One of my highly esteemed siblings waxed poetically “I like my awareness with vanilla bean ice cream on top, and with plenty of Lipitor sprinkles!”
Pretty deep. (scratching head in perplexed amusement)
A corrective wax quickly followed: “Waffles, not awareness, though that works in an existential Kafkaesque kind of way”
I liked the spell-corrected version better. His unintentional poetic footprint left a profound impression. To be clear, my brother does NOT sugarcoat the truth. But the auto-correction spoke to an ugly reality.
It reminded me of the time a good friend used Dr Seuss’ “Star-bellied Sneetches” to illustrate the danger of denominational superiority. One wonders how Seuss could be used so spiritually. And so it was with corrective spelling. God spoke through a donkey, after all.
So, what was the deep undercurrent of Truth revealed in by brother’s oracular text message?
I could hear the voice of the spirit of this age crying out: “I like my awareness sugar-coated!” Or, to put it in the vernacular of this age: “I like my truth sugar-coated!”
And all of this spawned from the eclectic adjective Kafkaesque.
When something is Kafkaesque it is “characteristic or reminiscent of the oppressive or nightmarish qualities of Franz Kafka’s fictional world”. The adjectives Orwellian and Quixotic share the same distinction, referencing the writing styles of George Orwell and Don Quixote.
Ben Marcus, a Kafka biographer says that Kafka’s parable A Message from the Emperor is “a reminder of how desperately we want to be spoken to. We want to be addressed. We want there to be some important message out there for us. And yet: how futile it might be to hope for that. The story goes beyond a mere illustration of the literary paradox: It hints at the supreme difficulty of ever truly connecting to anybody.”
Kafka’s work describes the prevailing emotional and spiritual torment most of the world lives under.
Prevailing because we live in a post-modern era that says “Truth is in the ear of the beholder”. Torment because there is no peace in the waves of personal opinion, being tossed to and fro.
Truth is now up for debate and popular opinion. Truth has become subjective rather than remaining objective. And this thinking leads to and has brought forth a state of mass confusion.
On the faulty foundation of post modern’s relative truth there are absolutely no absolutes upon which to build understanding, to gain wisdom, to love and be loved, and to ultimately know God.
Relative Truth vs Eternal Truth
But there is HOPE.
While relative truth absolutely has no absolutes, the Eternal Truth says absolutely there are absolutes.
Where relative truth whimpers “Truth might be”, the Eternal Embodiment of Truth boldly proclaims “I Am”.
Jesus, God with us, said to the unbelieving Jews, “Before Abraham was, I AM”. And to Pilate, Jesus confirms “for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth.”
Eternal Truth IS and will always BE. Truth does not and can not alter its course based on the whims of prevailing opinion. Truth is immutable and forever will be.
But Truth can also be neglected, suppressed, and even concealed to the ruin of the suppressors.
King Josiah, the Truther
During King Josiah’s reign the Law (Truth of God) had been rediscovered after having been suppressed for so long. And after reading of the God’s Word, Josiah knew they were going to suffer God’s wrath because of not only their disobedience but the consequences of the forefathers’ actions: “for great is the wrath of the Lord that is aroused against us, because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us” 2 Kings 22:13
It’s noteworthy that Josiah’s account began with “Josiah was righteous in the Eternal’s eyes. He continually did what was right, just as his ancestor David had. He did not ever step away from the righteous path” and ended with “No king before him or after him ever gave himself to the Eternal so fully and deeply as Josiah did. He offered to the Eternal with all his being:all of his heart, all of his soul, and all his might, in accordance with the sacred law given through Moses” (VOICE)
What was the result of Josiah’s faith? He utterly destroyed all of the idols and removed the corrupted priests who were leading others into this idolatrous worship. He tore down every high thing that was exalted against the Lord and reestablished the sacred everlasting ordinance of the Passover, which for us today represents a remembrance of and communion with Jesus Christ, our “passover” Lamb. The spiritual significance is staggering.
