God’s Thought to Me
As the Scripture say,”No one is righteous, not even one. No one is truly wise, no one is seeking God (Romans 3:10, NLT).
The Lord looks down from heaven on the entire human race; He looks to see if anyone is truly wise, if anyone seeks God (Psalm 14:2-3, NLT).
A Kingdom Beyond
C.S. Lewis wrote in his classic, Mere Christianity, “Christianity seems at first to be all about morality, all about duties and rules and guilt and virtue, yet it leads you on, OUT of all that, into something beyond … Everyone there is filled with what we should call goodness as a mirror is filled with light… They do not call it anything … They are too busy looking at the source from which it comes.”
The Chronicles of Narnia, also the work of Mr Lewis, gives us a small peek into that something beyond, a Kingdom of Love and Light … the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus!
In 1963 the song, Little Boxes, was released and caused quite a stir. It is a political satire, telling the story of suburbia. But veiled between the lines, is the story of conformist middle-class attitudes.
This reminds me so much of the conformist attitudes and thoughts of the adherents of religion. We love to have all our religious rules, structures, programs and behaviours neatly worked out, all packed, sealed and stacked in little boxes.
Artifacts from Ur of the Chaldeans
For some peculiar reason we seem to be afraid to leave our little boxes of religion behind, to leave the prosperity of our Ur of the Chaldeans and to move on to our Canaan … to the Sabbath of rest.
We shy away from uncertainty and rather prefer a false man-made system of security, in place of the only unshakable certainty found in our Lord Jesus. For many years I have wandered in the Lost World of Religion and these words of Mr Lewis would have seemed like blasphemy to me.
Religious morality, or shall I call it correct conduct, was the cornerstone of my temple of beliefs. My security was built on the quicksand of a performance driven salvation and I was drowning rapidly!
Morality offered me a neat stack of little boxes, telling me which one to open for the correct behaviour or to fulfill a need. The only problem though, was that they were all made of “ticky-tacky” and they all looked just the same. The same program, methods or conventions, the only difference being the color.
There are green ones, blue ones, pink ones and yellow ones, but in the end, they are all just the same-old, same-old with a different wrapping.
Granted, that was the way I have been taught by almost every religious orginization I attended, but I always longed for something more.
What I found in every congregation I was part of, was just their own set of neatly stacked boxes, all containing their own set of rules, wrapped in their own brand of wrapping paper.
To be accepted, I only had to squeeze myself into the confines of their own tailor-made range of box sizes. By nature I am quite skinny, but believe me, that was quite a tight fit!
“Longing” is not a strong enough word to describe the yearning, that consuming craving in my heart … a longing that could not be satisfied by any kind of good behavior … according to my estimation.
There was not a single little box that I could open that contained the love of our Heavenly Father, the only kind of love that could satisfy my heart, there where deep cries out to deep (Psalm 42:7)! They all contained death … no life … no Jesus.
I realized that I had been traveling around the same moutain long enough and needed to press on further (Genesis 2:3). Going around another time was only delaying the inevitable.
So I decided this year to open all the different little religious boxes I have cherished for such a long time and to start throwing out the religious clutter.
The rules of morality were always the criteria for how I needed to behave. And I was drowning … drowning because of a lack of love … the true love of our Lord Jesus.
They all offered only a broken cistern that could hold no water and definitely not the Living Water of Life. Going back to Eden, we see the first lie whispered to the human race, resulted in the genesis of morality.
Before Pappa God led Adam and Eve into the first Sabbath, He created everything they would need for their sustenance. He knew the way He created them would render them unable to determine even one correct thought about what good and evil really were for there is no autonomous good and evil apart from Him.
He warned them to stay away from such folly and that eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil would result in their death.
This one forbidden meal separated them from the Presence of their Pappa and since He is Life, they subsequently started to die, not just spiritually, but also emotionally and physically for they were seperated from the Sustenance that upholds all life.
Pappa is not at all surprised by our stupidity. He promised us that He will destroy the wisdom of the wise! (1 Corinthians 1:19). And if I want to be honest, for a long time, I was part of the gallery of the wise.
True wisdom is the common sense to seek Him, our Creator, Sustainer, Provider … our everything. Solomon told us in the Proverbs, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10).
The whole creation suffered as a result of this terrible foul revolt, for Adam was given the responsibilty to look after Pappa’s creation (Genesis 1:28).
It was His gift to us. And today we all suffer because the world we know, is slowly, but surely dying! We all groan as we wait for our Pappa to make all things new.
With my next post I want to explore the deception of morality, what it is and is not, and why it is the biggest joke Satan has ever pulled on man.
Much love xx
With joy, linking-up with Mindy.
Linking-up with The Weekend Brew. Thank you Barbie!
Also with Charlotte at Spiritual Sundays.