THE SENSATION OF THE SOUL
Life of disbelief made me feel like I was drowning; life was the pool and I had nothing with which to float on. When I finally invited Jesus to enter my heart, I realized the sensations running through me were more than mere awareness or consciousness. Over time, I realized what I had experienced was the feeling of God’s purpose for me pulsating through my spirit. Discovering my purpose in Christ was exhilarating; I felt like could conquer the world. I also came to understand this response did not carry any physical sensations. Basically, my body was not suddenly stronger or different—these pulsations vibrating through me occurred at a deeper level of myself than anything I’d ever experienced before. In receiving Jesus, I learned what it means to have a soul, because that’s exactly what I had become aware of: I finally understood what my soul felt like in my body.
FAITH, BEETHOVEN, AND MUSIC
When an atheist or unbeliever tries to “make sense” of God, they use ratiocination in the hopes of untangling the mysteries of the unknown with the retina and the other four senses. But this is like trying to understand music by observing a muted symphony band play on a TV screen; we may be aware of the band’s use of exquisite dexterity in performing a particular song, but until we feel the instrument in our own hands with the vibrations from our fingertips (and if the instrument includes a mouth-piece, then the sensation on your lips and in your throat), the rhythmic thumping of our feet on the ground in sync with the drum (whether a physical drum, or your “inner drum”)—music simply cannot be grasped.
The deaf Beethoven himself laid on the floor to feel and discern the distinct vibration of every note until he created the masterpieces that are still revered even today by every generation. He understood music because he embraced the importance of understanding the purpose of each note: Its harmony, octave, and timing. The loyalty and dedication it required to gain such an understanding would have been tedious, time-consuming, and even frustrating, especially with his impediments—but he was impassioned to grasp the concept of music and song, to create and innovate what ultimately became famously known by the world at large. Likewise, God simply cannot be grasped simply through logic and equations; one must choose to desire to experience Him personally in order to understood Him at all—and understanding the supernatural, like God, requires choice, commitment, intention, authenticity, openness, vulnerability, humility, and reverence.
THE TRUMPET, AND THE SENSATION OF FAITH
When I was in fifth grade, in order to join the school band, I began learning to play the trumpet. After months of practice, the trumpet became more familiar. But let me tell you, after seven years, I was reaching notes that even impressed me. I understood how much air in my lungs was required to reach a certain note and I didn’t have to hope or guess if I would reach high enough—I simply knew where to put my lips and much pressure to supply in order to climb the octaves. I became very familiar with the instrument, and my body knew how to distribute impressive sounds to complement and add to the rest of the band.
Like in music, we must desire to feel the sensations of God’s presence within us, the “vibration” of the spirit, if you will, that we would be so familiar with our relationship and experience of Jesus and God as to be able to create our own masterpiece; the very rippling effect of love on this world we were designed to distribute in His name.
SPIRITUAL GROWTH AND MATURITY
Spiritual maturity takes place in a location inside ourselves we cannot find without searching with questions, some healthy skepticism (meaning, carefully thought out questions asked with an open mind and ready heart), and faith. How much faith, you ask? The faith of a mustard seed is enough, according to the Word of God (Matthew 17:20). We don’t need much to find Jesus, only the will and desire to be in His presence, to desire His presence in ours, and to be ready to hear Him speak to us. He speaks honestly, and sometimes we don’t want to hear the truth because the lies of this world (the enemy’s lies) are very tempting and manipulative. Lies such as: “Sex will make you happy,” “Money can buy you anything,” “Just do what you want and everything will be fine.” These are all fallacies designed to equip us with narcissism and help us to forget our innate desire for purpose.
There is no purpose in narcissism, which is a seed towards nihilism; the rejection of all religious and moral principles, resulting in the belief that life is ultimately meaningless. Disbelief in God is one thing, but to replace doubt and skepticism with hedonism is the recipe for a purposeless, meaningless life full of transience and dissatisfaction. Listening to Jesus helps us to stay in the clear and to discern between the world’s lies and His clear and loving voice. We only need be still and know He is God (Psalm 46:10)— He will never lead us astray.
THE STARTING POINT
Personally, I believe some doubt is ultimately healthy because it instigates a starting point. When have a place to begin, the questions shed a light on which way to dig and search. Those who do not ask don’t move, and therefore they don’t grow or mature. To mature is to see one perspective from a different angle and to receive a multitude of angles as possibilities, carefully discerning where God is speaking the most clearly. Spiritual maturity is understanding there are many faiths to choose from, but discerning the one faith which is healthiest for us. There is only one God—the Biblical, Christian God—who is so personal as to come down in human form—God in flesh—to take the punishment we deserve and place it on Himself so that we wouldn’t have to suffer for our wrongs. Only one God loves us so deeply as to desire nothing but deep, intimate relationship with us, and not require us to prove anything—whose only command is to love Him, others, and ourselves, the way He loves us first.
THE CHRISTIAN INVITATION
I never wanted to believe in a god who required me to prove my worth, because I believe that is an impossible feat. I never wanted to believe in a god who required me to resist having desires, because that seemed unnatural and inhuman (we’re made in the image of God, and God has desires. He desires us!). I never wanted to believe in a god who commanded me to kill those who didn’t believe what I believe. The Christian, Biblical God requires none of this me, and loves me unconditionally on top of it all. He loves all of His children. This is the Christian invitation, but ratiocination can barely comprehend its supernatural promises. However, faith can, and faith is all Jesus requires: The faith of a mustard seed and the desire to know Him personally, with a familiarity unparalleled by anything in this world. This is what Jesus commands of us and desires with us, nothing more or less. This is what I have learned through being a Christian, and this is what was introduced to me 7 years ago when I first heard about the God of Christianity. I’m telling you so you’ll know and be able to decide for yourself whether this is the kind of God you want to serve, to know, to love, and to receive love from.
FAMILIARITY WITH CHRIST
See, God already loves us, but we need to recognize it as such, thank Him for this perfect gift, and live into the promises He instills through Christ Jesus. When we accept Jesus, we understand the sacrifice He made on our behalf, and the inspiration that comes of that—let me reiterate that point—NOT the shame or guilt, but the INSPIRATION—renders me speechless. How can I say no to the God of the universe, loving me even as I am a sinner?
I invite you to come to know Jesus as well, to come to be more familiar with Him, to invite Him into your heart today, right now. Just talk to Him like you would a friend. After all, Jesus is “closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24).
Be blessed, readers!!
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