Contemplating and Discerning God’s Will

On my daily walk this morning, I was struck by the stirring of the Spirit as I was meditating on God’s will. I guess I’ve always imagined my contribution to society would be grand. Whether that has been my inflated ego or God speaking all these years, I don’t know.

We can never know with absolute certainty what God’s will is; we can only do our best to keep an open place in our mind and heart for the Spirit to speak to us, constantly revising where we’re headed based upon His promptings.

But regardless, I often find myself irritated by the mundane aspects of life- changing diapers, cleaning the house, helping with homework, watching kids, etc. because it feels like it is keeping me from realizing greatness. How am I going to be able to create a grand piece of art that changes the world if I rarely ever have time to write?

But what if the grand is keeping me from realizing the great? What if God’s will is simply for me to be a great husband, a great father, a great teacher and preacher to my children? Maybe the grand artist is my will and not God’s.

We can never know with absolute certainty what God’s will is; we can only do our best to keep an open place in our mind and heart for the Spirit to speak to us, constantly revising where we’re headed based upon His promptings.

Better to live by the Word of God hidden from the world than to be elevated by the world without it.

My job is not to elevate myself. The world will one day forget that I existed regardless if I become “famous” or not. But hopefully the work that I do contributes to preserving the name of Jesus Christ so that thousands of years from now people will still know His name. There is no shame living a life that the world never notices if it is well lived, measured not by the world’s standards but by God’s. Better to live by the Word of God hidden from the world than to be elevated by the world without it. Teresa of Avila provides a lovely mantra to live by: “whoever has God lacks nothing; God alone suffices.”

A life that brings even a single soul closer to God is a life of greatness.

This philosophy allows us to enjoy life and live fully, content in the present moment. It is folly to strive to make something out of YOUR life. Rather, live in a way that makes something out of His life. A life that brings even a single soul closer to God is a life of greatness. Don’t be blinded by the grand. Excel in the everyday, ordinary tasks, and the grand will occur if God wills it.

The more seriously you take yourself, the less seriously you take God. For when you become master, you bind yourself in chains of action, always striving harder and harder, less and less sure you’ve done enough to create a lasting legacy.

…the only time our souls are full and content is when we live in the Spirit and join in the centripetal, ever-revolving, relational love of God

But the more seriously you take God, the less pressure you have upon yourself. Laugh at yourself and the ridiculous, pompous thoughts of the human ego. God didn’t create you to glorify yourself; God created you to glorify Himself.

So love life and the people in it. Love the fact that God is going to help come to fruition His will whether you’re completely on board and do everything right or not. God doesn’t need us to glorify Him but knows the only time our souls are full and content is when we live in the Spirit and join in the centripetal, ever-revolving, relational love of God.

We are infinitely cherished and special beings while simultaneously being utterly unnecessary in the grand plan of God. This allows us to live with purpose yet pile all the weight of the world onto the Cross, onto the only one this world truly needs.

Justin Farley



My first chapbook of collected poems is available now! I hope you find encouragement in the poems but also a validation that the spiritual life is not all sunshine and rainbows. We all struggle. We all have periods of questions and/or doubt. But it is the yearning that keeps us coming back for more and allows us to experience joy.


You can purchase either on Amazon or on my own bookstore (it is cheaper and has free shipping on my store) and is available on the Kindle and in paperback.
Amazon: Kindle Paperback
Inkspiration Books (my bookstore): Paperback

Thank you for your support!

Light Wielder Poem About Bringing the Kingdom of Heaven to Earth

Light Wielder

Crystals hang from the heavenly chandelier
on the city upon the hill.
Catching light and doing for the eyes
what wind chimes do for the ears.

     A rustling.
     An awakening
     of an ancient force
     that remembers,
     that yearns
     with an unquenchable thirst
     for transcendence
     for totality
     for unity
     for eternity.

Crystals catch the sun's light,
act like mirrors with the power
of those at the Pharos lighthouse,
and reflect it to the ends of the earth.
Never giving birth to work
by its own power,
only transmitting a greater light
whose flame has burned
indefatigable to the chagrin of the night.

Again.

     A rustling.
     An awakening
     of an ancient force
     that remembers,
     that yearns
     with an unquenchable thirst
     for transcendence
     for totality
     for unity
     for eternity.

