Wednesday, May 21, 2014


I have a confession to make... I don't really want to be a Christian.

I mean that. Most days, if given a choice of my will, I would not willingly choose to follow Christ. My default mode, my flesh-centered, self-righteousness infested core would choose to remain in active rebellion against my Creator. But here is the kicker... even on those days, I am compelled to continue walking this path, seeking the glory of God in all things, because at war with the default mode is a spirit that is not simply my own. This spirit was placed into me, and the alteration to my hell-bent course of life was set because, even in my rebellious desires, Christ called me out of darkness.

This call did not come because I was actively seeking God. It did not come because I had suddenly stumbled across just the right prayer, at the right time, said with the right conviction of my spirit. It came when I wasn't really worried about much of the things of God. For a long time, I thought the journey began because I had hit a wall and decided to define for sure what I believed about the Bible, Jesus, and God. I believed that in that moment, I stepped into discovering my faith and that through His grace that Christ then called me to Himself and I began to walk down the path into newness of life, and that I had been changed and forgiven. And you know what? it is a nice little picture.

Problem is that it is not quite the right picture. Christ did not call my name and raise me from death because I decided anything. As I have been growing in the understanding of my salvation, I have come to realize that the only reason at all that I sat down that night and decided to define my beliefs was because Christ had already made a call on my life. This subtle, effectual call is what stirred in my soul for the weeks leading up to the moment that I hit the wall.Those months were among the darkest of my life, as I (unknowingly) threw myself into full rebellion mode. Its funny how our old nature recognizes and reacts to the sound of our Savior's voice. When the rebellion finally left me stained, broken, and exhausted... Jesus was still there, His calling me out of sin had not stopped. He (knowing me better than I do) pointed me to Romans. I began to devour the words of Paul in the name of defining what I believed.

As time has passed over the last 10 years of my life since then, Christ has continued to work on me, in me, and through me. This sanctifying work is hard, it hurts, but it is so worth it. But there are still those days when it seems so impossible that my old nature creeps back in, and attempts to call me back. Its the days when it calls the loudest that I find myself wanting to run away from Jesus. But then, the memory of all that Christ has brought me through, and the promises of Scripture that He who began this work in me will bring it to completion... its the knowledge that all whom the Father has given to Christ will be saved... and knowing that none that Christ has called to himself will perish. Its the assurance that that good work was started in my life, apart from my own will, and that despite of the whims of my will, that that good work will be completed in the same way it began, by the free and sovereign grace of God... His unmerited favor and unconditional love compel me to want to live a life worthy of the calling that I have received. Not for my own glory, but that through me God might be glorified and His son magnified, such that no one would doubt His presence in my life.

If you follow Christ, it is not because of anything you have done, or will ever do... it is because His glory shines in the regeneration of totally depraved sinners and the disrobing of the filthy rags of our own righteousness and the great exchange for the royal robes of the righteousness of Christ our Lord and Savior. You follow Christ because, just as He did with the first disciples, Jesus approached you and called out, "follow me". Your relationship with Jesus started on His terms, by His will, and for His glory... and it is sustained it the very same way.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

don't appease the Deep Magic

So, I'm sitting on my couch watching The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe...

In the scene of Aslan's death, we are to find ourselves drawn to the sacrifice of our own righteous king who laid down His life that we might live. Its a powerful, emotional, gut-wrenching scene. But tonight, as I was watching, I was struck by something different that I thought I'd put down in here...

As the White Witch stands over Aslan, after having him bound, shaved, and humiliated, she stands and declares, "Tonight, the Deep Magic will be appeased!" She states this to great cheers of triumph from her minions.

For whatever reason, it has never struck me in any way before, but tonight... it is a clear warning. The desire of the witch is that the absolutes be followed in perfect accordance. It is even her statement to Aslan in the preceding scene, making threats of an overturned Narnia if she is not granted the blood of the traitor Edmund. Her chief end is to uphold the merit of the law, and to threaten a reckoning if the demands of her will are not met. She threatens (and succeeds for many years) to hold Narnia in bondage based on her absolute view of the Deep Magic. This should serve as a fervent warning to us that if all we seek is the righteousness of the Law upheld in our lives, our legalism defies the promises of Christ. If we hold so tight to an absolute that we would threaten to overturn the Kingdom of God should the rules not be kept in perfect order, then we are not the recipients of faith, grace, and mercy that we believe ourselves to be.

Following Aslan's return to life, we find that he can give a much more accurate translation to the Deep Magic. He even goes so far as to say that the White Witch had improperly interpreted the words. We must be willing to look to the one who was there wen the Word was written in order to begin to grasp the fullness of what it says... we can not begin to lean on our own understandings, especially when it comes to the depth of the Law.