This is the first article in The Gathering 2017 Summer Devotional Series. The entire series can be viewed here.
C.S. Lewis wrote:
“Relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing had yet been done.”
As if nothing had yet been done.
As if we didn’t feel like we’ve failed at this whole thing.
As if we hadn’t ripped a soul apart with what we said.
As if we weren’t carrying the pain that has made us heavy and tired.
Oh, how desperate we are for HIM. To love and enjoy and rely on HIM, lest being HIS becomes our duty. To correct and cure us and bring us to HIM anyway…as if nothing had yet been done.
Maybe I’m not alone in this. Maybe I’m not the only one who is always asking for a new way to get it more deeply right and less painfully wrong. Maybe I’m not the only one who wants to love more, to be more patient, to be more kind, to never lose it, to always have it together, to keep calm and sane. I want more flashes of wisdom in the heat of the moment when I have no bloody idea what the best thing to do is. I want fewer nights crawling into bed feeling like a tired failure who always gets it wrong.
But instead, I’ve been the person who escapes behind bathroom doors and turns on the water so no one can hear. Who breaks things because I’m the one who is always broken and spilled out.
I think we’re living on the very outskirts, the far side of the kingdom. Where we pin the best verses and quotes, and post verses with the flowers around them. We go to our churches and say the church things. We tattoo our skin with crosses and words, and let the ink run together with our blood…but what really is our lifeblood?
Are we really living off of every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4)? Is he really all I need? All I want? If in his presence, really, is the fullest amount of joy, why don’t we linger there longer? Because for the Christian, there should be no difference between our physical life and our spiritual life. They are the same to God. Our nature has been joined with God’s and we are no longer how we feel.
God meant that we are to have the same victory Christ has—that we were to have the same high privilege Christ has at God’s right hand.
“The same glory you gave me, I gave them, so they’ll be as unified and together as we are—I in them and you in me. Then they’ll be mature in this oneness, and give the godless world evidence that you’ve sent me and loved them in the same way you’ve loved me.” (John 17:23, The Message)
It is no small thing that we occupy the same place as Christ does in the heart of God, and yet we are accustomed to such a little viewpoint. We look at this world and at God and the kingdom of heaven from this narrow space and we can forget that if we would only rise up our faith, that we are at the right hand of God, sitting at the throne, and it belongs to us and we belong to him. And that whatever he is, we can be in Christ.
We are who he is.
You aren’t your depression.
You aren’t your health.
You aren’t your weight.
You aren’t how much you’ve read.
You aren’t your job.
You are who he is.
“…begin all over again every day as if nothing had yet been done.”
This could change our entire lives if we would just raise up our eyes.
If we would begin to have the courage to “walk worthy of this life we’ve been called to.” (Ephesians 4:1)
When your eyes are raised up, you can see so much more—that maybe this suffering isn’t a curse, but a calling. That maybe whatever we go through in this life isn’t about how we feel about it, but about what God is actually doing in it. Because you were called to it and it was worth a great price.
Walk worthy, dear ones. Linger and live in him. Raise up your eyes. Get into God’s word…and let it get into you. Every line is like an axle, turning the heart and moving it forward. It was by his words that the Heaven’s were made…and they will remake you.
You are who he is.