LOCKED UP BY THE CHAIN LINKING ROMANS 7 AND 8
December 13, 2004 - 00:39
I am angry with myself. At times I even hate myself; I hate my inner conflict between serving God and serving my hedonism. Sometimes I wish God did not exist so I could wallow in my own uncleanness, wickedness and favorite sins with no guilt feelings. Ah, guilt — my old foe!
Lord, save me from myself. After I start rolling frantically in the mire, I do not want to stop; maybe I can’t. I go all the way to the limit of my strength, to the skid row, seeking to satisfy my fleshliness, my animalistic sexuality. Like a drug addict, I know I am harming myself, but the self-gratification resounds more strongly than the Spirit’s voice, which is as gentle as a breeze, until everything is finished. Then I know that that breeze is coming soon, getting nearer and nearer and becoming more and more intense, until I can no longer resist. So I bend under the weight of my own conscience.
Did I say conscience? Or wouldn’t it be guilt? Maybe remorse? Maybe I feel as if I had murdered the Spirit who dwelled in me.
I want Your communion back… Where are You? Why does this keep repeating, like an endless spiral? I will say I do not want it and I will not do it again, but I know I will be lying to myself and to You again. And You know that better than I do, and even so You forgive me — to my absolute despair, to my greatest shame. For I know I will hurt You again; yet, You will still love me.
Destroy me, oh Lord, so I will not sadden You again. Put an end to this agony between loving You and loving myself. (Am I not supposed to deny myself? How can I do it?How HHHHj)
You see me, You know everything about me, and, even worse, You let me know why You are here. I wish You were very far so You would not see me. Wasn’t it this way from the beginning? This also sounds familiar to You… “Adam, where are you?”
When will I be freed from these shackles?
I am unclean, but You have prepared white clothing for me…
Are You scorning me with Your mercy?
I wish You destroyed me so You would not have to bear me anymore. My guilt hurts more than Your verdict. But as I am “found not guilty”, my guilt increases. Yet, You still justify me…
God bless you with peace!
I hesitated to answer your e-mail because it is a prayer, and I cannot answer a prayer as a prayer. Therefore, first of all I repeated your letter as a prayer before God.
God Himself will answer your prayer.
As for me, I am only taking the liberty of giving you some answers about the psychological and spiritual contents of your prayer.
1st Process: “Sometimes I wish there was no God so I could wallow in my own uncleanness, wickedness and favorite sins with no guilt feelings. Ah, guilt — my old foe!”
Answer: You feel this burning desire. Your soul wants to fulfill it. Pulsions increase. Your conscience, filled with moral and legal contents related to God, turns ruthlessly against you. So, for a while you become a psychological atheist: “God is foolishness!” — you say to yourself on such occasions.
2nd Process: “When I start rolling frantically in the mire, I do not want to stop; maybe I can’t. I go all the way to the limit of my strength, to the skid row, seeking to satisfy my fleshliness, my animalistic sexuality. Like a drug addict, I know I am harming myself, but the self-gratification resounds more strongly than the Spirit’s voice.”
Answer: In this way you “suspend” God for a while — the period of an intercourse — and, afterwards, you are back to your state of semi-lucidness. It is not a state of lucidness because with your conflict between serving God and (or) serving your own hedonism, lucidness is impossible. It is impossible because in affliction there can be no light or lucidness. Light and peace naturally embrace each other, but the affliction from guilt can only embrace inner darkness. This leads you to another process.
3rd Process: “Maybe I feel as if I had murdered the Spirit who dwelled in me. I want Your communion back… Where are You? Why does this keep repeating, like an endless spiral? I will say I do not want it and I will not do it again, but I know I will be lying to myself and to You again. And You know that better than I do, and even so You forgive me — to my absolute despair, to my greatest shame.”
Answer: “Your God” only exists in you when you resurrect him through the pain of your guilt. In fact, “your God” exists in the energy of your own guilt. Actually “your God” is only good for relieving your guilt. And His forgiveness is not forgiveness to you, but a “holy sarcasm”, because you actually hate to know that such forgiveness exists. And you only feel like this because “your God” is the one who establishes commandments to be “broken” only. This is why you love Him with so much hatred!
4th Process: “Are You scorning me with Your mercy? I wish You destroyed me so You would not have to bear me anymore. My guilt hurts more than Your verdict. But as I am “found not guilty”, my guilt increases. Yet, You still justify me…”
Answer: Since you only see God through the lenses of guilt and, at best, the lenses of justification by faith, you end up convincing yourself that He forgives, but, at the same time, because you know Him as doctrine only, the good of the Truth does not operate in you as peace, but as a psychological relief only. And in this way the cycle is unending, “as in an endless spiral”…
Your prayer is your prayer. And, for Heaven’s sake, who will ever be conceited enough to try to correct someone else’s prayer? Therefore, I am not talking about your prayer, but the contents present in it only.
