Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I Want To (with audio)


For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
(Philippians 2:13)

Most believers, and especially those that have been a Christian for more than a couple of years, will certainly identify with the ongoing struggle for sanctification. It just doesn’t happen overnight, and all the secrets, keys, steps, and principles, all the seminars, conferences, churches, books, and preaching we have heard never seems to quite get us over the hump. Or perhaps it seems to for a while, but then we fall back down, get frustrated, and we wonder what to do next until the new thing comes along, and we go right back on the boom and bust bicycle.

We can articulate it like this. We start out with what we might call “riotism”, where the operative phrase describing our pursuit of sanctification would be “don't go, forget God”. However, when we find that our distaste for life and our desire for God increases, we want our “want to” to increase more. Not knowing what to do next, we start by trying harder. We then move on to pietism, where we strive to serve King Jesus with all the discipline we can muster, with the operative phrase being “go and get God”. Eventually, all our meager efforts at self-sanctification are just that, meager, and we meet someone who introduces us to the concept of “absolute surrender”, or a promise of a deeper life, or some sort of thing. This is when we have entered the realm of quietism, its operative phrase being “let go and let God”.

Finally, hopefully, we mature to the truth about sanctification, with its operative phrase being “don't let go of God”. We see Him as more beautiful than anything else, and we foster and feed this into our minds, and it sinks down into our hearts, it comes out of our mouths, and it is what we increasingly want to be all about. It is less and less a fight to get there, and only a fight to keep other things at bay, until we see them as less also, and when they arrive on the scene they are more easily dismissed. We progress and develop into maturity, using flawed means until we get the picture and enter in to the resting of the Gospel.

We start out, when we are serious, with a patterned discipline and measured devotion, which most often leads to a boom and bust spirituality, we try next to "absolutely surrender", which seems closer, but is still not there yet. When we get the real picture of our sorry state, and have glimpses of what TRUE fellowship is like (not Schleirmacher's "feeling of absolute dependence" but a cleansing of our will in conformity to God's), then we "want it".

When we finally realize that fellowship with God is incomparable with anything else, it has a pronounced effect. Not so much that people don't see us sin, we probably already had that licked, the outside that is, but that now, to our own hearts, we know that we just don't "want" that stuff anymore, at all, its rubbish. Our “want to” has changed.

Its like, for a crude example, having a toy that is deteriorating, a car, lets say, and then getting a car that is new, and runs on batteries, and makes noises, etc. We have no DESIRE to have the old car anymore. Of course that is a weak example, in that Christ is not just a "better car", He is in a totally different category than anything else, as we said, incomparable. Oh, that we might find this in our daily walk, EVERY DAY! To God be the glory, as we become light bearers, and more than just a dimmer switch.

If you act in accordance with God’s “want to”, and you “don’t let go of God” (cf. Philippians 2:12), then you will find that He will increase your “want to” because as our text above says, not only does God cause us to do His good pleasure, He gives us the will to do it. Do you want to?

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

1 comment:

Even So... said...

This is taken from a previous post from 4-6-07, but now includes the audio, which has additional material in it...we will be doing this with many of our older posts, so that they can have the audio attached to them...hope these are edifying and enjoyable for you...God bless...

...and don't be afraid to leave a comment if you haven't listened to the audio...the posts can stand on their own, too...