An active and growing relationship with God will lead to an enhanced discovery of human nature's depravity because God will faithfully reveal the massive gulf between His holiness and our corrupt and ever-polluting heart. He will make us conscious of the distance and coldness of our love, the surges of pride and doubt, and the lack of fruit we produce. - John W. Ritenbaugh
Joy is the serious business of Heaven. - C.S. Lewis
These statements beg a deeply introspective search and an honest assessment from every living soul. This is the paradox of Christendom: The Joy of the Lord is our strength and Blessed are those who mourn.
As I look at today's church, I am troubled. We are not deeply rooted. We are not bound by the Word of Truth. We are not bond-servants to our God. There is missing the marked finality of our decision to serve, and we have such a casual attitude toward the incredible pain and suffering that the pleasures of this "season" bring to real people all around us.
Most of us are so satisfied with our facade. We attend our local country club church, we are involved with some charity work here and there. We live our lives. And we are satisfied with that. Do not mess that up, and all will be just fine.
But come face to face with the actual monster - a teenager who kills herself, another who cuts himself, a father who molests, a wife on drugs, a pastor who has an affair, a middle school girl who gets pregnant - and we have no strength, no answer, and no help.
Because we do not know our Strength, our Answer, and our Help.
We have become quite masterful at developing a worship sequence for Sunday morning, but, because of our perfunctory relationship with Him, we are wretched failures at implementation on any other day of the week.
The mark of a Christian (a bond-servant of the Most High)is a life lived by Joy, and an ever-growing recognition of what a monstrosity sin is. There is a sober strength of a heart that consistently puts itself on the line to reach the lost and hurting, knowing that we are woefully inadequate, but still leaping by faith into the deepness of our Father's embrace. He is our Strength, our Answer, and our Help.
I don't see that in today's church, and it is because our relationship with Him is so trivial. Most of us treat the Bible like a self-help book. We are tiny, weak water bugs. We skim across the surface of what He offers with no clue of the massive depth of Joy and Godly Sorrow we must plunge to so we can be properly used.
We are not marked.
We are not strengthened by JOY.
And we do not mourn.
Therefore, I am afraid the worst has happened.
We are desperately frail . . . and happy about it.
© Copyright Derek Hickman 2009