For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like those condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to human beings.
– 1 Corinthians 4:9
“We have seen only one [perfect] man. And he was not at all like the psychologist’s picture of the integrated, balanced, adjusted, happily married, employed popular citizen. You can’t really be very well ‘adjusted’ to your world if it says you have a devil and ends by nailing you up naked to a stake of wood.”
– C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves
Eric Metaxas, in his book, Miracles, talks of the “New Age Fallacy” that teaches if we become in tune with the universe, the world will start giving back to us. We will become self-actualized. We will become empowered. Metaxas is only showing the worldview of miracle making, and how it is a fallacy.
But the Bible teaches us that the power is in God Himself. We must trust in God, but with God’s power within us, we can do great things. It is the source of miracles from ancient times to the modern day.
I read in a recent devotion that eastern religions have the concept of calling upon the power that is within us. Yet, with all the power of the magicians of Egypt, they could not duplicate the plague of gnats. That was the third plague (Exodus 8:16-19). When the sixth plague hit, the boils (Exodus 9:8-12), the magicians were in so much pain that we never hear of the magicians again.
The power comes from God and the power is not tuned to this broken world of ours.
Jesus was not well-adjusted to this world. We should not be either.
Could it be possible that some day we will walk into heaven and our guide will suggest that we are wrong about something? What would cause us to be wrong? Any worldly value or worldly way of thinking that remained from our life on Earth. That’s what leads to this quote from C. S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce.
‘Oh, of course. I’m wrong. Everything I say or do is wrong, according to you.’
‘But of course!’ said the Spirit, shining with love and mirth so that my eyes were dazzled. ‘That’s what we all find when we reach this country. We’ve all been wrong! That’s the great joke. There’s no need to go on pretending one was right! After that we begin living.’
Let us prepare now for true living by thinking of God and His righteousness rather than the tempting things of this world, no matter the cost.
What could it cost? Let’s learn from Eric Metaxas, Miracles, as he talks of John Newton and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.
“The author of the hymn ‘Amazing Grace,’ John Newton, who once was a slave ship captain, and who became a Christian preacher and an enemy of the slave trade, once said: ‘I have reason to praise[God] for my trials, for, most probably, I should have been ruined without them.’ The author of The Gulag Archipelago, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, who suffered for twenty years in the hellish prison camps he describes in that book, wrote: ‘Bless you prison, bless you for being in my life. For there, lying upon the rotting prison straw, I came to realize that the object of life is not prosperity as we are made to believe, but the maturity of the human soul.’ This does not mean that Newton would have chosen to go through his trails, or that Solzhenitsyn in any way enjoyed the terrible suffering of his imprisonment. But it means that in retrospect they can see that God used those difficulties to bless them in the long run.”
May we have the courage and strength to step away from the control of our lives and let the Holy Spirit provide us with ‘maturity of the human soul.’