February 10, 2005

The Colonel's "Wish"

The colonel who retires on a farm in the country would have liked to have become a general; but if I could examine his life, I would find some little thing that he neglected to do, that he did not want to do. I could prove to him that he did not want to become a general.


The apostle Paul spoke concerning his mission of evangelism saying that, I have to make “myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.” He said, I “keep under my body, and bring it into subjection.” In other words, I have to discipline my wants and keep my feelings from interrupting my service for God.

What do you want to do for Christ? What do you want to live for? What do you want to be for Christ? Do you want to be deep with your God? Do you want to magnify the greatness of the Savior in every area of your life? Do you want to live and give the gospel consistently? Our wants in this life cannot be mere passing thoughts. They must be all-encompassing pursuits. In order to be effective for my Christ, I must keep under my feelings, beating them into the subjection of the almighty. I must do what I don’t want to do, and say what is hard to say. I must go against what is easy so that I might gain what is Great. In order to influence my world as light for my Christ, I must be willing to say that I will do what I don’t feel like doing in order to accomplish what I must do for Christ.

But, I need to be reminded that working for the cross is so worth it. My Christ is surpassingly more excellent than any ease I can experience here on earth. The treasure I can find in Christ is infinitely more valuable than the piddly little things of my comfort and quick happiness. "But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world."(Galatians 6:14) In other words, by which I die to the wants and the trappings of this distracting world. My ultimate goal in this life is to do want I don’t feel like, so that I can get more of Christ. That is basically what Paul says earlier on in the book.

When I think on these things, I find myself asking, why on earth do I sin? If I know that my Christ is surpassingly more enjoyable, satisfying, and valuable than the passing pleasure of corruption, why do I succumb to temptation? Why do I fall out of step with the Spirit? Because I forget. I forget. I forget. Oh God, help me not to forget. Help me not to forget all your benefits. "Bless the Lord Oh my soul, bless His holy name, and forget not all His benefits." I am beginning to believe that the reason I break fellowship with my God is that I lose sight of the value of living a pure life pleasing to my Creator. I miss the point that life is best lived when it's lived for Christ. So I say with the Psalmist…don’t let me "forget …all His benefits. He forgives all my sins. He crowns my head with mercy and love. He satisfies my mouth with good things. The Lord is so gracious to me. As a father pities His child, so the Lord has compassion on me. As far as the east is from the west, so great is His love for me. Bless the Lord, Oh my soul, Bless His Holy Name and forget not all His benefits." - Psalm 103 (adapted for song)

Taking up my own. . . even when I don't "want" to.

Posted by jonkopp at February 10, 2005 05:21 PM | TrackBack