I count
hundreds
thousands
millions
of crystals dangling like diamonds,
gleaming beneath the sun.
Dazzling like the thread
of the spider's web she's spun
catching the nightmares of the world
like colossal dream catchers,
waking up those who've fallen asleep,
and giving sight to a world walking in darkness.

Justin Farley





An Outstretched Hand Poem About God’s Grace

An Outstretched Hand

Grace waits patiently for everyone
like Charon beside the River Styx.
But Grace requires no coinage
for sin's payment has been nixed.
The sound of a boulder's rumble,
louder to the soul than deafening thunder,
is the receipt for the cost of transgression, paid in full.
It leaves even angels still in wonder
at the depth of love that bears such a brutal toll.
Grace holds her breath with an outstretched hand, 
the pinnacle choice of life for every man.
Grace's hand is still open to you.
Will you take it?

Justin Farley

Deus Homo Poem For Good Friday Lent and Easter

Deus Homo

Who is this man
who hangs like fruit from a tree
baking beneath the sun
shrunken, shriveled like a prune,
writhing in misery?

Who is this man
whose flesh is being used like lumber –
cold, iron nails piercing hands and feet,
under the weight of the world,
under the weight of a pounding hammer?

Who is this man
who forgives while being crushed by their sin,
who turns the other cheek
while being jeered and spat at
time and time again?

Who is this man
who cries out, “My God, my God,
why have you forsaken me”,
who breathes his last breath
and swings motionless from a tree?

Who is this man
whose death shakes the earth at her core,
who brings the roars of thunder,
and tore the veil of the Temple,
open for all forevermore?

And who is this man
who Death couldn’t hold,
older than the dawn of time,
grander than the universe itself,
who creates anew, who constantly unfolds?

He is Jesus of Nazareth.
He is the Christ.
He is the Word made flesh.
He is the Light that conquers the darkness.
He is the inspirational force of creation.
He is the sound blaring in the silence.
He is Deus Homo.

Justin Farley

Hello, everyone! I have recently published my first chapbook of Christian poems titled “A Voice in the Wilderness – A Chapbook of Poems about God”. This has been developed and polished over the past six months or so. I am happy with the final product and hope you find encouragement in the poems but also a validation that the spiritual life is not all sunshine and rainbows. We all struggle. We all have periods of questions and/or doubt. But it is the yearning that keeps us coming back for more and allows us to experience joy.
You can purchase either on Amazon or on my own bookstore (it is cheaper and has free shipping on my store) and is available on the Kindle and in paperback.
Amazon: Kindle Paperback
Inkspiration Books (my bookstore): Paperback

Thank you for your support!

Conversion Poem About the Love and Grace of God

Conversion
A Poem About the Love and Grace of God

I began divided.
Quite selfish with a heart hungry for evil
yet filled with a deep longing brewing
below the surface that never seemed fulfilled
by anything other than you.
So what was I to do - 
in love with myself and my selfish desires
but realizing more each day my need for you?

I opened my ears to your voice
but kept my heart safely distant.
You told me to follow you.
And I obeyed...
at a snail's pace,
slowly inching my way towards your grace.

The closer I came the louder my name
reverberated from your lips.
Though the louder too were my selfish longings.
Lust ran high in the dry, dusty desert of restraint
and tried to pull me back
into the slavery of gratification.
 
I gave in time and time again
but refused to allow my sin
to convince me to hide in shame from you.
For at the core of my being,
I knew you held something true - 
an answer to a question about the essence of life itself
that couldn't be answered along any other path but yours.

So I continued hauling my heavy shell behind me
and sluggishly crawled onward,
but the way forward didn't get any easier.
I only found myself more divided,
fragmented into forces fighting within myself.

My head became a bed for commotion,
tossing me to and fro like the waves of the ocean.
The inner struggle only made me more aware
of the seriousness of my situation:
I had a head full of God
and a heart unwavering it its insistence
upon serving itself.

It was daunting,
haunting me in its clutches
and causing me to lose sleep
like a nightmare stuck on repeat,
waking me up in the night
to the harsh realities of life.

How was I to serve two masters
and attend to both of their matters?
My ego wasn't lulled to sleep
nor cowered to the call for its destruction.
But raged and rattled the cage
your spirit had created for it.

I trusted that your grace
was vaster than all the stars
shinning forth forgiveness in the dark
to the farthest corners of the universe;
surely my sin was no match for your goodness.

I resolved to stop worrying
so much about "do nots"
that I never seemed capable of obeying
and to focus on following through on the "dos"
I was perfectly capable of undertaking.