As I see it, the statement that lets me know all about your relationship with God is: “I feel as if I had murdered the Spirit.” This statement simply reveals the contents of Hebrews about “a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire”. This, in the text of Hebrews, is connected to the act of psychologically crucifying the Son of God again and again, as in a life lived to always repeat the sacrifice of the Cross because of your “dead works”. Meanwhile you feel that you yourself kill and resurrect the Spirit within you. And since your conscience is not in the atmosphere of Grace, but in the environment of the Law, the cycle is unending — and in such a way that you have to always repeat the process, which starts with the conflict between your desire and what you call God’s desire for you, with your own desire obviously prevailing over God’s.
Then you naturally create the “suspension of God” for a while so you can experience such “suspension” as frenzy. After all, who can think God would be “suspended” for a long time? Well, such being the case, even the intercourse is faster and more frantic, since you cannot “suspend” God for long. In this way, the more you “suspend” God, the more lustful your frenzy is when the outbreak of desire happens.
Therefore, the more you do it this way, the stronger the desire will return, and the more eager and frequent your need to suspend the reality of God from your conscience, or rather, your thinking guilt. In that case, it is only natural that you hate God’s forgiveness, because, to you, God is as cynical as you are as He always forgives, whereas you know that inner pacification will not come along with His forgiveness. So, God’s forgiveness will be felt as “scorn” in the end.
In fact, if your prayer were a confession on a certain day, nothing would be wrong with it. However, as it reveals a state of being, I tell you that it is a statement of unhealthy devotion from a soul in which God and “God” are two different realities.
Yes, it is the prayer of a protestant soul who loves God’s cause — which, to you, is also a moral cause — and did not acknowledge the Word as reconciliation, but as a “reconciliation possibility” only. And this happens in such a way that your inner dynamics swings between an “angry devotion state” (at times wishing God did not exist) and the “frenzy outbreaks”, which feed on this very conflict.
God is not moral. God is love. And in God’s love there is the ethic of justice, truth, joy and peace, but there is not moral. But to you God is moral and His love is moral too, and to such a point that you yourself have to suspend God when your outbreaks occur. This happens because “your God’s” conscience is as moral and weak as yours. So you try to sin far from God, not realizing that what saves us is the possibility of sinning in God’s presence. Only when God is present in His justice that justifies us and gives us peace despite our sin, we receive the peace that increasingly quiets down our compulsive frenzies so our hearts can find the peace that pacifies our emotion, our thinking and our daily journey.
Although this seems paradoxical, it is only in the Presence of the God to whom “darkness is as light” that the soul can find peace.
Yes, we only enter the psychological state of the peace that pacifies the heart when, by faith, we are assured that all our real guilt was taken away on the Cross, once and for all.
Yes, in order that we have the peace to conquer our own sins, day by day, we need to know that sin died in Christ, because the Law increased the sin, but, in Christ, the Law died. Therefore, by no longer believing in the Law as a living entity but a dead one, we can have the peace to walk into a path of inner pacification; otherwise, this will never be possible. After all, who can live in peace without believing that sin is dead?
Yes, sin is dead to God, in Christ, so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes!
This is the point where the doctrine of justification stops being a theological formula and starts being a spiritual and psychological benefit. It stops being a doctrine that is tapped into at times in order to lessen inner conflicts and starts becoming a real benefit that is established as an inner state, no longer as a mere momentary possibility in a spiritual circumstance that depends on the person’s inward willingness not to sin outwardly.
In other words, we only get to know peace and deliverance after we have believed and, by faith, taken possession of the fact that we are reconciled to God, in Christ, no matter what…
Your prayer is a psychological portrait of a soul that is locked up and stuck into Romans 7 and has not managed to trust the promise regarding the benefits that are guaranteed to us by Christ, according to Romans 8.
Well, it is easy to understand: If I am saved in Christ, but I only keep saved if I myself manage to morally guarantee the behavior of salvation, what is the use of believing in Christ in the first place if I will have to save myself in daily life, for the rest of my days, through my own strength and effort?
Therefore, my brother, if I believed in God as you do, and if I believed in the work of Christ with the limitations you do, I myself would sign my name under your prayer, because it is impossible to believe in God as you do and, as a result, not feel what you feel and like you feel.
I will not say many other things because everything else is said on this website, and if you read it attentively, you will figure out what I mean, and, in this way, you will take possession of the spiritual benefit that is yours already, for in Jesus it is Finished.
An affectionate kiss to you!
In Him, Who has reconciled us to the Father forever,
From the original "PRESO NA CADEIA QUE EXISTE ENTRE ROMANOS 7 E 8"
Translation: F. R. Castelo Branco | November 2007