Friday, October 11, 2013
A person who is full refuses honey, but even bitter food tastes sweet to the hungry.
I’m bewildered at how wanton my heart is, at how bent it is on seeking the garbage of this world for distraction and fun. This simple proverb provided enlightenment: I am unsatisfied. The answer isn’t as simple as pulling back the reigns, denying our heart from its propensity to be satisfied. Trying to die to our flesh without understanding the Life He has to offer is asking for trouble, like trying to stop up a river from its normal path without providing an alternate route: Something’s gonna give. Too many closet sins and double lives are the result of Christians trying to die without expecting to live. No, our heart’s desire for satisfaction is not evil. It’s God-given. It’s a shame to see people turn away from God because they’ve believed the lie that Christianity is about turning into a robotic machine, lifelessly obeying God: No desires, no satisfaction, no hope. To be sure, the cost of discipleship is insurmountable, but let their rejection of it at least be in the light of the truth that God’s promise is satisfaction at the highest level. More importantly, let those in pursuit of discipleship not settle for the rollercoaster-struggle life thinking it’s the best God can muster up for His children, the norm. Average it may be, but normal it is certainly not. Jesus’ call is a walk in life by His Spirit, and He knew that the lifestyle of worldly distraction we’ve been accustomed to would be the primary hurdle to this walk. As such, our tendency is to view His teachings in light of our current lifestyles: The imposition of a set of “don’ts”. That is natural. What is supernatural, is eyes to see that these restraints are part of a means – an aside, a mere periphery – to attain His promised Life. If we stop at the means, we’ll miss what it was meant to lead us to. If all we know is that we can’t do what we once enjoyed, we’ll end up believing the twisted notion that God’s satisfaction is derived from our dissatisfaction. Being convinced that a half-truth is the whole is worse than not understanding it at all. In our ignorance, we end up liars and effective deterrents to the truth, preaching and advocating the same twisted “gospel” that’s bewitched us. Too many have settled for only part of the Gospel message, and at that, the part we were never meant to dwell on. Sadly, it’s been the basis of many a polluted mindset throughout the ages: The religious historic timeline is littered with ascetic religious types forgoing the pleasures of this world without receiving the reciprocating satisfaction that the Jesus promised. To be sure, death of this flesh is assured as one of the essential steps in the Gospel. But so are rivers of living water flowing from our hearts! To harp on the former while missing the latter is like joining the countdown but missing the event, lighting the firecracker but not sticking around for the fireworks, putting a ring on her finger but skipping the honeymoon. The work and anticipation is no fun on its own, but it’s brilliantly exciting as a prelude to the long anticipated prize.