Do you put your soul at risk and in hazard if you want to understand the nature of your own fears? if you wish to understand the working of your own faith? if you desire to know the limits of your transgressive inclinations? if you cannot live without answers?
To answer the question, is to recognize that there is " ... a profound ambivalence shared by all people: a simultaneous terror and fascination with the beast within, (and) the impulsive need to both deny and acknowledge that, no matter how exalted, we humans are members of the animal kingdom and heir to violent instincts." I live with transgressive tendencies; the temptations of life; the primitive fears and anxieties; the atavistic (established; habitual, ingrained) coping skills and mechanisms derived from life's pains and circumstances; and the demons created by the existence of my aforementioned mental and emotional maladies.
In all this there, as a negative consequence, is the absence of faith, the blatant denial of God as provisional and benevolent. An atheist may have more integrity than a Christian in this view, at least an Atheist as he lives with the hypocrisy of what he may know in his heart to be an untruth, yet, at least in his life he does not deny his faith. The Christian believes in God and yet holds to the illusory and misguided vision of the future and the point of view of this life as holding no promise other than what is at hand or can be attained by personal effort. Must I believe that even within the menial tasks of the day there lies no other purpose than the attainment of food and lodging. Is there not a greater purpose, a larger significance (maybe I need more melatonin at this time of year) a more profound life to be lived?
I do not wish to sound like a depressed and raving lunatic!
Romans 7:22-24, "For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am!"
"T]he monster of the mind is always the familiar self disguised as the alien other."
Do I risk the loss of faith in the battle to win faith? Is there a danger in becoming the captive of sin in the battle against sin? Is there hope in defeating the demons without losing the war to win the battle?
This battle " ... embodies the existential threat to social life, the chaos, atavism, and negativism that symbolize destructiveness and all other obstacles to order and progress, all that which defeats, destroys, drawsback, undermines, subverts the human project--that is, ... " the unorganized part of the personality structure that contains the basic drives; the instinctual needs; the dark, inaccessible part of the soul which motivates selfish and infantile expectations; the chaos; the sense of disorder; the cauldron of seething excitations; the amoral and egocentric; the life ruled by the pleasure–pain principle; life and death themselves. This is the battle for the soul and it is being fought in the battleground of the mind. It is fear versus faith.
Faith must have its place and its work in deciding and modifying the defensive, instinctual, intellectual, cognitive and perceptual functions of my conscious thought. Faith must be the overriding principle of my life when faced with my concerns of safety, my inherent fears; the issue of pain and displeasure, my defense mechanisms; the sense of the world's overpowering and captivating my life, my pride and my will. My desire to marginalize and control the consequence of all my actions, maintaining the 'I, myself' is the holding to a reality of life inconsistent with the life of faith.
John 3:30, "He must increase, but I must decrease." Within this statement lies the evidence of the truth of submission to the Lord, and more, the acceptance of the love of a sovereign God. Within this statement lies the profound realization of an attitude of humility, salted with the willingness to believe that God's love is the only means by which God communicates and in that belief to be fully satisfied with my life. Faith, hope and love are more often than not, words; words typed on a page; words spoken in situations of pain and dis-ease (Thanks Ron); words that have lost their flavour to influence and change the battle for the thoughts and intents of the heart, mind and soul; words that lose their meaning in vain repetition and repeated emphasis on their application to life. But, they are so much more than just words and in an ironic twist, words, more often than not, fail to communicate and express all that God's love means as it fills the hearts, minds, souls with faith and hope.
2 Cor. 4:16, " ... therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.
Ephes. 3:16, " ... that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man ... "
... and these are just words ...