“We fill our lives with what we love most.”
I was recently asked how it is a life comes to be full of God
Well I am no expert. But I do have this confidence
I have an insatiable appetite for holy joy, adamant hopefulness, and unshakable confidence. And I know where these come from.
So, this is my defense.
– – –
Failure is no stranger to me. And there is altogether too much in my soul that competes for God’s place.
But this I can say: with ever passing day I want less of the world, and more of Christ.
And this transformation is not hard work, it is a simple gift, which He bestows to all who long to love Him first.
I will tell you two secrets though– Two secrets that I am learning form the basis of every success I have ever attained. And two things that certainly involve consistent and tenacious effort.
1. Love does the footwork. God does the rest. I make the room.
The heart will follow what it loves.
Love God, and following Him is no struggle. Love the world, and you will forever have to fight to give God anything.
Good news: We were wired to love God. There’s no complicated formula.
Bad news: We’re prone to re-wiring. And the world is only too eager to help. Pleasure, convenience, compromise, popularity, lust, excitement, even friends?… These glitter like gold because they parade as substitutes for God.
And we too often fall for it.
In order to learn to love God, God must live in the heart. We come to love best what we hold closest. (No, it’s true. We’re duped into holding close what is actually entirely unlovely, and so come to love our worst enemy best of all.) The reciprocal is also true.
So, the thing to remember is that I only have one heart to give away. I can’t sprinkle God on top of pleasure. Guilty pleasure gets a foothold by kicking God out. I give God a foothold by kicking guilty pleasure out. (And that’s work.)
2. My happiness is proportional to the abandon with which I relinquish my right to myself.
This is undiluted joy. It matters very little how much effort it requires.
So I repeatedly relinquish my “right” to myself.
That is, my right to direct my own steps, seek my own pleasure, pursue my own glory, fulfill my own dreams…
Because I’ve proven to myself (by repeated failure) that choosing pleasure over principle never, never, never, never leads to happiness in the end.
And I’m thoroughly tired of being disappointed.
Now when faced with a choice, I am gently reminded that I have given myself to the Almighty, and that whether or not I understand Him, I can draw contentment from allegiance.
Then, I no longer sit there forever begging for power. (I used to.) I get up and go. Because He’s already given us enough power to actuate obedience. And He never gives again power we already possess.
Thus He adds another block to the empire He’s building in the souls of His servants, and I’m perfectly satisfied.
So satisfied, that I become daily more likely to chose Him over any substitute.
And as long as I keep allowing Him to crowd out of my life everything unlike Himself, I get happier.
The moment I refuse Him, He is crowded off His rightful throne, and I’m at the mercy of a selfish rottenness that has power only because I give it such.
Which power all the host of heroes on white horses defies.
For what it’s worth… I’m sticking with them.