Living transformed lives

Today’s reading for MULTIPLY discipleship is Romans 12. This passage fits perfectly following a very powerful day at our church. We had a great missions service in the morning with a packed out house. It’s Missions Emphasis, so it’s always exciting to hear what God is doing in the toughest places of the world.

We had a Prayer and Praise night last night that focused specifically on missions. Local and global, we had 90 minutes of powerful intercession.

This morning, I see this passage to read and hear these words from the Spirit: “Lock it in. You’ve broken through in some significant areas. The enemy is alerted and ready to lash back. Lock it in.”

Live transformed thinking this week. Live in a way that keeps our eyes UP, alert to what the enemy is doing… and attack more. Don’t let up.

I then saw this C.S. Lewis quote passed along by a friend on Facebook:

” In religion, as in war and everything else, comfort is the one thing you cannot get by looking for it. If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end: if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth — only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin with and, in the end, despair.” – C. S. Lewis

Pray with an alert spirit this week!

That which we do not know

One thing I admire about C.S. Lewis is his full candor when dealing with skeptics. He won’t tolerate “bumper sticker” answers from anyone, but especially those who do not believe and ridicules those who do.

In his chapter on heaven in Mere Christianity, he wrote this:

There is no need to be worried by facetious people who try to make the Christian hope of ‘Heaven’ sound ridiculous by saying they do not want ‘to spend eternity playing harps’. The answer to such people is that if they cannot understand books written for grown-ups, they should not talk about them.

Boom.

Christianity isn’t for the lazy

“If you are thinking of becoming a Christian, I warn you, you are embarking on something which is going to take the whole of you, brains and all… Anyone who is honestly trying to be a Christian will soon find his intelligence being sharpened: one of the reasons why it needs no special education to be a Christian is that Christianity is an education itself.” — C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity 

Christ has died, Christ has risen

“The central Christian belief is that Christ’s death has somehow put us right with God and given us a fresh start. Theories as to how it did this are another matter. A good many different theories have been held as to how it works; what all Christians are agreed on is that it does work. I will tell you what I think it is like. All sensible people know that if you are tired and hungry a meal will do you good. But the modern theory of nourishment — all about the vitamins and proteins — is a different thing. People ate their dinners and felt better long before the theory of vitamins was ever heard of: and if the theory of vitamins is someday abandoned they will go on eating their dinners just the same. Theories about Christ’s death are not Christianity: they are explanations about how it works.” (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity)

Try telling that to a theologian.

Lewis keeps it simple. And on this particular point, I’m thankful.

The importance of the Body of Christ… the Church

When you go to church you are really listening in to the secret wireless from our friends: that is why the enemy is so anxious to prevent us from going. — C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity 

We need to understand the true power of the Kingdom of God working through the Church. It is immense. We’ve dumbed it down and driven so many to boredom. We need a fresh view of what being WITH the Body of Christ… being IN church can really mean.

Christianity isn’t about a search for comfort

“Of course, I quite agree that the Christian religion is, in the long run, a thing of unspeakable comfort. But it does not begin in comfort; it begins in the dismay I have been describing, and it is no use at all trying to go on to that comfort without first going through that dismay. In religion, as in war and everything else, comfort is the one thing you cannot get by looking for it. If you look for truth, you may find comfort or truth — only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin with and, in the end, despair. Most of us have got over the pre-war wishful thinking about international politics. It is time we did the same about religion.” — C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity 

We settle for so little

I am working my way through The Great Divorce by C S Lewis. I’ve finished McGrath’s biography of Lewis, so reading Lewis more in historical context is slightly more helpful. I’m just not a great reader of “literature.” I love reading about Lewis, but reading Lewis is just plain slogging at times.

The stories bring to life great truth. In one scene the main character witnesses two illustrations of “holding on.” One was a mother’s love for her son. The other was a man who held on to a lizard. He knew he needed to be rid of the lizard, but he didn’t want the thing killed. The mother was angry for losing her son too soon.

They both illustrated how little we know in this life of true love or of true possession. The mother, it turned out, loved her son too little. The man with the lizard finally allowed it to be killed and both he and the lizard were transformed into something more powerful and beautiful.

We have such limited perspective… but we need not be that way. 

A song is sung in this particular scene that demonstrates a prayer we need in our lives:

The Master says to our master, Come up, Share my rest and splendour till all natures that were your enemies become slaves to dance before you and backs for you to ride, and firmness for your feet to rest on…

Overcome us that, so overcome, we may be ourselves: we desire the beginning of your reign as we desire dawn and dew, wetness at the birth of light.

When we don’t allow the Kingdom to truly come in our lives, we hold on to things we think are “precious” and they can often be our ruin. Give us Kingdom perspective, Lord!