I read My Utmost for His Highest this morning. I often start or end my day with this devotional. And I had to sit with it for a while and ask myself some tough questions. Paul said, according to the Moffatt translation of this verse, “. . . I take every project prisoner to make it obey Christ . . . .” Hmmm, does that describe the way I have processed this move? Does it actually describe the way I do ANYTHING? I don't think so. I am more blown about by my own human nature, often attributing my whims or instincts to Christ's leading. In fact, that idea or urge may have been a seed or nudging from God, but that is where I start to move dreadfully off the path of bringing my projects prisoners to Christ and veer wildly onto the path of human nature. The idea itself is not where God should be ending. That's where MY obedience starts. That's where Christ's discipline starts, right? But wait, how do I do that? This is my more typical response: "Then compare this with what we do— we take “every thought” or project that comes to us by impulse and jump into action immediately, instead of imprisoning and disciplining ourselves to obey Christ."
So I guess what I really realized in reading through this today is that not only am I falling short of bringing my thoughts under control, like unruly children, they are strong willed and running amok. But also, I don't even know how to begin to make those ideas fall into line with the heart of Christ. Which begs the question, "Do I even understand the heart of Christ to start with?" And if the answer to that question is no, then it is my fervent prayer that God will take this time of isolation from my "busy" life and "full" and "fulfilled" life and beat the world out of it and show me His heart. I want my life to be subject and given freely, less of me, more of Him. I have been raised in the church, I know how to speak the speak and walk the walk, but I want my heart to feel the feel that Jesus feels when He looks upon the world.
I read this paragraph several times today, letting it fully sink in and admit to myself and God that this, in fact, does very accurately describe my approach to life: "Practical work for Christians is greatly overemphasized today, and the saints who are “bringing every thought [and project] into captivity” are criticized and told that they are not determined, and that they lack zeal for God or zeal for the souls of others. But true determination and zeal are found in obeying God, not in the inclination to serve Him that arises from our own undisciplined human nature. It is inconceivable, but true nevertheless, that saints are not “bringing every thought [and project] into captivity,” but are simply doing work for God that has been instigated by their own human nature, and has not been made spiritual through determined discipline."
'2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.'