My Greatest Life Problem
Matthew 27:50,51 Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.
As I did not live under the Old Testament rule, I am sure I do not fully appreciate the import of the temple curtain being torn in two. The veil or curtain was in place to separate men from the holiest place, or the presence of God in the temple. Here, only the high priest could enter and even he could only enter once a year.
The people, unable to access God directly, had the high priest enter his presence as a proxy for them. With Christ’s death, the veil was torn in two, signifying the end of the old rule. No longer was the presence of God only for the high priest. The presence of God is now for all. Where man could not previously enter and live, we are now to live our entire lives, in the manifest presence of God. Jesus’ death provided us direct access to the father.
So, why do I not live in perfect communion with God as I should? As Christians, we believe that we are to live in a profoundly intimate, loving relationship with our creator. I am to know his fantastic love as real as anything in this life, but sometimes I wonder what that must be like. Do I love God? I don’t feel it. What am I supposed to do?
The curtain may be gone, but I am still wandering around, outside the temple, wondering why I do not feel or know God’s presence. So, what is keeping me out? What veil now separates me from God?
My greatest life problem, that which distances me from God, is nothing other than me. Every day, I have the choice to pursue God or self and every day, in some way, I pursue self to the detriment of God. I may blame the external: I am too busy. I must work. My family needs me. There are only so many hours in a day…
If I find myself distant from God though, my problem is not my job or my kids. It is me. I have lived my entire life with eyes focused on me, pursuing that which I desire. I will wager that I can learn to live a life focused on God, pursuing him. This does not mean that I will be useless to my job and family. It just means that I will pursue him with my thoughts and actions instead of pursuing pride, lust, money, anger, gossip, malice, image and popularity.
This requires rigorous honesty. To admit that I am my own greatest problem is impossible for some. Alcoholics Anonymous says, those who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves are incapable of recovery. I will never get past me and I will not find God if I cannot admit that I am the barrier between us. I am my life’s greatest problem and I will never know God if I do not surrender the pursuit of me.
The Seeds of the Spirit is a daily blog based on a walk through the New Testament. Written from the perspective of my own addiction, it explores the common defects of our flesh nature and the solution, our spirit life. If you find it helpful, sign up for the blog as a daily email, tell your friends and like/share it on Facebook.