That’s just Natural–and that isn’t all you want is it?!

For those of us who are tired of hearing words be turned inside-out and misused for the sake of finding a hip new expression, I have proposal that may be of interest to you. Since there seems to be tangible need for new terms that will tickle the public psyche, I think it may only be fitting that we give them something to work with.

I have a single example that I hope might fuel a modification of our present trend. I saw something that would fall under the category of “disgusting” or, at least, not proper for public display. The thought popped into my head, “Oh, how natural!” I realized that was the perfect description of what I was seeing. This was something natural, though entirely un-perfect and unlovely.

Yet, what a truthful reality. The things in our world that are perfectly natural are far from the perfection that we were really made for: what we find in God’s presence. So, more than longing for what is natural–the way the world teaches us–we ought to be desiring what is so much greater than that which belongs to our corrupted nature. We must receive from Christ the inclination for the supernatural. Nothing less than the essence of our Maker will delight our heart with glory.

So, next time you have a chance to encourage a friend toward what God would have for them, gently point out the “naturalness” of what they’re occupied with and nudge them toward what is so much more. We all have so much before us in Christ beyond everything around us that is just so natural!

 

That’s all I want

I’m not going to do it. I’m not going to pretend that I have to do it all, to be everything that could be desired all by myself. I’m not going to block God out of my heart like that. I’m not going to be too busy working on me that I forget to invite Him in, to let Him work on me Himself.

After all, that’s what I really want. That’s what satisfies my heart, knowing and hoping that He would be here and the affect of His presence would have a tremendous influence upon me. That’s all I want.

Surrender to Live?

I can say I want God’s way in my life and try to leave it at that, but I will soon find that I am dissatisfied, feeling the incompleteness that comes with living life apart from our One central point — the One who holds together all of what we know and see and yet wonder about.

Or, I can realize that there can be no other way with me; it must be His way, or I have chosen to live with less than all I could have in this life. I think that I can have it all if I just live for myself, but this only seems like it is a legitimate hope because I am securely at the head. I think that I will lose out if I step aside so God can take that place that I so fiercely covet.

Yet, will I truly lose out? Can living for more than I can hold onto and keep in-check really prove to be a misuse of my passion and potential? Is it worth it to gain if I have not lost? If I am not willing to lose something I value for the sake of something more valuable — can I really expect to be able to hold onto anything at all?

If I’m already surrendering, I don’t have to fear any loss or disappointment or chaos, because I am not ultimately trusting my circumstances to deliver what I need, but my God. He alone knows what I truly need; He knows what is necessary in mistakes and trials to release me from the power of secret sins, teaching me to realize that life is in Him and not in me or what I see.

If I will live in surrender, I will live in hope. And, if my hope (Christ) is able to hold me, than I cannot fear any significant loss. I cannot rationalize unbelief because I am setting myself up to succeed according to my own resources. Considering all these petty “resources” I have now will ALL ultimately fail me, I must ask myself, “What grounds do I have for trying to convince God that I am right in my ongoing resistance to offer myself wholly to Him?”

I don’t. I would be a fool to believe my own ideas about what is best for me apart from what God has said since the beginning of time — long before I was born, or had any ideas about what I would like to have in this life. God knew what I needed, and was eager to reveal it to me. I have been the stubborn one.

I have been the one who is constantly insisting that I know what is up and what will do great things for me; and all my life I have been convinced that that is not God or anything that comes with Him. One, I cannot control Him. Two, I do not know what to expect with Him. Three, I would rather just be able to do everything on my own.

But, do I think He will not ever-so-patiently whittle down all that opposition in me? Do I think that I have to lead this? Do I think that He will not accept exactly what little I have to offer now, and with that make a way for me to give Him all the rest?

Yes, I often do think all these things, but even this He can deal with. He knows what He’s doing — including where sin begins and the only One who can bring it to an end — because He holds the keys to all the freedom that His perfect righteousness has to offer. I will trust Him.