Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Essentials


Over the last few weeks I have been rethinking what I wrote in the page 'Inessentials' and in this context, I have been seeing that in His discipleship of His followers, the Lord is uncompromising in His challenge to us.
Is there anything in my life which I would be unprepared to give up for Him if he asked me to? Is there anything which holds a sacrosanct place for me? In other words, are there any areas in my life which are off-limits for the Lord? Do I keep secret ‘high places’ to myself, like the Israelites in the Bible, where I worship idols?
In my case, I have been asking whether or not this whole area of literature isn’t one where I have nurtured pride in some subtle form or another. 

I wrote above that …’I don't usually want to read 'worldly' literature anyway. My soul doesn't need it.’

 Why did I write that? Looking at it again, I would agree with it, but I would add that if I am close to the Lord, I don't usually want to read 'worldly' literature anyway. My soul doesn't need it.

 This obviously means that if I am not walking closely with the Lord, then there is a void in my heart which I want to fill with other things, and in my case, that has often been literature.

 I know very well that if I am walking closely with the Lord, then I’m not even interested in reading Christian books in a desultory sort of way, as a sort of stop-gap measure. These are in any case often written with a view to making money. Do I want to promote this?

I don’t want anything else other than to hear Jesus’ voice and to experience His Presence all the time.  He fills all my being with His Life and fullness. What more could I want when He is near? It’s an insult to His Majesty to even contemplate allowing myself, His Temple, to be filled with anything but worship and love of Him.

What do I love?

What is it which motivates His uncompromising call to discipleship? Law? Or Love?

Is He like so many legalistic Christians, who forbid any activity or pastime because they think it’s wrong? What is their motivation? Their lives often display a sad lack of joy and attraction. Most people run a mile when confronted by such people and are anything but drawn to the Jesus they purport to follow.

May I suggest that if we were perfected in LOVE, then there would be no need for LAW, by which I mean legalism.

May I suggest that rather than love motivating them, such people are motivated by fear, or pride in their own righteousness or holiness?

They are so worried that they will put a foot wrong, because they have their eyes on SELF instead of on the Lord, that they forbid certain activities to prevent them from sinning. Colossians 2:20-23  says ‘If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world,  why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, ‘Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!’  (which all refer to things destined to perish with the using) – in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence…’

Nothing prevents us from sin and acting out of the Self but reckoning ourselves dead and crucified with Christ, so that He can have full authority in us.

So I spoke to the Lord about it. ‘If I died, then all these books and literature in general, no matter what kind, would be of no interest to me. If I were dead, then nothing this world contains would hold the slightest interest for me. So why do I hold on to them? James says that friendship with the world is adultery in the eyes of God.
 
Am I dead? Yes, of course! Crucified and dead and buried with and in Christ! All that matters now is His Life in me. His Life, and nothing from the Tree of Knowledge which only puffs up the mind, only temporarily satisfies the soul and doesn’t fill me with love of anything but self, which produces death.

Paul then goes on, (Colossians 3:1-3) ’If then, you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things which are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. SET YOUR MIND ON THE THINGS ABOVE, not on the things which are on earth. For you have died…and your life is hidden with Christ in God.’

So I have put all the love and interest in literature, including ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and other fantasy literature, on the altar.

Paul says in Philippians 3:7-8, ‘But whatsoever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of (one might say, ‘compared to’) the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered loss of all things, and count them but rubbish (actually the word is shit) in order that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own which is derived from the LAW, but that which is through faith in Christ…’

How can I compare anything in this world with Jesus? Nothing can compare with Him, or knowing Him? My highest joy is in being in His Presence, worshiping Him, in loving Him with all my heart and all my soul, all my mind and all my strength. How can I allow any other thing to take His place in my affection? Do I want to build up my mind, or my spirit?
 
What do I love?

 

 

 

1 comment:

Friar Tuck said...

What a wonderful post! Yes, what does matter indeed, what remains if He becomes EVERYTHING we need... when He's the source of ALL we are... and ALL we are is loving Him with all-consuming love?
The only thing remaining is: ashes!

Thank you for taking us from the "Inessentials" to the "Essentials"! We all need to make this journey for ourselves!

Will link to this post on my Fb page.