Listen very carefully to this. Josiah continually did what was RIGHT and the Lord counted Josiah as righteous under the Old Covenant. His faith was actionable and living! Today we live under a BETTER covenant with the indwelling Spirit of God promised, a new heart and nature given and yet we still have corrupt “priests” leading many to idolatrous death telling us that we can’t live righteously, ever, and that God doesn’t expect it. Do not be deceived. All who serve the Lord can and should be walking in the freedom of righteousness and purity, because He Who is in us is righteous and pure! Jesus sets us free from sin and death! Flee from a messenger that tells you otherwise.
The point is Josiah didn’t waffle: he was a DOER and not a hearer only. He was willing to hear about God’s wrath and DO something about it. He sought to please the Lord and the Lord was VERY pleased by Josiah’s tender heart of obedience. (cf. 2 Kings 22:18-20)
But why was the Truth of God suppressed before Josiah’s time? The same reason His Truth is suppressed today: to do what is “truthful” in our own eyes.
We can attempt to apply a thin veneer of subjective truth that at first glance looks “good” but quickly cracks and peels, involuntarily revealing the lie it has always been.
And as I survey the landscape today, one must ask: where is the Truth today? Better yet, where are the young Josiah’s willing to expose and boldly proclaim the Word of Truth of the coming wrath of God and the answer to escaping God’s wrath found in Jesus Christ?
Waffle Awareness Origins
Paul addressed “waffle awareness” writing that “the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie…” Romans 1:18-22, 25
To be innately aware of the Truth while in an active state of denial creates a state of waffling between turbulent waves of opinions and trends ending up in futility, darkness, and spiritual death.
James warns the waffler: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” James 1:5-8
Just Jesus promised, James encourages us that God gives liberally to those who ask, but he also warns of the consequence of asking in a waffling doubtfulness. Ask in faith and God will be faithful to deliver!
And to Timothy, Paul gives us the earmark of waffle awareness: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4
These are wafflers. Turning away from the Truth. Not willing to hear, much less follow, sound Truth.
So what is the answer to the torment of Kaskaesque confusion?
The remedy for confusion, oppression, and demonic fear is the prophetic Voice of eternal Truth found in the Lord Jesus Christ and His teachings. God is neither the author of confusion nor demonic fear. God is not Kafkaesque. To the contrary. Under God’s authorship, one finds TRUTH, CLARITY, TRANQUILITY, and JOY!
When we become adopted as sons and daughters of God through repentance and baptism under the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, the veil of darkness is lifted from our heart and we can see clearly.
And when God’s Truth is unsuppressed by those who love Him, great transformation results! An explosion is righteousness follows! Darkness is overcome by Light! And peace prevails as a result of exposing darkness through the Light of the Truth!
Check out what God promises in Psalm 37:
Psalm 37:3-6 (NKJV)
Trust in the Lord, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.
He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your justice as the noonday.
You do your part and God will be faithful to His part. He is FAITHFUL. Feed on His Faithfulness.
How can I say this so confidently? First of all, because the Word of God promises it and God is no liar. Second, I’ve put it to practice and have experienced what I’m encouraging YOU to do.
We can believe Jesus when He says: “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the TRUTH, and the TRUTH shall make you FREE.” John 8:31-32
You see, there is a Message from the “Emperor of emperors” and it has Your name on it. But in stark contrast to a Kafkaesque message of futility and frustration, God’s message is a message of HOPE and LOVE and PEACE that has already been sent by a faithful Messenger, the Lord Jesus Christ. He has already delivered it without any obstacles that He couldn’t overcome. And this message of exceedingly GREAT NEWS is waiting upon you to simply receive it.
No frustration. No torment. Perfect PEACE.
Simply believe that the Lord Jesus Christ loves you and gave Himself as an offering for your sake – for your sins – and follow Him, learn from Him, obey His Message, and you will be forgiven, reconciled to God, and receive Eternal Life!