Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I Looked Back

But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. -Philippians 3:13-14

But Lot's wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. -Genesis 19:26

No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God. -Luke 9:62

Today, I was listening to a sermon about living with a focus on eternity rather than this world. Through listening to this, I realized how many times I've forsaken the Lord and His beauty and glory for things of this earth that are so temporary and useless.

A few years ago, I had a very firm commitment to purity and keeping my heart free from things that could distract me from pursuing the Lord. I'm not going to name a list of what I did and didn't do, because it's not about what I was and wasn't doing but about my commitment to let nothing distract me from Jesus. Recently I've noticed how I'm beginning to allow things back into my life that I had previously forsaken in pursuit of Christ. They are things like TV shows, songs, jokes, and conversation topics that can easily be justified as okay. They are permissible. I also remember that years ago I gave them up with joy because I didn't want those ideas to even have a sub-conscious effect on the way I live and make decisions.

When I was in high school biology, we were taught that you can boil a frog to death by putting it cold water and slowly increasing the temperature. It won't even know the water is heating up and pretty soon, you'll have frog legs for a snack.

I think Satan works this way in the lives of believers. It's little by little until we've completely lost our vision and purpose for the kingdom. Sometimes we never realize we've watered down our faith decide we've been "enlightened" or our task has changed when really, in the words of C.S. Lewis, we've settled for making mud pies in the gutter when we could have a holiday at the sea.

I'm re-inspired to go back to the reckless, odd, and offensive pursuit of Jesus Christ. I want to know ALL of Him, not just the parts that fit into the cracks of my life I haven't filled up with other things.

Batter my heart, three-person'd God ; for you
As yet but knock ; breathe, shine, and seek to mend ;
That I may rise, and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force, to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp'd town, to another due,
Labour to admit you, but O, to no end.
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captived, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved fain,
But am betroth'd unto your enemy ;
Divorce me, untie, or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.
-John Donne

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