I'm not sure that there has ever been a time in my life when I have learned as much about who God is as I have been here lately. I am so humbled, to think that God finds me worthy enough to learn so much about who He is. I have experienced time in my life when my hunger for Him and His Word was non-existence and that time was a very miserable and wasteful period. Now my hunger is never satisfied. I pray that I stay in this place. For God never ceases to reveal Himself, it is I who stops looking. As long as I keep searching I will hear His voice. His voice is so clear when I am in His will. I find that it is when I step out of His will, that is to follow the plans that I have, when I think that His voice has gone still. That is not so not the case. De 4:29 says that if I seek Him with all my heart and soul then I shall find Him. He never goes away, never leaves me, and He is always speaking to me.
So as I continue on with Mere Christianity I find some things that I do not like, I didn't say disagree but dislike. There is a big difference. Ch 9 was a very convicting chapter for me. As I shared with Paula last night I think that it got to her too. I don't always like the conviction. This particular one I really disliked. The problem was that I agreed with Lewis and that means that something in my life now must change, for I can't ignore when the Spirit speaks to me. He won't put up with that. Sometimes I try to escape conviction by not reading my Bible and not praying. After all if I don't hear it then I don't have to do it right?? How dumb am I?? To think that I can fool the God of the universe. Ha, I'm not always very bright.
I think that is one of the points Lewis was making in the last chapter. I know the cost of following Christ... I desperately want to seek His face, and follow His will. But there is still a part of me that wants what I want. My flesh never gives up.. it constantly seeks to destroy me. Thankfully God is constantly there to.. and He will put my life back on track. It might hurt and it might take awhile, but it will happen. God takes our choice to follow Him seriously and when He says that He will make us holy, He will. We are commanded to be perfect. That is what Christ promises to do... make us perfect. The moment we choose to follow Him is the moment we agree to let Him make us perfect. Lewis puts it this way:
Make no mistake, He says, if you let me, I will make you perfect. The moment you put yourself in My hands, that is what you are in for. Nothing less, or other, than that. You have free will, and if you choose, you can push Me away. But if you do not push Me away, understand that I am going to see this job through. Whatever suffering it may cost you in your earthly life, whatever inconceivable purification it may cost you after death, whatever it costs Me, I will never rest, nor let you rest, until you are literally perfect - until my Father can say without reservation that He is well pleased with you, as He said He was well pleased with me. This I can do and will do. But I will not do anything less.
He wants us to be perfect.. that is His desire. However He is aware of our humanity and will always pick us up when we fall. He knows that we cannot be perfect relying on our own efforts. We need Him, we must realize that. There is nothing that can keep us from achieving perfection except for our self. Only I can push Him away, you can't push Him out of my life. So its up to me to let Him in, it is my choice to allow Him to guide my life. The plans He has for me are beyond what I can imagine.
That's the lesson I am currently learning. I often sell my self short. Right now I have a job interview set up for a job that I am in awe of even being considered for. So many people have corrected me and told me that I am crazy to think that low of myself. I thought it was humility to think that I was unworthy of such a calling. However Lewis says that is not what it is. When I as a child of Christ, who can do the impossible, think that I am unable to do something I am actually saying that the One who lives in me is unable to do something. You see as I wrote about in my last post, I am no longer myself. That person, those abilities, all those dreams and desires that used to make up who I am are dead. They had to die in order to let Christ in. I am no longer who I thought I was. That person is gone and in its place is the glorious, righteous, almighty God of the Universe. Isn't that AMAZING!!! He lives inside of me. He uses me, a sinful, wretched, unclean person to carry out His plan, His glory!! Can you wrap your mind around that?? I can't. I wish I could, although it most likely be the death of me if I did. This is what Lewis says:
We may be content to remain 'ordinary people': but He is determined to carry out quite a different plan. To shrink back from that plan is not humility: it is laziness and cowardice. To submit to it not conceit or megalomania; it is obedience.
So according to Lewis I am lazy and a coward. Ouch!!! By not allowing myself to be who God wants me to be is to limit Him. I am telling Him no. It is in no way humility. I am telling God, 'no thanks, I like it right here where I am.' I have no idea of the greatness that He has in store for me. What I think looks like a palace is really just a cottage compared to what He has in store for me. I don't need to develop confidence in myself, rather I need to remember who it is that lives in me. My confidence should always be in Him and through Him there is nothing that I am not capable of doing.
On another note... Just saw this video trailer for John Piper's newest book A Sweet and Bitter Providence. It looks amazing.... can't wait to get it.