Overcoming Earthly Resistance Part 2
Now that we have settled in our hearts that we are not scientists, that the Bible clearly teaches that there is a Spiritual Realm, and that we can go there now not just in the future. Let’s move on to overcoming the more practical aspects of communion with God. I’ll start with a word picture.
Think of your life as a solar system, a group of planets. Now name the planets. Name them marriage and family, work, hobbies, community service, friendship, etc. etc. Like our physical solar system needs a star at it’s center to provide enough gravity, warmth, and light, so too your life as a being needs the right star to form it’s center. Planets can hold a moon, but they can’t hold other planets. You, your family, your job, money, entertainment, none of them have enough gravitas to keep the planets in your life anchored at the proper distance from one another. None of them can keep your personal solar system from spiraling out of control and bringing extinction level collisions among the planets. So, the question then becomes, “What is the center of your life?” If you answer, “God is the center of my life.” How would you respond if I said, “prove it.” I’m not asking what you what you think is the center of your life? I am asking you what IS the center of your life? They can be, and likely are with most people, two different things.
What do you think about the most?
What is the first thing you think about when you wake up?
What is the last thing you think about before you go to bed?
What does your day revolve around?
What does your week revolve around?
What do you talk about most often?
What do you spend your free time learning?
These questions help us get closer to discerning what the center of our life really is. Most of us live in self-delusion. Jeremiah wrote well when he said, “the heart was desperately wicked and deceitful, who could know it?” The modern Christian has come to think that God is suppose to fit into his or her busy life. This is idolatry plain and simple. The truth is that followers of Christ are suppose to be building their lives around God and His Kingdom as a planet revolves around the sun. We don’t fit Him in, He fits us in. The first and most foundational principle of communion with God is this,
“17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.”
Now the Scientist (Christian Intellectual) will quickly move this into his doctrinal statement, affirming it with strength, playing the keyboard warrior on social media proclaiming loudly that everyone is a false teacher that dare question it. Good for him. He is right doctrinally. But let him ask himself, “Scientist, how does this truth inform your life outside of your intellect? How is this truth guiding your feet? How is this truth effecting your schedule? Is the Lord preeminent in everything?” Better yet here is a practical and specific question. “What do you do with the first hour of your day?” Is it mindlessly scrolling through social media on your iPhone? Is it watching television? Is it thinking about work and what you have to do that day? Then the Triune God is not practically preeminent in your everyday life. When is the last time you scheduled that choice first hour of the morning for communion with God? The first step in overcoming earthly resistance is found in a little word I just used that you probably missed. The word is “scheduled”.
The Christian is called to a life of intentionality. He or she no longer has the luxury of bouncing around in life like a pinball in a pinball machine. Paul says we are soldiers and athletes. The thing both soldiers and athletes have in common is a training regimen. I used to run 5k’s, 10k’s, and half-marathons. I also was a tri-athlete for a while as well. I read books on how to train myself. I made out training and nutrition schedules and “religiously” (funny how that word is used isn’t it) adhered to the planning. If we expect to build a life of communion with God it will take a plan. It necessitates a schedule. Whenever a man and a woman begin a relationship that both hope might end in marriage what do they do? The go on a date. A what? A date. A “scheduled” event where they agree to spend time together focused on one another. They don’t go on one date, they “schedule” lots of dates. Not because they are adhering to a “schedule” but because they enjoy being together. Now this question is about to hurt and I only ask it out of necessity. Why are your dates for communion with God so few and far between? In human terms we only do that when we don’t really enjoy spending time with the other person. Or when we don’t know them very well and the time is spent awkwardly. The first few dates sometimes are awkward. We are chatty and don’t allow any “awkward” spaces of silence. But when you know someone well just being in the room with them is enough. This is an imperfect human analogy so I hope you will forgive me, but enjoyable dates lead to marriage, which is the deepest state of human communion where two people merge their lives into one. I am afraid too few Christians today give themselves to communion and most will never experience the earthly manifestation of the reality that is typified in marriage. What I mean is this. When one spends time regularly communing with God over a prolonged period of time there comes a point where it spills over into the rest of your life. The Omni-Presence of God moves out of the doctrinal realm too and into the practical. Take a moment and sing that old greatest of hymns “Be Thou My Vision” to God and youself. It is the Beatific Vision. What all true believers desire. Go and desire it.
1 Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
naught be all else to me, save that thou art –
thou my best thought, by day or by night;
waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.
2 Be thou my wisdom, and thou my true word;
I ever with thee and thou with me, Lord.
Thou my great Father; thine own may I be,
thou in me dwelling and I one with thee.
3 Riches I heed not, nor vain, empty praise;
thou mine inheritance, now and always;
thou and thou only first in my heart,
high King of heaven, my treasure thou art.
4 High King of heaven, my victory won,
may I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heaven’s sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
still be my vision, O Ruler of all.