“I am so much more godly and spiritual if I can do without this good thing and that amazing person in my life. I love Jesus so much that I don’t want any of it.”
I used to believe that. or at least a softened, revised, religiousy version.
On surface, yeah, sounds so good. dedicated.
I think it’s ridiculous.
or at least … off.
Maybe I’m just starting to realize some obvious truths.
God made everything.
If I see it, feel it, smell it, experience it, desire it, then it began with God.
So he must be in everything.
I am made of God, so any desire I have stemmed from his imagination in the first place. Evil doesn’t create anything new. It simply distorts the good, twists the innocent.
Greatest commandment: love God with my whole heart, who he is and every attribute. Yet that also means I love all the things he has made and has placed me in. To love his creation and his creativity is to love and appreciate him, the Artist, not to discredit him. To be overflowing with God is not found in starving but in feasting!
And this is why it takes faith to see God in everything. faith. that thing we claim is the bass drum of our life.
And, yes, my world seems wrong when these good things are taken away. It’s ok to feel that struggle, the longing, the upset feelings. because of this:
Hope is knowing that one day all those good things will be restored, because when I get to heaven I will get Jesus, who is the substance of everything and all good in the first place.
So I can love my good health, but if bad health comes, I’m not necessarily going to automatically become more godly because I have to suffer now. The biggest difference is I’m exercising more now. He’s bench pressing me on the weight of his glory. My mind is working hard to think in his goodness and grow in grace and seeing through eyes of faith I may not have had to have during the times of plenty. I know I can love him more than good health because he is health and happiness!
The secret? To have Jesus is to have everything. But to live for the everything without Jesus is to actually lose it all.
C.S. Lewis said it this way: Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.
And if all those good things were swept away in a moment? I can lift my hands in praise and proclaim, “Who do I have in heaven but you? There’s nothing I desire on earth but you!” My trend with Jesus is always #winning.
I also love how Tozer compared the gifts to the Giver: God’s gifts in nature have their limitations. They are finite because they have been created, but the gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus is as limitless as God.
So here’s what I think: heaven’s going to be the most pleasurable experience and amazing party ever because God is there. And he is the essence of everything I enjoy tactically here on earth: music, food, kickboxing, clothes, love, coffee, hugs, dancing, laughing, colors… He is in all those things, yet it won’t be until heaven that I will be able to enjoy it in complete fullness. So I look forward to it and practice enjoyment in real anticipation.
And that’s hope. Which takes faith knowing the best is yet to come. But while living the reality today.
So with that in mind…
this black Americano with white chocolate is dang good!