rick & 1j13
Wednesday, May 26, 2004
With All Your Strength: Engaging The Will, Part Three
On a lighter note, and what's really important: CNN.com - 'American Idol'? winner celebrates - May 26, 2004
Congratulations, Fantasia. I'm more of a Diana fan, but both of you did a wonderful job, and you'll both reach higher then if you'd never taken the plunge. Going through it together looks like it's been fun.


Hmmm... well, my best and most honest critic has rendered her verdict. After reading through the previous two posts, my wife has told me that I need a new metaphor. The HaveTo-WantTo-GetTo motif is old and tired. Or at least, using a husband-wife relationship to describe it is getting kinda old for her, and probably for others, too.

We can all relate to living life out of our understanding and reasoning, or out of our emotions and feelings, or out of our personality and upbringing. In reality, all of those things filter through our strength on the inside, or through our will, before being made into action on the outside.
  • A heroic act to save a baby from being hit by a bus comes only through force of will - understanding but ignoring your own survival reasoning, being fearful and jumping anyway in spite of it, leaping for that person's safety and disregarding your own... and live or die, you do what needs to be done.
  • The daily act of getting out of bed to go to work comes through force of will - despite all your arguments for hitting the snooze again, in contradiction to the stress you dread from the morning commute, and against your judgments amid personality conflicts at the office... but a paycheck comes in handy, so we do it.
  • The consumer act of purchasing a new expensive toy comes through the force of your consumer-oriented will - even if we can't afford it, even if we are stressed over the last credit bill, even if we know it's unjustified and will probably be obsolete before we get it home... we buy it because we want it, right?

    Actually, it's the consumer mentality that keeps us from fully engaging our will within the sovereign will of God. "All our strength" is so engaged in getting what we want when we want it no matter what, that we seldom if ever find ourselves completely and totally sould out for Christ. We are so conformed to this world that the only thing we're renewing our minds to is the constant repetition of TV commercials, pop-up ads and mailbox catalogs (my apologies once again to Rom 12:1-2).

    Got to have a closing, since I'm only getting one week on this :). In his article "Detoxing From Church", Jason Z from TheOffRamp.org writes that we still need church, but only as an outlet for what's already being fully fleshed out from within. If I'm not sold out for Christ the other six days of the week, then Sunday is just the day I consume whatever it is that's needed to make me feel "saved". My will is engaged in keeping me from hell, or in making me "a good person" - not in learning and following through with His will. The spiritual disciplines, working out our salvation with fear and trembling in the grace and mercy of God, help to shape and form and exercise "all our strength".
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