"I ran across an old box of letters
While I was bagging up some clothes for Goodwill
You Know I had to laugh that the same old struggles
That plagued me then are plaguing me still"
- Caedmon's Call
I would like to tell you that after facing the humbling reality of my depravity in my teens years I went on to stop chasing the slavery that I was in bondage to. Although it was on that day, I decided to stop the diet pills and caffeine, I did not let go of the myriad of other addictions that had led me to abuse the substances. I certainly had a problem with speed, but I had a much bigger issue with this unyielding desire to impress people. The addiction to being admired was entrenched much deeper than any substance abuse. Admiration fed the demons of control and social position. These three formed a mighty beast of self satisfaction in me.
Unfortunately, that beast was not slain as easily as the substance addiction. That beast slipped back into the recesses of my mind where he still preys on my fears and insecurities. My carnal nature is never further than the recesses of my mind which I have not yet let the Kingdom of God be formed in.
To give you an example as recent of a few weeks back. I spoke on Saturday afternoon at camp. After my sermon was dinner time. The closing prayer was concluded and the entire camp went off to line up for supper. Not ONE person came over to make any compliment what so ever of the message. Even my own wife, did not give me a "Great Job!" My depravity crept out of it's cavernous abode and began to torment me. Feeling unappreciated and socially diminished I was blessed by God with a vision to illustrate the damage I was allowing in my mind. There stood this dragon pulling me apart, one limb at a time. I had to choose in that moment to let my enemy lure me back into the danger of his self promoting cave, or to let the Kingdom be formed over the wound. I had responded to the Spirit's leading and preached the message he gave me, so this was should never have been about my pride in anyway.
I give this example because it is visible, still I struggle everyday with my needs for appreciation, control, and social struggle. The recognition of our depravity, is not a one time obstacle that once overcomes raises us to a higher place in the journey, instead it is a parallel road that appears less treacherous and more appealing.
I have seen the hell my mind becomes separate of the redemptive forming of God's Kingdom. I therefore recognize my depravity daily and choose to walk through the gateway that leads to life. This narrow road leads me to the alien, the cripple, the beggar, and the orphan because I acknowledge that in my own power I can be nothing more than they are.
Matthew 7:13-14 “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.
"Lord God, let me never see my self as anything other than a stranger, given citizenship in your Kingdom; a cripple made to walk in your light, a beggar living off the wealth of your grace, and an orphan adopted to be a prince of the King. Let me also never forget that you are always found in the midst of these peers."