Mr. Standfast

"Nothing taken for granted; everything received with gratitude; everything passed on with grace." G. K. Chesterton

December 19, 2003

Kingdom Kids in the Devil's Playground

Last post before Christmas. Tomorrow I'll be on the road to Grandmother's house with the boys. Time to regroup!


I was thinking today that there must be a "Yes" in our response to each moment of living. Of course that is not an indiscriminate ascent--not Yes to everything--but Yes to that which is good, praiseworthy, etc. You know: Philippians 4:8. This is really an attitude-issue. The disposition of the heart. What are you fixing your gaze on, my friend?

"Think about such things." That's what the NIV says. NASB: Dwell on these things. Amplified: Think on, weigh on, take account of. Fix your mind on.

Fix you mind on. That's the one I like. Fix your mind on the things in life, in the world, in you, that are worthy of this response: YES!

Another thing: Reckon yourself dead to sin, but alive to God. Romans 6:11. Reckon it. Count it up. Tally the sums. Take stock. Yes, take stock. Make an accounting. Sin on the one side, Christ on the other. What do you find? Paid in full? If so (and it is so, if you will only accept it), then you are now alive to God and alive to the things of God. As never before. Alive. Awake. Wide-eyed. Awed. Forgetting the old you are enamored by these new things. Things new every morning. Things of God. Philippians 4:8 things.

So there is this Yes to be spoken in each moment. Sometimes hard to discover, but there. Recently we (L. & me) made a series of decisions, not all of which were "praiseworthy." And for that there will be a cost. Some of that cost could have been avoided if we had only "done the right thing" at a key moment. But another part of that cost is simply, well, the cost of Discipleship. Some are telling us now that we should have avoided the whole business, remained aloof. But to have done so would have been to exempt ourselves from the momentous privilege of saying Yes to God and the things of God. Does any of this make sense?

I pray that I will never stop saying Yes to God as I navigate this life of choices. Surely I will need wisdom, discernment and righteousness in thought and deed. After all, the devil knows that God has made us choosing beings, and so he will inevitably offer us choices, playing to our flesh. Such is nature of our situation: Kingdom kids in the Devil's playground. But please don't ever let me hunker down in disappointment and futility. Though I make mistakes, though I choose wrongly at times, courage is giving God a chance to show you His stuff, His options, and taking the sometimes seemingly great risk of trusting Him and His way.

Well, and now is the time. This is the moment of choosing. Look around you, friend. There is no place in creation that is truly void of God. You can spend your time wishing you'd made different choices yesterday: a dreary, foot-dragging, nail-biting, mind-numbing existence, that. Or you can choose now. For those of you who have not been born again, well, there is a starting place for this life of choosing. There is a first choice. You may think you can't choose Jesus, but you can. You may think you can never turn aside from the things that have enslaved you till now, and yet God has given you, in the midst of it all, this much grace: the grace to choose this day which way you will turn. Back to the things that lead to death. Or to the things that lead to life. That way begins with Jesus. He mastered every enemy you will ever face. He reigns over creation and He is preparing for Himself a people that have his heart and mind, his nature. The vast untapped possibilities of Jesus in your life (sometimes summarized in 1 word: love) lie before you. Saying yes to all the things of God begins with saying yes to Jesus, which is why he calls himself the way.

I have so much more to say. Suddenly I'm on a roll! But my time is up. I hope you celebrate Jesus Christ's birthday as never before. God bless all have ventured this far with me. See you in week or so!