|Heeeelp! Gurgle gurgle...|
So what does that actually mean? It seems that most of us can give some bible verses to back it up, but really, what the heck does it actually mean, in practical, hands on reality?
In fact, it goes deeper than this.
I have many christian friends who have reached a crisis or are going through hard times in terms of trying to understand how God's "direction" and leading in life works - how he guides us through the crap, and what the heck is really going on.
There may well be two separate issues here - acquiring His strength, and living in His will - but I see some commonality. We are taught in the church, by traditional understandings and doctrines, that when good things happen we are blessed and when bad things happen, well, we aren't so blessed - perhaps even "out of God's will" (whatever that means) or are even under a curse! This complicates matters somewhat because if we ask for his strength to get through bad/dark times does that mean we can't expect help if we are being cursed or aren't "in His will" or have been particularly sinful?
Again, I'm sure we all know scriptures to throw at this dilemma, but they don't confront the actual reality. Shit happens, and we want help to understand it and get through it unscathed. We don't want to suffer and we don't want to be out of favour with God, just in case that's the cause of our suffering.
I hold the bible a lot more loosely these days, so even though I think its an amazing book and holds incredible life giving truths, it's inconceivable that it holds all truth for everyone ever created for all time. So I look for bigger answers - yes BIGGER. Bear with me.
If we take a step back and look at what people everywhere go through, its obvious that we all go through good times and crap no matter who we are or what we believe. There is no rhyme or reason to the distribution of good and bad no matter how we try to dress it up. It just plain happens.
Perhaps the issue then is not what happens, but what we do about it? The whole concept of being blessed by God is astoundingly simple minded (not the same as childlike) and flies in the face of everything around us. Its an attempt to live by legalistic formulas to make life tidy and predictable.
We claim God's strength, and then try to figure out what we are doing wrong so that we can adjust things, get out of the curses we bring on ourselves, and move into His blessings. Many of us turn ourselves inside out wondering what we've done wrong. Sure we know God is loving and faithful to forgive, but we get obsessed with the consequences of bad decisions, fearful that nothing will change or get better.
So in reality the picture is pretty bleak if we are honest within the limitations of traditional christian beliefs- we go through crap, looking for meaning, and wanting strength to carry on so we don't get into the crap again.
STOP THE CYCLE!
Back up! Like I said and we all really know - shit happens! It just does. "It rains on the just and the unjust". So when we pray for strength, what are we really wanting/needing?
We just want, and need, to be loved. If we experience love we can not only get through anything, but come out the other end better for it! Sure it may not make the situation any easier, but love changes US, not the situation (usually, sometimes it can change both).
To know we are loved in the worst of situations brings peace and reassurance. So when we cry out for Gods strength we are crying out for love.
Million dollar question!! - how do we get this love??
Its already here. God is one with us, intrinsically part of us in every way, holding us together. He is the love that unites and binds all energy and life. He IS. We have all we need and will ever get - every single person ever created is part of God whether we know it or not. And that's the problem - knowing it.
We must repent, (oh ye sinners! lol!) because repenting simply means changing your mind, no great self abasement (although you can feel remorse if you want, sometimes that's a good thing).
So we change our minds about being one with love.
We change our minds about anything to do with blessings and curses, about being in His will, or being sinful. We change our minds about God dishing out blessings for random reasons.
We change our minds about God being external to us in any way.
We change our minds about who we actually are.
We change our minds about struggling to be anointed and holy.
In fact, we change our minds regarding just about all doctrines that man has invented.
We, and God, are one. That's it. Everything we do is "his will" because we are one.
We are loved, because He is love, and we are one.
We ARE a little piece of God - it can be no other way. Am I saying we are God? Gasp!!!!
In a way, yes! God is all in all. We are part of "all", we are part of God.
Back to the topic.
The strength we need is US! Its in us already. We are part of the strength. We are part of the solution. God doesn't arbitrarily help some and not others based on how much they cry out and sweat and struggle. We are it. We are love. We are one.
Repent - change your mind!