there’s still something in me that believes that i can “overcome” sin and “do it right.” I catch a glimpse of myself doing the right thing and think, “I can keep doing this…” Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s possible to change, but I’m believing more and more that it’s only through faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ. I think we have tend to land on a moralistic “don’t do this” place and feel good for the season that we can keep it up.
i caught a profound glimpse of truth the other day when i had not eaten the entire day. i thought to myself when i started to eat dinner that i need self control to not gorge even though my body had been starved all day. what happened? i totally gorged. i ate and ate and ate and ate… i ate like there was going to be no food tomorrow. this taught me that the idea of will powered change can only last for a short time.
to believe in the gospel of Jesus is to acknowledge and receive a change of heart. i have to understand the deeper issues that drive me to my outer behavior. our behavior is but a reflection of the inner dysfunction of our soul. to change it leaves the heart in it’s dysfunction. to go to the heart is to address the core issues.
my shortsidedness and hard headedness never ceases to amaze me. i was preaching this past sunday on John 4. on of the sections was about the disciples urging Jesus to eat and him responding, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” He’s talking about doing this will of his Father and they’re still thinking about food. i’ve been so convicted of this truth. I believe that we still think that we’re “not ready” or that we “need to be fed more.” but, the truth is that when we act and step out in faith, we grow and we become stronger. in essence, we are fed. it’s crazy that the disciples have been walking with Jesus and yet when he talks about this, they are wondering what literal food he’s talking about. Whereas, Jesus will always talk about the nourishment of our souls being the thing that satisfies us to our deepest core.
anyhow, i’m preaching this word and i’m thinking that i’m getting it in me as well. but that wasn’t necessarily the case. we had our monthly potluck dinner after our gathering and while i’m eating and talking a guy taps me on the shoulder to say hi. it’s one of our brothers from the street that hasn’t been around in a while. he’s talking to me and telling me that it’s been a long time and that so much has changed. i tell him that it’s good that he’s here and that it’s good that he came tonight since it’s potluck night and he’d be able to eat. he comes up to me again about 20 minutes later and says, “you know… life is more than just food. i want and need something more. i’ll be here next week for the service.”
i sat there speechless and humbled. i had just finished preaching a message about a greater food that satisfies our soul, and immediately need to be reminded by my homeless and hungry brother that life is about more than just food for our bodies. this was definitely a humbling reminder that God’s word doesn’t need to just flow through me, but needs to flow in me as well…