Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Less is More

There is a false doctrine commonly taught in Christian circles that we are to live our lives in ease, with financial wealth, successful careers, etc. This doctine takes many forms- prosperity, name it claim it; it even comes in subtler forms such as Your Best Life Now and the Purpose Driven Life. The subtle message that has worked its way into our daily lives is that our lives are ALL about us. That somehow, as Christians, we should be waving wands and making our troubles disappear.

But this is an anti-biblical notion. Let me show you why:

The posture of the heart- humility

In John 3:30, John the baptist declares "He must increase, but I must decrease" , referring to Jesus, the one whose sandals he is not worthy to untie. Here, John reconizes that Christ is Someone greater than himself. This attitude of worship leads him to have a proper posture of his heart- humility and brokeness. I am unworthy of Him.
Isaiah 6:5 "Woe is me for I am undone, because I am a man of unclean lips and I dwell in the midst of a people with unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King the Lord of Hosts." Similarly, when Isaiah sees the Lord seated on the Throne, his attitude is not pompous or arrogant. He does not ask what he might recieve from the Lord, no he instead is instantly aware of his sinfulness. This is what a true experience with the Lord produces- we can not help but realize how unworthy we are, and this changes our attitude towards Him. We need Him, He does not need us. The Lord is so great and mighty, and worthy to be praised.

The truth of human nature-

This may come as a shock, but we are not essentially good. The tendency in our hearts is toward evil "The heart is decietful above all things and desperately wicked, who can know it?" Jeremiah 17:9. This is that apart from Him we are lost in our ways, completely blind to who He is. If you turn on the news, read the paper, watch a movie, the reality of our culture is obvious. It's not just that people are killed and children are abducted, but that we revel in this. I'm guilty of it as much as the next person- you turn on the tv and WANT to watch these things. Secretly, there is a desire to see the car wreck, to hear about a terrible incident, etc. This desire is evil, and even though we may not do these things, we take pleasure in those who do them. We need to be saved- from ourselves.

New creature in Christ-

"And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to obey My statutes." Ezekial 36: 27
Following the realization of who we really are (not who we want to be, or "our best life" or our goals) but who we are without Him, we draw comfort from who He is- eternally. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. We change, because we are sinful, He does not change because He is perfect. He is not angry at us in sin- the wrath and anger of God is directed at the sin that destroys us. He is angry FOR us. "Behold I make all things new." Rev 21:5 He wants that we leave the destructive life and darkness, and follow Him, the only help from our sin. When we realize there is a lot less about ourselves that is worthy, we realize there is a lot more of Him that we need.

If we focus on ourselves- our best life, our pupose, etc.- we will be the most miserable. We are because He is, and it is all for Him. It's my prayer that I continue to walk in light of the realization that when I am weak, He is strong.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That he is angry FOR us is powerful to me.