Maximillian Amadeus Banzai (banzai) wrote,
Maximillian Amadeus Banzai

  • Mood:

Demolition man

There are things in human nature, such as prejudices, that the saint can only destroy through sheer neglect. But there are other things that have to be destroyed through violence, that is, through God’s divine strength imparted by His Spirit. There are some things over which we are not to fight, but only to "stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord..." (Exodus 14:13). But every theory or thought that raises itself up as a fortified barrier "against the knowledge of God" is to be determinedly demolished by drawing on God’s power, not through human effort or by compromise (see 2 Corinthians 10:4).

Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest (8 September,"Do It Yourself")

Powerful devotional today. Jesus continues His ministry today through His Spirit, in His people. Not only is that true of extending mercy and the ministry of reconciliation to the world, but He also gives us the privilege and responsibility of being active participants in our own salvation—never, ever by our own power, yet His Spirit empowers each believer. Who will knock down the idols I've raised up in my life? I am closest to them.

Community in the form of the church is also an extension of Jesus' ministry. These verses were written to the church in Corinth—while they are applicable to the life of the individual believer, they are also about the life of the church body. Sometimes I won't see my idols, or I will be so in love with them and so afraid of living without them that I won't bring them crashing down myself. We must do that for one another, not in a way that attempts to supplant the Spirit's role in convicting each of his own sin, but in a way that walks out Christ's ministry. Have I let the church and its people into my life in such a way that they can do even the violent (and impolite!) act of demolishing the idols there? Will I let Him use me that way in another's life?

If neither I nor my brethren topple these idols, God Himself is left to it. This means I've stifled the work of His Spirit in my inner life, and I've blocked the Spirit's work through the church. In such a case, God can do one of two things, both of them terrible. He Himself can bring an idol down, which will hurt inasmuch as I am still clinging to it for the life it can never give. Or He can turn me over to it, to the empty worship of nothing instead of the life-giving worship of Him. Each is a severe mercy, discipline from a loving Father intended to bring back a wayward child. If I hold this discipline in contempt as well, then it is certainly reasonable to wonder whose I am—His, or my own.

There is a lot of work for me here. My inner life is a veritable museum of idols raised up against the knowledge of God. That work may well be painful, messy, and slow, or it may be none of these things. What I know for sure is that it is His work, given to me by the presence and power of His Spirit in my life. Today, I want to learn to do it.

  • Freedom from biting and devouring

    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…

  • "Seek my face"

    Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me! You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, Lord, do I…

  • Momentum, showing up, and giving up

    An area where I regularly struggle with others is related to momentum. Before I begin, a few caveats are probably in order: When it comes to…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.