[My heart was touched and I fervently sang to him my desire] Take for us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards [of our love], for our vineyards are in blossom.
Song of Solomon 2:15
Recently I have had the privilege of having God rearrange my life — from the inside-out. No, this has not been so much about how my difficult circumstances have been swept up in a nice big, central pile and carted away. And no, it has not been about opening my front door to a world full of blessings begging me entrance into my home and habitat. No, it has been about so much more than that.
The changes that I’ve watched God make have gone so much deeper, making me feel so much fresher, so much more alive than anything done on the outside could achieve. The changes have been in me. The changes have been the work of God correcting and chastening me (and until now, I don’t think I knew what that second c-verb really was).
He has been showing me the best way of handling things as opposed to simply settling for a good way. He has been challenging me to live for Him in everything I do, not just in the big things. Loving Him is living for Him in His way to the best of my ability at all times, not just what comes easily or when I feel like it.
But, unlike I used to think, this is not meant to burden or condemn us for how we live. Far from it! It is meant to lift us up to the highest life we could possibly know — and this is in being full of God and focused on Him.
I am not there yet, but I want to be. So, naturally some things have to be adjusted and even ejected from my life. For me these things come in several distinct forms. One of them is the addicting little habits I revert to when I need something mindless to do. Another lies in my responses to situations that I don’t like or that are inconvenient for me. The last is where I let my mind go and how I handle mental temptations to flit from one contemplating one scenario after another and totally losing sight of God and how He is worthy to be consistently occupying my thoughts.
I like to hold onto things that convince me in so many tiny ways that I don’t need God. I excuse myself by saying that this is just who I am; to change would be to compromise who I am. But what is of greater worth and significance in all of life or identity than standing for Christ in what He stands for: death to self for the sake of loving obedience to God?
This is the only thing that is worth living for. This is the only thing that stands. With God I have the tender burden of letting go of everything to Him and setting up shop where He is. In choosing to live for anything else, I am willingly taking on heavy, unnecessary burdens that I have to hold up myself.
Why wouldn’t I put these burdens down, when the only way they are held up is that I shoulder the weight. It only brings me down. And why would I want that when I could be lifted up by strength that isn’t my own?