Wednesday, April 11, 2018

No fear of missing out, just pure joy, when IN Christ

Photo by Haley Rivera on Unsplash
Gazing through a shopping mall at all the shoppers — individuals, families, elderly, children — and I can’t help noticing something striking. These are people of all varieties. Some seem so happy. Others, I can tell, are not enjoying their present moment.
Then I realise something through my smile; the kind of smile you wear in a philosophical moment, when God is revealing something profound:
We love because He first loved us…
— 1 John 4:19
God catches us. Not the other way around. What I mean is, we think we accept Christ, but really God brings us to a place where we can no longer refuse Him. If not, we don’t know Him.
And when we arrive at that time, when our premise for life and eternity is challenged, and we move on from our previous concept of reality, He shows us something.
We’re detached from the bonds of being hemmed-in to the wiles and moods of this life.
Suddenly there is a choice. We quickly see that a fork in the road appears right before us. To respond as we always have, and either have our misery sustained or respond in a different way. A new way. A possible way. The simple way of choice for life at the easy rejection of the way of death.
We have this choice because God first gave it to us. We don’t just think it up. He put it into our heart.
Living the life caught by the Spirit of God is easier than any other life. It appears to externals as the hardest thing, because of all the so-called self-denial in living for God. But such self-denial is only ever the product of a choice — it’s a fruit — of what comes as instinctive from the initial decision sustained through simply moving forward, without question for compromise, in the Spirit. Christians are generally never happier than when they ‘miss out’, and why? Because, they’ve made the better choice.
Choosing to obey Christ by going with the biblical leading of the Holy Spirit brings peace, no matter the cost that others see we’re bearing. Sure, we’re giving up what we would like, but that isn’t all there is. There’s much more to be considered.
It is easier to choose the disposition of joy for the moment
than it is to choose surliness. Joy is a blessing to maintain.
The choice we make to succumb to moodiness costs us and others so much. And what a curse it is to sustain! We are about as happy as we decide to be. And if we struggle to believe that, try thinking about the smallest things you truly appreciate. Soon we work out how incredibly blessed we really are.
When we are grateful, what happens? We cannot worry when gratitude spikes. We are patient and considerate, meaning we have peace. Humility rises as we think more of others. It puts paid to our anger. We cannot be frustrated when we are grateful. See how the supposed hard Christian life is easier.
When Christ embodies us through the Holy Spirit, He
causes us to seek peace, which wells up to hope, to the overflow of joy.

No comments: