Sunday, January 2, 2011

Christian hedonism...the theme for 2011

Let those who delight in my righteousness
shout for joy and be glad
and say evermore,
"Great is the LORD,
who delights in the welfare of his servant!"
28Then my tongue shall tell of your righteousness
and of your praise all the day long. -Psalm 35:27-28

He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me.
-2 Samuel 22:20

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.....For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” -Galatians 5:1, 13-14
My husband and I have been listening in the car to FamilyLife podcasts the last few days on pleasure and Christianity. I believe these were timely messages for me as I've allowed myself to become very discouraged of late. While it is true I have many blessings, I really struggled in 2010 to have joy in my walk with the Lord. And as I was talking in my last post about Aslan's comments to Lucy in the dawntreader movie, I felt I had reached a place that my faith was lacking in the area of truly believing that there are purposes God has me specifically for that no one else can fulfill. Life is not supposed to be a dreary meandering, but an adventure that unfolds before us as God draws us closer and closer to himself. And so my quest in 2011 is to seek all that God has for us, to drink deeply from the cup that God has for me, and to ENJOY the plans of God this year.

It says in His word that He DELIGHTS in me, that He DELIGHTS in my welfare. Too often, I have perceived God as a benevolent, though weary father, who TOLERATES me. But that is not Biblical. He doesn't want my affections and give good gifts because he HAS to. He WANTS to. And maybe for some people, this is no revelation at all. But for me, this is a truth I know in my head but it has never felt real to my heart. It's my goal for this year that that truth would permeate me. I want every decision I make this year to be made with the mindset of seeking God's will and REALLY, TRULY believing that HIS will is GOOD. Not just Holy. GOOD.

I realize, of course, that doesn't mean the Christian life is pain free. But I can trust Him that pain He sends or allows when I am in the center of His will is not pointless, and He will not leave me there. Ultimately He intends for me to walk in victory. The enemy is powerless in my life because my father has all authority, and he's given that authority to me to be an overcomer. And life is meant to be a joy, not a burden to bear. The fruit of the Spirit is joy. And I desire so much that 2011 would be a year for me that the joy of the Lord is renewed in my life, that it overflows out of me to affect change in the world around me. This is what I feel like the Lord wants to teach me in 2011- how to walk in true joy. To be a Christian Hedonist.

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