And there your spirit freed
a seemingly unsavable prisoner
from the bondage of self
and turned me towards the Divine.
For you kept me so busy doing your will
that I forgot about mine.

Justin Farley

Wrestling With Sin A Poem About Sexual Desire Temptation

Wrestling With Sin
A Poem About Sexual Desire Temptation

I'm wrestling with sin
doing my damnedest not to give in.
But I feel my back pinned to the mat
knowing that temptation is going to win.

My life feels like a chokehold,
strangled beneath a force so strong and bold
that I've grown tired of attempts
to prevent what naturally seems to unfold.

In moments of weakness I'm another man - 
thirsting, yearning to fulfill my body's demands.
Oh, how does Mr. Hyde find a way to live
under Dr. Jekyll's straight and narrow commands?

How do I break free?
I know you haven't given up on me,
but how do I not give up on myself,
so prone to pulls from sin's gravity?

Do you understand my dilemma, Lord?
Burning with passion, yet unable to unsheathe my sword.
My heart longs to do your will but sometimes the cost
feels like more than I can afford.

Justin Farley

Hello, everyone! I have recently published my first chapbook of Christian poems titled “A Voice in the Wilderness – A Chapbook of Poems about God”. This has been developed and polished over the past six months or so. I am happy with the final product and hope you find encouragement in the poems but also a validation that the spiritual life is not all sunshine and rainbows. We all struggle. We all have periods of questions and/or doubt. But it is the yearning that keeps us coming back for more and allows us to experience joy.
You can purchase either on Amazon or on my own bookstore (it is cheaper and has free shipping on my store) and is available on the Kindle and in paperback.
Amazon: Kindle Paperback
Inkspiration Books (my bookstore): Paperback

Thank you for your support!

Satan’s Speech Christian Religious Narrative Poem

Satan's Speech
A Narrative Poem with Religious Themes

Satan stepped up to the podium,
cleared his throat, and tapped the microphone
to address his legions of demons gathered
with each new, human generation
to discuss matters of military penetration.
"It is no longer necessary
to corrupt good for evil," he said.
"It's quite satisfactory to distract
the mind and heart from mission to resignation,
carried away by the slews of sedition,
soul-numbed in leisurely pursuits.
Preferable, in fact.
For who questions convenience?
Which one of your clients challenges comfort
or inspects the tools built by good intention?"

"If there's one thing we know,
dear friends, is how given the choice,
the allure of sin is stronger
than righteousness in even the nicest fellow.
But sin disguised as harmless, helpful, fun,
beguiled by necessity for modern life...
well, that's the Trojan Horse 
that turns the tides of war - 
the break we've waited eons for."

A light echo of laughter
broke out across the room.
Abaddon leaned in close to the mic,
"If you don't understand the chuckle of your neighbor,
you're far too young to understand our plight
across the ages and the countless battles
we've fought for control of the human heart.
For even the wisest sages
are penetrable in a world of distraction.
We no longer need to trade truth for lies.
Just simply plant alibis 
to embrace the easy and immediate
in favor of the important and inconvenient
until it becomes buried
beneath a pile of endless
beeps, dings, and buzzes,
and they'll forget Truth was ever there to begin with."

He grabbed the mic from the stand
and began pacing across the stage,
his powerful, intoxicating shadows
dancing across the walls,
magnified by the candlelight.
Lucifer continued,
"Could it get any easier, my friends?
Remember the centuries when
we'd have to convince them
to pluck the fruit
fully aware of their sin
and our whispers slithering out of the bush?"

"We now simply need to convince them
that the world has grown far too large
for them to make a difference,
that their lives are too busy for prayer,
and that reading is antiquated...
far easier to keep that vile book
we all abhor out of their hands
than convince them it belongs in the trash."

"Don't you know 'faith without works is dead'?"
Belial said with a smirk.
"And modern technology
keeps their restless hearts so busy,
they don't even realize they're dying inside."
A deep, wicked, bellowed laugh
amplified from the stage
and an applause rang throughout the crowd.

Justin Farley

Fasting in the Desert A Godly Poem About Contemplation and Selfishness

Fasting in the Desert

Strip yourself naked,
unclothed of selfish desire.
For it requires fuel to burn
just as a raging fire.

If all thoughts
revolve around me and mine,
how am I to hear the voice of God,
how am I to feel the presence of the Divine?

