Take Me There

How often do you get depressed about what the world outside looks like? How often do you see your sin and shake your head in despair and disgust, wondering if it will ever end? How often do you wish it all would just go away?

I’m there with you if you say yes to any of these questions. But I want to encourage you with a piece of Scripture that a friend just texted me as encouragement. It’s 2 Corinthians 4:16-18:

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Our outer selves are wasting away. If you look at yourself in your sin, you see your sinful nature rebelling against what you were created for. We’re called to do everything for God’s glory (1 Corinthians 10:31), and anytime we don’t live that way, we’re rebelling. But praise be the God that, because of His grace, those who are saved, their inner selves are being renewed every day! Romans 8:29 says God predestined that some men would be “conformed to the image of his son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” Those of us who are believers, we’re being made more and more into the image of Jesus! Let’s go!

The things we see now, the “light momentary affliction” that we have, is that, light and momentary. In the long run, it’s momentary and it’s light. You see that juxtaposed with “eternal weight of glory.” Eternal vs. momentary, weight vs. light and glory vs. affliction. Heaven, that “eternal weight of glory,” is what awaits us on the other side! It’s far greater than anything we face here on earth. Paul expressed it again this way: “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18).

One day we’re going to see Jesus! And we have to keep that eternal destination at the center of our attention. We have to keep that which is unseen at the center. That’s why Romans 8:6 says the mind that’s kept on the Spirit is “life and peace.” In the long run, we should see our “momentary afflictions” as just that, momentary.

But what do we do in the meantime? What do we do when the world is stressing us out? What do we do when there seems to be no hope?

The gospel. The forgiveness offered at the cross means we have everything we need now and everything we need for later. That means, if we are of Christ, our home is not here. “Our citizenship is in heaven,” Philippians 3:20-21 says, “and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.” Christ’s power, the one that gives Him power and reign over all things, is the power that will one day

Man. I just want to go where I’m only breathing Your air. Father, hear my prayer, take me there, take me there. I just want to see You brighter than I’m used to, finally see it clear, take me there, take me there.


Life Is Best Lived Non-Natural

We love doing what we feel like doing. What are some questions we ask ourselves when we have some free time in front of us?

“What do I want to do?” “What do I feel like doing?” “What feels good right now?”

Oh what a disastrous question that could turn out to be.

Yeah, sometimes what feels good is a good thing, even a godly thing. But we would be better off as Christians if we checked our natural inclinations and natural feelings before we moved forward with satisfying them.

One guy in the Bible who didn’t do that was Amnon. 2 Samuel 13:1-2 records:

Now Absalom, David’s son, had a beautiful sister, whose name was Tamar. And after a time Amnon, David’s son, loved her. And Amnon was so tormented that he made himself ill because of his sister Tamar, for she was a virgin, and it seemed impossible to Amnon to do anything to her.

You can read the whole story for yourself in 2 Samuel 13:1-22. Basically, Amnon raped Tamar, shaming Tamar for life. Amnon earned his brother Absalom’s hatred, leading to his later murder on Absalom’s orders. Amnon sinfully sought after his half-sister Tamar because of his feelings, his natural desires. Absalom ordered Amnon’s murder because of his feelings, his natural desires.

That’s just one example, but doing what feels natural to us if not always a good thing. Sin is natural to us. Sin is what feels right. Sin is that which we feel like doing oftentimes. I know not everyone is naturally inclined to murder and rape. But what about lying? Cheating? Lusting? Pride? Often we engage in those sins because it feels right, feels good. And it leads to more sin and more sin.

We were born that way. We were born with a sinful nature, a nature that desired death. When we were saved, God changed our heart, pushed us towards obedience by putting the Holy Spirit within us. But we are still sinful people, still seeking after the desires of our own sinful flesh.

Speaking to Christians who were being persecuted for their faith, Peter wrote in 1 Peter 2:11,

Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.

Peter calls his readers to abstain from the passions of their flesh, of their natural bodies. They’re waging war against our souls. Our natural desires, our “passions of the flesh,” are vehemently opposed to how we’re called to live as believers in Jesus.

So we should just be able to do this, right? NOPE. It’s hard. It’s really hard. If fighting sin was easy, then it wouldn’t really be fighting; it would be more like walking through a bed of flowers, nothing, no real hindrance or obstacle. But killing the flesh, seeking righteousness, it’s hard.

Truth is, I don’t think it was ever meant to be easy. If it were, we wouldn’t need Jesus to help us fight our sins.

You know the armor of God passage in Ephesians 6? It starts in verse 10 with this command: “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.” We can’t fight our natural desires without finding our strength in the Lord and in His Word and in His Spirit.

Sin is not easy to fight. Doing what’s right is not easy to do. Doing what feels good is easy to do.

Seek to live life non-naturally. Live it for the truths in the Word of God and for His glory. If you’re a believer, you’ve been changed by the gospel to live differently. Kill those natural desires, and seek after God’s way.

Hey! There’s a sequel to this post. Check it out RIGHT HERE AT THIS LINK.