I had an unusual and enlightening experience last night. I had the opportunity to minister with two other people to someone who had consumed tainted drugs and was experiencing side-effects. We were able to pray for and counsel this young man and I’d thought I would share an insight I had.
Obviously, this person is alright. God did His thing and removed the worst of the side-effects and we were able to talk with him and make sure he was alright.
When I asked this person why he tried to homebrew hallucinogens, he replied with one word, “Mystery”.
Mystery. This kid, very intelligent and diligent about tracking down small details, was bored with life. He was willing to risk his own life and health in order to create the unknown. Because he has previously chosen to use those gifts in rebellious ways, the enemy has been able to afflict him with night terrors (read: demonic attack), boredom, depression and social isolation. But I believe this impulse for creativity, risk and adventure is of Godly origin, not demonic.
We were all created with a deep-seated need to be fascinated. I had reservations about saying that before, but after last night I am convinced. We want to be fascinated, we want to be captivated by Mystery, and we will do just about anything to fulfill that.
Hunger is hunger, it is a blunt instrument that we need to use discernment with. How we satisfy that hunger is intensely important because it can set the course for our life. If “our god is our belly” as Paul says, then we will be driven by hunger to satisfy the desires of our sinful nature: sex, drugs, intoxication, gambling, etc. However, if we walk in the Spirit then the Spirit will lead us to satisfy our hunger in God honoring ways: by being great in God’s sight, by serving others, by seeing the sick healed and the dead raised, by knowing that others are better off because we are in the world.
What is interesting about this young man is that, in his own words, “I never miss church. Never.” Church for him isn’t Sunday morning, but Wednesday night, that is where his community of faith comes together to worship, hear the Gospel and be with one another. This young man loves God, but is not fascinated by Him. I wonder how many other people in the church are in the same boat? The side effects might be different, but the disease is the same – a bored spirit will always resort to sinful behavior in order to “feel alive.” We will look for fascination somewhere, and if we don’t find it in God we will try to create it for ourselves. This is known as idolatry in the bible.
So how do we help people to be fascinated with God? What is the difference between those who are fascinated and those who aren’t? Is it anything we have control over or is it totally the work of the Spirit? I don’t have answers to these questions, but I believe the salvation of a generation is wrapped up in them. If we, as the Church, aren’t fascinated with God and His Kingdom, how can others be? Faith is more caught than taught – are we contagious with our faith? Are we living whole-heartedly and doing work worth doing? Do others really want to be like us, or is that just something we say to fool ourselves?
I would dearly love your input to these questions. This needs to become a much larger discussion within the community of faith. Thanks for reading and commenting.