When God gives anything, God does not lose it. He gives without separating Himself from it. He gives without loss, and He receives back without gain, because God is all and takes in everything so that He never received anything from anybody that He did not give first.
– A.W. Tozer; And He Dwelt Among Us
What a beautiful thing that I have a God who doesn’t separate Himself from His good gifts to me. He is IN the good gifts.
You are a good gift giver, Yahweh.
My turning from the world IS my turning to Christ… Turn from the world and turn to Christ. And all the natural things like eating, drinking, buying, selling, marrying – all the things that God created to be done that are not of the spirit of the world but are natural and of God – will all be sanctified. So the common things, things that we call secular, will no longer be secular to us. The mundane things will be mundane no more, but heavenly. The most common thing can be done for the glory of God when we have turned from the world and the world’s ways and look into the full face of the Son of God.
– A. W. Tozer; The Crucified Life
I don’t know what You’re doing, Jesus. But I know who You are. And that’s all I need.
“Faith is now in the crucible, it is being tested by fire, and there is no fixed and sufficient resting-place for the heart and mind but in the Throne of God.” – The Sovereignty of God by A.W. Pink
“I must be broken from my own understanding of myself.” – Oswald Chambers
I’ve been realizing a lot recently just how short I fall as I try to live for Jesus… My intentions may be well and good but I miss the mark more often than I hit it. My pride has started acting up again, and I’ve been taking a beating because of it. How the flesh wants so badly to take control. “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak,” said Jesus. I must be separated from myself. For only then can God mold me into a little-Christ for His glory.
“[God] wants to detach men from themselves… When He talks of their losing their selves, He only means abandoning the clamour of self-will; once they have done that, He really gives them back all their personality, and boasts that when they are wholly His they will be more themselves than ever.” – The Screwtape Letters
It’s a constant choice of surrender. I want to surrender.
Jesus, separate me from myself, so that I can be MORE myself.
He leaves us to stand up on our own legs – to carry out from the will alone duties which have lost all relish. It is during such trough periods, much more than during the peak periods, that we are growing into the sort of creature He wants us to be. – The Screwtape Letters; C.S. Lewis
We have a God who is so good and so loving that He cares even about our smallest successes.
When we’re stuck in the valley and life feels like such a let down, we MUST remember that God is using this season. He is growing us. And if there is ONE thing I’ve learned over the past year, it’s that God uses the everyday, mundane life to make us into the “little-Christ’s” we were originally created to be. The beauty and wonder of our Lord, though, is that He is there cheering us on; even when we falter and fall, He is satisfied with our staggering. What a Savior we have.
He wants them to learn to walk and must therefore take away His hand; and if only the will to walk is really there He is pleased even with their stumbles. – The Screwtape Letters; C.S. Lewis
Talks with friends are wonderful. Especially when they involve good books. Talking about the classics to a friend a few weeks ago, I mentioned that I had never read Frankenstein. And apparently, I needed to remedy that ASAP. So a week ago I went and bought a secondhand copy of Frankenstein and started reading…
— Two things I’ve been learning —
1) The best books are those that have hidden, deeper meanings under the surface.
Frankenstein is FILLED to the brim with hidden meanings and statements that make you think, and think hard. Thoughts such as this: “Alas! Victor, when falsehood can look so like the truth, who can assure themselves of certain happiness?” Think that one over why don’t ya!
2) The joy of reading is in the actual reading, not in just finding out what happens.
This has been a hard lesson to learn. Due to school and just the way I’ve had to read books over the past few years, I haven’t sat down to enjoy a well-written novel in a very long time. It’s so easy to get caught up in the story and eagerly look forward to the resolution, all the while, missing the beauty of the words flowing into paragraphs and pages. Reading Frankenstein has reminded me that there is beauty in just enjoying the words on the page and how the story is pieced together in sentences and paragraphs.
The reason I’m sharing all this is because I see a parallel to the Bible and Christian life in those two points.
The Bible is meant to have deeper meaning than the words on the page. Don’t get so caught up in the story that you miss the purpose behind the parable.
The Christian is meant to live life enjoying the moments, not worrying about what happens next. I know I get so caught up in worry that I often lose sight of the joy I could be having in the moment I am given right here. But God wants us to live HERE. He wants us to enjoy the life and reality He’s blessed us with. Don’t get swept away in worrying and stressing about what might happen next. Let the story unfold and enjoy the journey.
“For nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose – a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye.” – Frankenstein; Mary Shelley