the heart into a bottomless pit." (Houston, Ib.)

Prayer can be threatening. Because "it calls for us to face our darkness and uncover it." (Ib.)

If that is true, who would want to pray? Why pray at all if it might bring us face to face with our inner demons? The answer is: "God has already dealt with the forces of chaos - with cosmic chaos far greater than we can ever imagine. Because of this, we can go to him in prayer with a confidence spoken about in Psalm 139." (Ib.) Which reads:

"If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,"
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you."
- Ps. 139:11-12

The same God who has dealt with the vast, deep moral and spiritual darkness that has entered the world is able to face and lovingly expel the darkness inside of us. When this happens we are not only not further damaged, but we are restored and healed. God removes our fears and addictions. God eradicates our sense of helplessness and despair. This is why the enemy would not want us to come to God in prayer; viz., because God wants to kick him out of the spiritual house that belongs to Him.

God transcends all our enemies.

God lies beyond the shadows.

Go to God and trust in Him.

Houston writes: "Our trust in God is a realization that he is already working for, in and through us, calling us to a new, whole life beyond our broken lives. The darkness will not wim through, because light will overcome the nght and love will destroy evil and hatred." (Ib., 51)