We enter the new year carrying our resolutions under our arms. This year will be better. This year I will be better. I want a new me – slender body, social butterfly, intellectual power that will knock your socks off. The new me will be able to handle criticism and flourish in social situations. The new me will be able to quote Nietzsche and be able to pronounce his name correctly. This year will ultimately be about me. I have plans all wrapped up in my resolutions – I know the books I need to read, the people I need to contact, the strengths I need to cultivate, the serving that needs to be done. I have a tick list to make myself better and achieve ultimate Christian status. I will give to God more than I have before. I will strive, conquer, achieve. Strength will be my battle armour.
Goodness. How exhausting. To be honest I am not one for resolutions, I don’t like the idea of setting myself up to fail. Call me a half empty glass, but honestly, slender bodies, social prowess, intellect and striving to give back to God all that I have isn’t going to fulfill me. It isn’t going to bring me everlasting joy. The reason I think they are going to make me happy or a better Christian is because I believe the lie that Jesus isn’t enough. This lie seeps in and dulls my heart. The affections of my heart are dull.
Paul says to the Corinthians in 2Cor6v12 – “You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections”. Our own affections stop us and it’s not because they are too passionate, but they are as CS Lewis says -
““It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us…”
Our passions and desires are dull and weak. We easily go after broken cisterns in search of something that will fulfill us, but we find dust and dirt instead of a fountain of living water.
Its funny, we often say that we know the Gospel, but yet we easily forget Christ. If we didn’t forget Christ so easily it would be evident in the affections of our hearts. I can tell you that my heart is often cold and it needs to be awaken. The danger for us is that often we try to awaken it with the whip of the law, a list of things to do, resolutions to keep, steps to guide us. As this whips us into action, we can only move around slowly like cold muscles trying to work out and all too soon they rip and tear.
What the Christian heart needs then is simple: It needs Christ. Bring me to him. He is my great physician, my wonderful healer. He is the fire that warms my heart and sets it ablaze. Bring me to him and not to a list of things to do. Tell me of Christ and not law. Tell me of Christ and not a step by step guide on how to live as a Christian. For if my heart is aflame with the love of Christ and my very being filled with the Spirit of Christ then I will walk in step with His spirit.
Please speak of Christ to me. Bring me to him. Not just once but every time I see you or hear you. I beg you because he is my daily bread and my living water. He is the one I need above all things. And I know you need him too. So then let me bring you to him. Let me bring you to your saviour and King. Are you weary? Brokenhearted? Then come to him who gives you strength and binds the broken heart. Are you downcast and in darkness? Then come to him who has felt your downcast and has suffered it but who brings light in the darkness. Do you feel ashamed? Come to him who takes your shame and puts it to death.
O Preacher bring me to Christ. Bring all of us to Christ. Preach of him and only him. We need it or we may go out cold.