God’s spiritual regeneration imparts a sense of wholeness, a spiritual vibrancy that spills over into every area of life, from the way we butter bread to the way we comfort grieving family members.
But we’re also human beings, and we tend toward living fractured lives with a sense of legalistic dread that spills over into every action, from the way we pray before every meal to the way we behave differently at church as opposed to at home.
The less time I spend immersing myself in prayer and Scripture reading, the more I sense the cracks re-develop in the way I view life.
Business crowds out Godliness, and my automatic expression of love for God dims toward religious repetition. Worship cools from exuberant exaltation to un-felt monotonous monk chants in a corner.
“As the deer pants for water so my soul—(I’m hungry, when is this going to be over?)—pants for you, God. *YAWN*”
This is where I believe the rigidity of Roman Catholicism came from—desperate attempts to shore up our humanity.
The problem is that our legalistic human nature has a tendency to pervert what is intended for good. Taking communion suddenly becomes motivated by a desire to be spiritual rather than a desire to honor God—pride creeps in and distorts the beauty.
As human beings, we’re constantly set against our nature. We live, for the most part, divided lives.
But we can live in un-fractured wholeness. That’s the New Testament promise that Jesus bled for.
The uncomfortable truth we want to deny is that doing so demands serious sacrifice. “Take up your cross and follow me,” just doesn’t sound attractive at 6:00am on a Saturday, and besides, you’re a good person, and God loves you, right?
The reason we live fractured lives devoid of spiritual vibrancy is because we refuse to commit to the Christian life over the long haul.
“You mean every day I have to devote myself to hours of prayer, worship, and Scripture reading to live a vibrant life?”
Are you human?
Why do you need to eat every day? Why do you need to drink? Because that’s how God designed you.
he designed us for unbroken communion with him.
And why should we settle for anything less? Living a life of holiness doesn’t suck the joy out of life. Contrary to what we seem to think, starched religious prudes are every bit as wicked in God’s eyes as cannibals.
True godly men and women are the most joyful, the most free, the most vibrant people on earth. They are free of shame. Relieved of anxiety. Filled with happiness and laughter. And more in tune with the simple joys of life, such as the goodness in homemade chicken noodle soup.
To the truly godly person, everything is sacred.
There is no division. No dishonor in having a physical body or fulfilling its needs (like sleeping or going to the bathroom).
Jesus had a physical body and had to take care of it just like you and me. He bathed himself. He squatted over a hole in the ground. He ate and drank and slept. He worked, he sweated, he joked and sat enjoying the beauty of a sunrise.
And everything he did was sacred.
There was no division.
Still, we see him constantly going off alone to spend large amounts of time in prayer. We hear him say, “I do the will of my father always.” A simple, yet profound statement—one he could only make because he was moored in constant communication with the Father.
If Jesus felt the need or the desire to constantly go off alone and spend large amounts of time in prayer, how could we possibly need it any less?
Let’s stop being so prideful and selfish (not to mention foolish).
Let’s devote ourselves to prayer so that we can live less fractured lives, and more fully honor God and find intimacy and joy in our relationship with him.
Comment and share, or click the orange button below to subscribe to periodic blog updates!