Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Something More

It should mean something to us that we belong to Christ. It should mean something more that the life we labor to live in devotion and obedience to him. It should mean something about who he is more than what we attempt to be, no matter how noble or faithful the reason for our efforts. Jesus, God's beloved Son and our beloved Savior should mean more than just a reason to try harder.

How might we arrive at this "something more"? First, we must put forth faith in the Lord Jesus revealed by the Spirit in the word of God. He is who he says he is, and this we must see with the eyes of faith, else we will only see what we allow him to be. If we gaze upon Christ with only the eyes of duty and obedience we may see only a taskmaster worthy of our efforts, a Master to be served but not a Savior to be loved.

If we look upon him with only the eyes of grace, we may see an equal friend worthy of our consideration but not necessarily of our loyalty. If, though, we consider Jesus with the eyes of faith, we will see the promise-making, promise-keeping Savior, the King of kings and the Lord of lords who, in love and mercy, sacrificed himself to make the least of these like unto the greatest, most Beloved of all.

Second, we must surrender to the Spirit of God who alone makes known to us the deep things of God. That which is spiritual makes no sense to the unspiritual man until the Holy Spirit illumines the mind and turn the Light of God upon the spirit of a man. All is darkness in a room before someone knowledgeable flips the switch on the wall. Darkness is the natural phenomenon until light sheds its grace.

We must set before the Holy Spirit all our "I don't knows" and "I don't get its" and allow him to fulfill his role as Teacher and Guide. If we resist him, spurn the methods and tools he uses; if we quench the Spirit, we turn out the light and there is nothing left for us but the blackness and bleakness of spiritual ignorance.

How hard it seems for the people of this time to be students. Each wants to be his own teacher, master of his own thinking. Mary's earnest position at the feet of Jesus remains empty while many take the role of Martha, preferring not to listen but to make demands, telling Jesus what to do and defining for him what role he ought to have in their lives.

How might we arrive at this "something more" we already have in Christ? We must set aside our arrogant self-indulgence and learn to listen with all our heart. We must let Christ set the terms of our relationship with him. Love is the better thing, from him and for us. He will not abandon love to satisfy us with some lesser thing. He will have us come to treasure Love best of all. Love with him is the best thing and he will not suffer us to lose love to lesser things.

Finally, like Sir Hilary attaining the summit of Everest, we must press on, in faith, in surrender, in learning, and in love, for Christ is the prize of perseverance and most worthy of the climb.

"Will it be easy, this climb to Christ?" It will not. The mountain to be climbed is Calvary and at the top a cross and none may pass but through it.

"Will it be fraught with obstacles and peril?" It most certainly will. There more who would have you fail than would support your success. But there is One who overcomes them all, who both waits for you and walks with you.

"Shall I be discouraged, fearful, anxious?" At times, but as well there will be exhilaration, adventure, insight, and accomplishment which fill the soul with purpose and overflow in praise.

"But will it, in the end, be worth it, this attaining 'something more,' this gaining Christ?" Eternal life in the presence of the Glory who created us and redeemed us for indescribable joy testifies it is so . . . very . . . worth it!

Do not falter today or turn aside to lesser pursuits that attain no more than the temporary and fading pleasures connected to this world. Just beyond that dark and threatening ridge, just a mile further down the winding and wearisome road lies a city whose builder and maker is God.

We are almost home to the city of Something More, our eternal habitation. We are almost home where Christ is the all-satisfying answer to every question. We are almost home, dear saint, where the shadows of doubt lurk no longer in the silent recesses of the heart and mind and spirit, for the Son is the sun of that city and nothing is hidden from his sight. We are almost home, almost home to that place where secret sin no longer hobbles us, where fear no longer frightens us, where guilt no longer plagues us, where pride no longer burdens us, where comparisons among men fade forever in the incomparable glory of the One Who sits upon the throne and of the Lamb.Take heart, my brother. Be of good courage, my sister. For "he who endures to the end will be saved." It is only a little farther. We are almost home.

The final means of gaining this "something more" is looking ahead, watching where you're walking, and heading where you actually want to go. If you want to go to Target, don't drive to Walmart. If you want more of Jesus, don't bury yourself in Asimov. Take the appropriate action for the outcome, for, in the end, you will arrive exactly where you were headed. Only if action and intention coincide will destination and expectation meet.

In the infinite, inexhaustible God, there is always something more to be known and experienced. He invites us to spend our life energy exploring our desire for him and his glorious availability to us. Put forth faith, surrender to the Spirit, learn of love, press, look ahead. Gain your heart's something more in Christ alone.

1 comment:

  1. ...and have a Mary Christmas. Not a Martha Christmas.