Thoughts on the day before the cross: You don’t have to settle for a “victorious Christian Life!” There is something far better!
Devotional Thought of the Day:
7 I will bless the LORD who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me. 8 I know the LORD is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. 9 No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety. 10 For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave. 11 You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever. Psalm 16:7-11 (NLT2)
The deeper life has … been called the “victorious life,” but I do not like that term. It appears to me that it focuses attention exclusively upon one feature of the Christian life, that of personal victory over sin, when actually this is just one aspect of the deeper life—an important one, to be sure, but only one.
That life in the Spirit that is denoted by the term “deeper life” is far wider and richer than mere victory over sin, however vital that victory may be. It also includes the thought of the indwelling of Christ, acute God-consciousness, rapturous worship, separation from the world, the joyous surrender of everything to God, internal union with the Trinity, the practice of the presence of God, the communion of saints and prayer without ceasing.
I have known a few dark times in my life… to be honest, more than a few. I’ve done enough battling wondering why crap happens to me and those I care about. The Psalms explain many of those dark days. matter of fact your can’t praise God, if He wasn’t the one who delivered you from dark days. Such is Psalm 16, as you can’t help noticing the depth of the writer’s pain.
So when I see posts about being victorious, or claiming that life is “better’ with Christ, that everyone in Christ is an overcomer, I take a step back, and want to hear how they are saying this, and how they define victorious, or what it means to overcome.
I resonate deeply then with Tozer’s words, there is something far deeper in life than simply winning a victory or a battle. There is something far deeper, and far more meaningful.
Realizing the presence of God, whether life is victorious or not! Knowing His promise that even if we die, we shall live..
That is more than enough…
Whether life is great or life sucks, the presence of God is going to be there for you. Not to change the situations, but to change us… much as the psalmist described… chaging our focus, remidning us of the promises.
That presence means everything… and I have known it, even the midst of suffering.. (though somedays – need reminding)
A. W. Tozer and Marilynne E. Foster, Tozer on the Holy Spirit: A 366-Day Devotional (Camp Hill, PA: WingSpread, 2007).