Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Hunter, Prey

Have you ever had that feeling where there doesn't seem any doubt that something is out to get you?

I was discussing with a friend of mine, my spiritual journey up until now. We reminisced how my only previous serious relationship had been a millstone for me. How it seemed like a perfectly engineered snare, designed to bring me down and destroy me. You could just say it was happenchance or coincidence... but I'm not a man who believes in coincidences. Like Einstein I do not believe God... nor the forces that dare attempt contend with him, play dice. Everything happens for a reason, just like in chaos theory.... even the seemingly pointless random and/or meaningless events, tragedies and surprises that come upon us are an act of will; all find meaning and fulfillment in the long term, the "bigger" picture.

That relationship WAS a purposely planned trap, I am certain. However despite the trap being sprung; in my case it didn't succeed in destroying me, although it came pretty close to leaving me utterly spent. The door was closed... but the thing about burglars is they always look for another way in:

"I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber."

It was shortly after I became free, that I became aware that a friend of mine was playing off my defences... to satisfy his ego. Let me explain something: when I am highly stressed, I tend to start playing the jester... doing strange surreal things to mask my discomfort. Unfortunately this makes people think I'm a complete lunatic... and they can't see past my brilliant disguise (probably because they are used to it). However, this one friend was particularly good at cultivating that reaction out of me. The same person has messed me about several times and in several different ways when I have tried to make a positive impression around girls... always to benefit his self image at my expense.

I could say that he knows how to push my buttons, knows how to use all my weaknesses against me.... but I seriously doubt he has the intellect to consciously do this. I have therefore concluded that he is being used as a pawn in a deadly game of cat and mouse. I believe the game is still afoot. I'm still being hunted. I feel like I have walked around in a circle and stumbled across the familiar tracks of my adversary. It is as if I have my own personal Loki (Norse god of mischief).

I could get all depressed here and feel miserable because of the oppressive force I feel is working against me... but it's simply not the case. While I have been thinking about these things, I am also reminded that I've had my fair share of "lucky" scrapes. There have been at least 4 times where I could have died as a result of possible or actual car incidents that I walked or drove away unschathed... and despite being in that dodgy relationship I spoke of, I got out of it.

I have mentioned before that I feel I am being "reserved" for a day of God's choosing. He has something for me to do... and the Enemy would do anything to stop me reaching whatever it is I am called to. It's the same for anyone who would follow God.

So I take joy in the fact that whatever is out there working against me... it is held in check by he who protects me The Good Shepherd who calls me to greener pastures - Jesus Christ.

"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed."

More than this I am confident that when the time is right, he will not just hold my ground... but claim the Land he has promised me:

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."


In all our troubles, we often fall into the danger of forgetting God is Sovereign. We must never forget that everything that happens to us as Christians, happens for the glory of God. We also have the assurance from scripture that he will never let us suffer beyond our means to bear whatever befalls us.

You may disagree with this and that's fine. My view of destiny and free will is more complex and "at odds" with both Augustinian and Pelagian theology. Although... I'm just a layman.

We are often transfixed by the problem of Evil. How can Good overcome Evil... when the fruits of Evil are so obviously evident and numerous in this world? I would like to challenge you to look at it another way. It is Evil that is perplexed and confounded by Good. For despite all it's short term victories I am confident that in the long term and most especially the eternal.... Good always prevails. The paragon of this is Jesus Christ himself: when darkness had it's hour and Evil had spent it's complete fury on him resulting in his death... it was not enough. More than this. Evil had not understood that God REQUIRED Evil to utterly spend itself on His Son.... in order that we would not have to pay the price ourselves. In it's short term success, Evil completely missed the point. This is what scripture says:

"Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God."

So it is clear:

Evil does not understand Good. Darkness does not understand Light. Light however reveals darkness for what it is and overcomes it. Receive the Light of Christ and in the long term he will enable you to throw off your chains. Pretty soon whatever hunts you.... will become the hunted.

Always remember:
"The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world"

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