“The more we let God take us over, the more truly ourselves we become - because He made us. He invented us. He invented all the different people that you and I were intended to be. . .It is when I turn to Christ, when I give up myself to His personality, that I first begin to have a real personality of my own.”
― C.S. Lewis
I have a feeling this post is going to start rambling by itself and [hopefully] come to a point, whatever that is, by the end of whatever it decides to write. Because once my fingers touch the keyboard, just about anything can happen. They begin frantically picking out the words in my head, spreading them out in every which way and order. . .and then somehow winding up to something.
It is so, so easy as Christians to fall into a pattern of daily, mediocre living. We speak Christ, we feel Christ, we live Christ. But do we truly know Him? These last few years have been a whirlwind of meeting my Savior in ways I didn't think possible. He never leaves. Such an easy thing to say, when others are hurting, when things are going good in our lives. It's when we are alone, when things are dark, when the battle is lost, when our souls are burning with pain and agony, that we make a choice. Like Job, we can either curse our Maker or give what little we have--the broken, dirty pieces--back to Him. It's a struggle of two wills, one human, one Infinitely, Perfectly Divine. In the end, only one will win. Always God's, but it's really up to us if we recognize that or not. We can become bitter, walk away. . .but the child who stops to hear the small, whispering voice has learned the lesson, will win the victory. Even if it takes the measliest baby steps.
This is the personality of God. It's hard to explain exactly how that feels, actually knowing God. It is the fullest, richest honor of being a Christian. Letting go of our human insecurities, doubt, failures, and struggles, and literally placing them at the foot of the cross. No, think about it. How often do we pray, "Lord, I surrender all to you" and mean it? Surrender is so much more then words of dedication, it's actually recognizing that we are nothing, that we have nothing, that we deserve nothing. Perhaps it's harder for someone born in a Christian setting to grasp. As a child I listened to my parents testimonies in fear, wondering if I was really saved because I didn't "have an experience." God took care of that one. He planted obstacles here and there, sometimes wherever I turned, no matter how far I ran. . .that have drawn me into the perfect knowledge, the absolute assurance, that there is a God, and it is very, very possible to have a radical, one-on-one relationship with Him. It's deeper, so much deeper, then the modern "get by" style of Christianity. Going to church doesn't make you a Christian. Listening to all the "right" music doesn't make you a Christian. Sometimes merely Reading and praying doesn't make you a Christian.
"When I give up myself to His personality. . .I first begin to have a real personality of my own." The gospel is simple. Christian living is simple. Hate to say it, but God Himself is not so simple. He is compassionate, He is Just, He is powerful, He is jealous. This is the God who rides the wings of the wind, the God who conquers the most secret evils of the supernatural, the God who with one word could at this moment strike me dead! His Grace covers our sins, even possibly lets us get away with sin--but getting into that Grace, walking past the wall of beauty and light, entering His throne room, falling at His feet. . .brings an entirely different dimension to His person. Actual communion with Christ. Does it come with experience? Of course. Is it difficult to maintain? Yes. But it's not impossible.
My new goal is to become exactly like the great "heroes of the faith" so often quoted, so looked up to, so revered. Why shouldn't my Christianity be like theirs? I may never do great things, I may never make a lasting impact, but I can have the faith that moves mountains. So can you. Start first by throwing off the things that distract you from God. Not saying you have to live in a box or seclude yourself from society. Admit it though. It's hard, getting up each morning and focusing on just picking up that Bible. It's boring, a chore, and besides, this-bed-is-so-comfortable. Oh, wait, gotta check Facebook.
Lets all stop and groan.
Listen, living a radical life is work. That's the beauty of walking with Christ. It's a journey. A long, difficult, uphill journey cumbered by battles, valley's lurking with evil creatures (in human form, no doubt,) bitterness, pain, sorrow. . .the list goes on. Movies, video games, books, even "innocent" things like friends and family, are temporal pleasures. They make take away the care for a time. But you know all that. Christian, find a quiet spot--it could be anywhere--and just pray. Sit awhile first, if that helps, let the Spirit soak you with His goodness, let Him put the words in your mouth. And don't stop. Wrestle with those demons, gird yourself for the battle of the day. Pretty soon prayer will become exciting. It will become so much more than just "spiritual chitter chatter", as Eric Ludy put it in the book, Wrestling Prayer. The closer we draw to Christ, the more we see of Him, the more we understand all the multiple branches of His personality.
"The more we let God take us over, the more truly ourselves we become."