I think all my life, I’ve always just done enough to get by. Even when it comes to spiritual things, that’s been true.
This is most clearly seen (literally) when you look at my room. As my cousin Sam has put it, “it looks like a bomb went off in there.” Ouch, lol.
But the short version is this: I think I’m starting to realize that life actually is broken – that it’s non-functional (even dysfunctional?) – when you don’t give all of your heart and life to Jesus.
You may think, “yeah, obviously. Didn’t you learn that in Sunday School?” But it’s not exactly intuitive. Partial commitment should yield partial fruit, shouldn’t it?
Yes, the Bible usually doesn’t use language that supports the idea of “partial” devotion to God. But if you think about it logically, what person can claim that they have ever been able to give all of themselves to God? (see Phil 3:12a, which supports the idea that we’ll never have “arrived” at that point of devotion. On this side of Heaven, at least…)
And if it’s theoretically impossible to give all of yourself to God, without holding back, then surely it’s understandable to just do “whatever you can” in your walk with God? Surely, God who knows us better than we know ourselves – surely He understands? (Even if you know deep down inside that there’s a lot more of yourself that you could surrender to Him; you’re just unwilling to…)
So, I guess I’ve always used that point to justify “just getting by” with giving God only whatever I could spare, heart-wise, to Him. It’s kind of like the mindset of the person who saves up for retirement or a college-fund for their kid by depositing whatever they can spare at the end of each month, instead of clearly setting out exactly what they are going to set aside to make sure they end up with enough at the end of the day.
But the point is that I’m starting to realize that, yes, I may never be able to truly give my all to Jesus in this life, but there’s still a certain quality or attitude of heart that God must want from me now, that I’m not yet giving Him.
I think as I do start doing that, God will come through. It will be worth it. (It’s scary to put one’s trust and belief in that, though)
Here’s a verse that I need to start believing and living out:
1 John 2:14b (ESV) –
I write to you, young men,
because you are strong,
and the word of God abides in you,
and you have overcome the evil one.
(Jesus speaking in a vision to John in Rev 2:7 is pretty cool, too)
Overcoming is an idea that is sometimes a tricky concept for the Christian. How much of my Christian life is supposed to depend on me and my effort? How much is it supposed to be dependent on the One who works in me, “both to will and to work for his good pleasure?”
I’m not exactly sure. But I don’t have to be. I think it’s clear enough that what I am to do is to pour my my energy and effort into this – into pressing into Him – in every facet of my life.
So I’ll do it, and all the while plead with God to do His (necessary and enabling) work in me. And perhaps that is how God will choose to display His amazingness at this particular time.
Only time will tell.
P.S. Oh, and for those of you wondering what this practically looks like for me, I guess it can be summed up in one imperative: “Stop doing a half-a**ed job of everything.” Or as Russel Peters has put it, “Be a man! Do the right thing!” (in every task, and at every time – see how impossible this is?! But it’s the attitude and the mindset which I’m after…)