For those who read this blog, you are aware that I owe a great deal to David Benner, for being a spiritual guide, during these latter years of my journey. Each of his new books are been food for my soul, and enlightenment to my mind. I highly recommend his insights to you. In the early years of my spiritual journey, I was aware that there was much more to my walk with Jesus then simply thinking good thoughts based on Scripture ( while important) and doing the right things, much of the time out of obligation. There was a deep hunger within me that was not being satisfied, along with an inner cauldron of emotions and desires that I was almost afraid to experience.
Benner has helped me to finally come to peace regarding this cauldron within me, while tasting my desire for God. I can say now that in my opinion and experience, our deepest desires are from God. Embracing our desires is vital on our journey with Christ. Listen to Benner – “Our desires keep us molten, they keep us moving, and they keep us awake…Within each of us is an unquenchable fire, a restlessness that renders us incapable of ever coming to full peace in this life. Our longings will always be larger and more persistent than our satisfactions.” Benner talks about “the inextinguishable burning bush” at the center of our being that he calls “our fundamental life energy.”
It has been a terrific relief for me to realize that my sense of obligation to serve Jesus will not necessarily help me to become fashioned in the image of God that is intended for me in particular. “Guilt may be strong enough to motivate religious behavior, but only desire can lead you ahead on the spiritual journey.’ While it has been difficult at times to face what is really going on in my soul, I am slowly learning that the journey inward to become aware of what is there, has given me greater freedom and confidence to be who I am intended to be in Christ.
So men I encourage you to embrace all of who you are. This will include the inner journey of going into that cauldron of deep desires and emotions that are from God. I quote once again from Benner. “Our deepest desires call us to a place of both greater height and greater depth….the restlessness occurs in the depths of our soul, our desires also invite us to attend to these depths. We are to soar on the winds of the Spirit and be grounded in the realities of body and soul. They point us toward the self-transcendent but encourage us to us to remain anchored in the mundane and immanent.” Part of living with reality is to be honest and open about what is within our souls.
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