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Posts Tagged ‘one true god’

surrenderIt’s an unpleasant word: bondage. It brings up all kinds of lascivious images of chains and whips and leather. It’s the new interpretation of the word; it’s the culture in which we live. But in this case, it’s about slavery and compulsion and captivity. It is the antithesis to freedom.

During the time before you knew God, you were slaves to powers that are not gods at all. But now, when you are just beginning to know the one True God—actually, He is showing how completely He knows you—how can you turn back to weak and worthless idols made by men, icons of these spiritual powers? Haven’t you endured enough bondage to these breathless idols? [Galatians 4:8-9; The Voice translation]

And the phrase that I keep hearing is “haven’t you endured enough bondage . . . ” How much more do I need to experience before I finally set free from my old self, my old habits, my old way?

I have read that a body, once overweight, believes that higher weight is the norm. As a result, despite conscientious diet and exercise, the body will continue to betray and crave. It wants the old me back again: indulgent and insatiable.

Haven’t you endured enough? Haven’t I endured enough? I have.

I want everything that God has for me.

When I was just a baby believer, trying to figure out what it even meant to follow Christ and how it would change me . . . or, did I even want to change? No, not back then. Truthfully? I wanted everything to stay the same, just add in the Jesus bit. I thought I could treat Jesus like a spice, just sprinkle it on top. That is not how it works. Not really. And especially not if I say the words and surrender.

And I did. I waved the white flag back then and again and again and again. Each time, each year, a new surrender, a new discovery.

That’s been the journey; two steps forward, one step back. But I feel as though I am coming to a new place, a fork in my road, a new terrain. It’s like the last push before reaching the top of the mountain.

Ready.

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Oil painting by Jonathan Queen

Oil painting by Jonathan Queen

Double mindedness sounds bad. It has varying meanings. In scripture, it seems to be more of a split mind, where one’s affinity or affiliation has two masters. But in the secular world, the emphasis is more on wavering (an inability to make up one’s mind) or a half-hearted attempt at something. Am I guilty of not just one, but both?

Come close to the one true God, and He will draw close to you. Wash your hands; you have dirtied them in sin. Cleanse your heart, because your mind is split down the middle, your love for God on one side and selfish pursuits on the other. [James 4:8, The Voice]

I am really growing to love the new Voice translation which has both an artistic element and a creative way of expressive the nuances of a passage. For this reason, my heart was struck heavily by this verse in James.

My own heart, carrying within it [still], those secrets, is fueling the split of my mind so that my love and dedication to God is being watered down by my selfish wants and wannabe.

Coming from the Greek word, dipsuchos, it can also mean “double-souled.” And suddenly the reality of this state clicks in. I invited the Christ Spirit to dwell within but I confess, I still want things to go my way. I have relegated the Spirit to a friendly helper, and standby magician, a comforter in times of stress, but have I surrendered the way to Spirit?

And here comes the wavering: surely, it’s time to really let go. Decide. Give God full rein, not half. Give Spirit freedom to reveal the intended me. This me would not be so quick to judge or lie or inflate my own importance. This me would not crave esteem and distinction. For all that would come from the soul of Spirit, the breath of God.

Verse 10 (also in the Voice) says, “Lay yourself bare, facedown to the ground, in humility before the Lord; and He will lift your head . . . ” More traditional translations say, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” Not lifted to fame, but lifted in newness of a life, a singleness of purpose, a singleness of mind, a singleness of soul.

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