It's by starving addictions
that we discover the depth of their roots.
Sometimes we must endure pain and misery
to prepare our hearts for grander pursuits. 

Contentment begins 
when we step into Silence's abode.
Here we find all we need
and her blessings are bestowed.

For comfort comes
not from out there but from within
and fasting in the desert
is where the search for God begins.

Justin Farley

Planting – A Poem About Using Your Talents and Gifts For God

Planting

These seeds I sow, 
I know not whether they'll grow
or remain dormant
without ever seeing the light of day.

Whether they'll wither and die
or if they'll take root and thrive
matters little; I am a planter - 
I leave the harvesting to You.

I keep my heart open to the wind
on whose instructions I depend
to know which grounds You ordain 
for the work of my hands.

These seeds I sow - 
I know not whether they'll grow.
But the crop is Yours to use
whether large or small. 

Justin Farley

How To Pray to God For Help and Healing

Recently, I’ve seen major spiritual growth and recovery in multiple “problem areas” of my life that I’ve tried time and time again to change for years. I haven’t tried harder – in fact I’ve probably never tried less. I have simply changed the way I pray for aid and guidance.

My prayers would often begin, “Lord, help me”, “Grant me the strength to”, or “God may I start”. I would pray often and fervently. And yet, I would fail over and over again. My motivation was able to push me through a few failures, but eventually, it left me in one of two camps: either I was filled with shame, regret, and was convinced I was a terrible person, or I would direct my frustration at God for setting up a world in which the wrong choices are so easy and the right ones are so hard (and on top of that He didn’t seem to be hearing my prayers).

It became hard to continue and was pushing me farther away from God, unsure of Him and myself. My prayer life ceased to exist. What good is prayer if all it leaves you feeling is a. shameful, b. mad at God, or c. doubting His existence at all? And so I sat at the crossroads, unable to move towards atheism but beginning to grow weary following God and tired of trying.

It wasn’t until I took a good look at my requests for aid that things began to change. Who was the main doer is all of my prayers? Me. I. Myself. My conversations with God came from the assumption that I’m doing the work and getting close to success, but I just need a little extra push to get myself up the hill. That’s not a savior. That’s just a friend you’d ask, “Hey buddy, you mind giving me a hand over here real quick?”

My breakthrough happened when I realized I am not truly in control of my transformation. The only part of the transformation I have any control over is my submission to God’s will. It was really in looking at Step 2 of Alcoholics Anonymous that inspired me. It states, “[We] Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” And that’s what we are – insane in our sin. God can restore us to sanity but not by our own doing. It is God that does the doing within us.

Humility is the cornerstone of the Christian life and of the Cross itself. It is only in admitting that we don’t know the way that we find it. God doesn’t desire to be just someone who gives you a little push when you need it but a savior who rescues you from the pit of despair. Not because He needs to be the hero but because He wants to strip us of the delusion that we were making any progress up that hill to begin with. It is only by fully submitting to God that we become our true selves that He created us to be, wonderfully made in His image.

My prayers are now empty, void of my own desires. I attempt to only consent to the Spirit dwelling within me. Though empty, they are fuller than ever because I have come to believe that it is God alone who can restore me. I am not in control. It is not God who gets in the way of my healing, but I who gets in His way. My prayers are still far from perfect, but God is restoring me to sanity.

Work less and trust more. Fully submit to God and allow Him to push you all the way up the hill, resting in His love. It is amazing to see that the more helpless we realize we are, the more help we receive. I think as Christians we often equate “carrying your cross” with grunting through labor and bearing the burden. But the Cross had nothing to do with what Christ did but what he allowed to be done. He could have saved himself. Instead, he humbled himself and fully submitted to the will of the Father. Let us all submit to the Father’s will and let His will be done rather than our own.

Hello, everyone! I have recently published my first chapbook of Christian poems titled “A Voice in the Wilderness – A Chapbook of Poems about God”. This has been developed and polished over the past six months or so. I am happy with the final product and hope you find encouragement in the poems but also a validation that the spiritual life is not all sunshine and rainbows. We all struggle. We all have periods of questions and/or doubt. But it is the yearning that keeps us coming back for more and allows us to experience joy.
You can purchase either on Amazon or on my own bookstore (it is cheaper and has free shipping on my store) and is available on the Kindle and in paperback.
Amazon: Kindle Paperback
Inkspiration Books (my bookstore): Paperback

Thank you for your support!