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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
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Daniel's posts are almost always pastoral and God centered. I appreciate and am challenged by them frequently. He has a great sense of humor as well.
- Marc Heinrich

His posts are either funny or challenging. He is very friendly and nice.
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[He has] good posts, both the serious like this one, and the humorous like yesterday. [He is] the reason that I have restrained myself from making Canadian jokes in my posts.
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This post contains nothing that is of any use to me. What were you thinking? Anyway, it's probably the best I've read all day.
- David Kjos

Daniel, nicely done and much more original than Frank the Turk.
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There are some people who are smart, deep, or funny. There are not very many people that are all 3. Daniel is one of those people. His opinion, insight and humor have kept me coming back to his blog since I first visited earlier this year.
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Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Wednesday Prayer Encouragement -V-


You don't know how it feels to be me.

Tom Petty wrote a tune to that effect in the middle nineties, but the thought expressed there is the one I want to talk about today. When we have had a good day, or a good week, or have been repenting consistently we feel like God is very close, and that our prayers are pleasing to Him, and conversely, when we are aware of our failure (sin) we tend to feel far away from God. Our shame is that we knew to do good but we chose to obey self over God and when we do that we feel far away until we can "get right" with God.

The trouble is, that when you feel like that even though your desire is to make everything better, and to try harder, and all that - getting over the first prayer hurdle can be quite a struggle. We are in the race, but we are so aware of our own hypocrisy coupled with the sensation that we are far away from God that we feel like we are the only Christians in the whole world who struggle with sin. We presume upon God's contempt for us - for How can our God relate to our condition? He is perfect and we are not. We feel that God's sympathy for our condition can only go so far, but that our failure goes beyond even this. That separation we feel from God is the loneliest feeling we know, and when we feel it, we want to go to God, but sometimes we run and hide like Adam and Eve in the garden after they sinned.

We seldom bring it out into the open, rather we keep it secret and pretend all is well, but deep down we feel isolated, alone, and phony, and trying to pray when you are in a frump like that is difficult because even though you know it can't be true - you still feel like God has nothing in common with you - you can open up to another sinner and tell them what a failure you are, and even take comfort in sharing with them, and in hearing of their failures - but when you come to God there is no fellowship on this point, you come as one who is rightly condemned having no alibi and you feel as though even though you know the judge to be a fair and compassionate man, that because you have been before him a thousand times thus - surely you have worn out his compassion, surely upon seeing your guilt he will only be disappointed in you.

Part of this is because you know the judge to be flawless, you know he has never been where you are - he doesn't know what its like to be you, so how can he sympathize?

Christian, do you feel that sting of separation from God? Do you feel that God is a zillion miles away, and that even if you wanted to bridge the distance, you are unable to? Do you feel that no one can sympathize in this horrible sense of separation? Do you feel that you cannot come to God in prayer because his sympathies are being worn out?

On Calvary our sinless Savior hung naked on a cross, humiliated, and condemned even though He was innocent. His physical suffering was profound - it is a horrible, torturous way to suffer - but that was nothing compared to the real suffering He was enduring there.

Jesus was not the son of Adam, but the second Adam - and where Adam fell in the garden, Christ did not fall. Before Adam sinned he was aware of God's presence in the garden - but after he was driven out he and all his progeny were no longer aware of God - they knew there was a God, but God's presence was no longer obvious to them. This was part of their condemnation. I believe that because Jesus was not Adam's son, but the second Adam, that Jesus did not inherit Adam's condemnation - that is, He lived his life as Adam did before the fall - in full awareness of God's presence. When Christ was anointed in the Jordon, the Holy Spirit came to indwell His human flesh and in the strength of the Holy Spirit He began His earthly ministry. Throughout his life He not only was aware of God's presence, but during his ministry he was in constant and close communion with the Holy Spirit.

But on Calvary, on account of our sin, God forsook Him.

Jesus has known even that awful feeling of separation, to be sure, there is no one in heaven or earth who can sympathize with your sense of separation more compassionately than our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. There is nothing you can feel that he hasn't shared infinitely and intimately in. There is no well so deep in our experience as to exhaust the Lord's patience and compassion. You may fail Him ten thousand times ten thousand times, and you will not come close to exhausting His sympathy, nor will you wear out your welcome - your Lord is more fit than any to hear your weeping over your own failures, because He bore them for you in utter isolation - He -knows- how you feel, and the God of all mercy will show genuine sympathy to you every time you come.

Take heart you broken man, ...you failure, ...you far away soul, draw near, because the best salve for what ails you is spending time with the one who has born your suffering before you. Do you want to be cleansed from this malady? Run to the one who has been there in your stead - run to the one who is defined by love. You won't be disappointed, he won't turn you away - but get it out of your head this instant that God is hating you and doesn't want you around. Get it out of your head that God is disappointed in you and doesn't want you around. Cast such thoughts back to where they came from - they are fiery darts indeed, but the shield of faith can protect you - trust in the Lord, in His character, in His love - don't let your trust be all vague so that you are trying to hold onto vapor - give your faith substance when you raise that shield - my God loves me, it cannot be otherwise, my God accepts me in the beloved - his word says so, and his word is certain. Do not turn and flee when the fiery darts come - raise your shield and press on.

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posted by Daniel @ 1:35 PM  
2 Comments:
  • At 3:35 PM, August 29, 2007, Blogger Marcian said…

    "Encouragement" was an understatement. I think you hit the nail on the head precisely with the word "hypocrisy". You wouldn't happen to be human, too, would you?

    But the biggest light-bulb moment was when you reminded us that Christ, too, knows what it feels like to feel forsaken in the moment of awareness of the heavy weight of guilt and sin.

     
  • At 8:53 PM, August 29, 2007, Blogger Daniel said…

    Marcian,

    I am all too human I am afraid. I am glad this made sense to somebody. ;-)

     
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