Friday, July 9, 2010

The ‘Found’ and the Times Lost

“[Humanity’s] whole life is a continual contradiction of what they know to be their duty. In every department of life they act in defiant opposition to the dictates of their conscience and their common sense.”

~Leo Tolstoy (adapted for gender inclusiveness).

Failure becomes us, and often. Despite our better judgment—even to the trilling moment—we find that though we maybe ‘found’ we’re intrepidly lost in the paling madness of momentary life in the world. A second is all it takes.

It contains all of us, beyond the perfections we otherwise strive for.

There is More

There bodes upon us the haling, creasing, nails-down-a-blackboard shriek—come home to awareness, and turn! There is something altogether better...

This better thing is a call to all—at all times—and it will always be.

God knows, and so do we—if we’ll enquire deep enough with God—how inherently flawed we are, not only to fail, but to not succeed toward the life of grace through which we’re called—all of us.

The Antithesis of Discipleship

In centuries past, and certainly in Jesus’ time, discipleship was a black ‘n’ white affair. People followed or they didn’t. There was no mid-way ground.

Bringing this into a postmodern time in this present age we find that people invent their own forms of discipleship, taking their ‘little bit’ of Jesus—exempting the ‘cumbersome’ whole—as if to customise God to their own requirements (a.k.a. personalities or desires).

This is the folly that leads to the state that Tolstoy has described at top. At a heavenly level it’s nonsensical. Like cause and effect we find we’ll run against God when we take selectively of the blessings of his provision.

This is not so much a hard word as much as it’s true. Again, it’s a personal word for each of us, for all-time.

Jesus – All or Nothing

Jesus presents himself—consistently through the gospels, and as he’s known through life—as a Saviour who must be followed without reservation. This is about knowing him so well, through the gently affirming, conforming and lovingly-chastening Spirit, that we have a clear knowledge of God’s will—and we do it, obeying via instinct i.e. without a great deal of indecisive thought.

The will of God can only be known through knowing God, investing in reading Scripture, through prayer, through love, grace and good works of truth. God reveals himself more and more to us via these, and more. The more we invest, the more we know God.

Jesus. All or nothing. Black ‘n’ white. No holds barred.

When we surrender our entire lives to him, only then will we begin to experience his fullness. If we’ve lived a reserved-faith, or even backslidden, whatever we’ve known to this point is little compared to the power we’re about to become ensconced with when we commit fully to him.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

Further Reading: Dallas Willard, The Spirit of the Disciplines – Understanding How God Changes Lives (New York, New York: HarperOne, 1988), pp. 262-63.

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