As believers, we sometimes experience a loss of joy and feel disconnected from our own lives. We feel numb and maybe a little alarmed by the lack of genuineness we feel toward God or see demonstrated in our own lives toward others. Compassion for the lost and a sense of urgency have been replaced by the endless demands of the immediate.
We begin to see how far we have fallen from the Grace of God. We may have gotten caught up in squandering our lives on another gospel or in turning aside to fables of any sort to find meaning and enough reason to continue living. These have proven to be only temporary and ultimately unsatisfying for those destined to rule and reign with Christ.
Our lives are filling up with disappointment and troubles, more than anyone should have to endure. The answers to life’s problems are as elusive now as they were when we first begun the journey.
It is at this point of disappointment and frustration that we are again drawn by the Holy Spirit, our Helper, to search out a deeper, more serious place of surrender and abiding. This desire to draw closer to God has presented a real and hidden danger to those who would desire to experience Him at a deeper level of intimacy and meaning. But, alas, experiencing God at a more personal level is not accomplished by our own desire to make it happen or through greater searching of our souls or more will power or self effort.
The Devils’s prescriptions for the purification of our souls centers on strict self discipline and strenuous religious exercises for the development of a god-consciousness that only end up wearing us out. These efforts often lead either to”self” deification (we become our own god), or we wander away in pursuit of some more tangible and temporal happiness.
Strenuous soul-searching, self-monitoring, and strict adherence to the dictates of some cultural or individualized cult promote a sort of “religious neurosis” in those who would follow God, not the cultivation of virtue that promotes the natural or supernatural healing of the soul. Only life and peace in God can promote our desired rest and relationship with Him.
The strenuous expectations of religion only create a tension and pressure that allow the burdens of life to become heavier and open wider the door for guilt and condemnation giving the Enemy even more opportunity to find fault with every move we make.
This sets up a vicious circle of seeking and striving that spins an endless cycle of “not good enough” and “never enough”. Searching our souls becomes the perfect mechanism through which the Enemy can take advantage of us. He uses our desire to “know or be closer to God” to put all sorts of unscriptural demands upon our souls.
He manipulates our thoughts and forges fake feelings to manage our experiences around God. He then counsels us on how to “get closer to God”. His suggestion made under the guise of our own thoughts and meditations which end up either making us feel more condemned or deceive us into evaluating our spiritual progress in God based upon our own feelings of how we are doing, which can be self-deluding at best.
Which ever way it goes, using the Devil’s counsel on how to get closer to God is doomed to discouragement and disillusionment and destruction of those who would follow him. Jesus Christ never left our salvation and sanctification in the care of demons, be those demons ever so persuasive and familiar enough to pass off their thoughts as our own. He sent the Holy Spirit to in-dewll us to lead us into all truth and triumph. He is our Helper and preserves for and in us, the hope of eternal salvation.
The Word of God is very clear. We will not nor can we ever be “good enough” to earn or deserve Heaven or eternal salvation on our own. They have been given to us freely as the gift of God, given out of the goodness and generosity of His Own Heart and desire to see His children saved and set free.
Because most of us, however, are taught to be responsible and do things for ourselves, we are led to search our souls to find the answers to life’s pressing questions, rather than search out the Word of God. In searching our souls, we can only draw from our past experiences. Mixing those experiences with our present thoughts and feelings about those experiences can only generate another set of experiences patterned after those we already are struggling to work through.
The Enemy of our souls has used those experiences to weave lies and error to craft our mindsets, our world views and basic value structures from which we form our concepts and perceptions. This information is gathered and organized under the counsel and direction of another spirit that would instruct us to try harder to fix and figure out what is wrong.
It would counsel us to get closer to the God we feel has already rejected us. We are confused and angry tempted to give up and wonder why following God has to be this hard and complicated.
The Bible clearly tells us to walk in the Spirit to avoid fulfilling the lusts of the flesh, (Gal. 5:19). Instead of searching our souls and opening ourselves up to the deceptive counsel of the impersonators, (those who would guise themselves as either we ourselves, or as God), let us search the scriptures and allow the Holy Spirit to do His job.
My salvation and sanctification is His problem. I am His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works. Those good works do not come out of striving, but out of abiding. As the Holy Spirit leads us into a genuine life and relationship with the Lord God, our lives will take on all the meaning and purpose they were intended to contain. The weak and weary dictates of religion will drop off like the dead leaves of winter giving way to the first fruits of summer.
Consider His Gift, and let the Holy Spirit be your comfort and counsel as you journey through this life and into the next.