Sometimes, a whisper is all that is left in my gut at the end of the day.
There are matters, at times, that leave me feeling tired, weighty and weak; because I don’t know the way out of the web I’m stuck in or have woven. Even that basic detail I can’t seem to clarify or sort out.
But, I know God knows all the inner workings of my seemingly complex problems.
And this is good.
But somehow, my flesh still feels some need to sort it all out before my eyelids close.
And this is stupid.
Why is ‘dying’ so hard?
“The bedrock in Jesus Christ’s kingdom is poverty, not possession; not decisions for Jesus Christ, but a sense of absolute futility – I cannot begin to do it. Then Jesus says – Blessed are you. That is the entrance, and it does take us a long while to believe we are poor! The knowledge of our own poverty brings us to the moral frontier where Jesus Christ works.” – Oswald Chambers
Real life requires dying first. And the enemy and my own flesh want to avoid that dying at all costs.
Because my flesh still wants to be rich and have a claim – whether it’s personal pride or desiring the good opinions of others – I easily get side-tracked on a loop of mental pretzel twists when I hit a chance to die a little more.
But, Jesus told me that I am blessed when I am poor in spirit and when I feel hated by others and when I am weak.
There is mystery in this that I am still unpacking.
Deuteronomy 28 is amazing; it’s about as awesome as Deuteronomy 27 is terrifying. Check this out:
“If you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God… The Lord will open to you his good treasury, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands.”
In John chapter 3 we read that “[God] gives the Spirit without measure.”
And yet, how often am I satisfied with scraps from the table of pietistic religiosity and the anemic fruit of moral effort? How readily have I been satisfied with a good parking spot when all along God has desired to bless all the work of my hands?
And yet, what is required to receive this overflowing abundance is all of me: surrendered in obedience.
“…the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” (John 3:19-21)
It occurred to me that “wicked things” can also be religious work done in my own effort; strategic plans for good and upright attempts to live well in my own strength are still “the work of darkness” (the evil of pride and self-sufficiency).
Whatever I do that has not been “carried out in God” is not a work of the light.
This surrender to the Light is daily, always-kind-of-stuff, like breathing… when living life in the Spirit, it’s really non-negotiable. Dwelling and abiding in Christ (hearing and obeying God’s voice) opens the treasury of heaven above me: and I begin to hear the rumble of heavy rain in the distance.