My driving ramble was a little longer this week... just a lot of heaviness in my heart this week. This whole post is longer. My apologies. I just pray it helps you in your journey.
So, I'm just inviting you to join me in the search for contentment and joy. Psalm 16:11 says:
"You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand there are pleasures forevermore."
I know this is true in my head, but I want to feel its truth in my heart. I want Christ's presence to control me. I want him to be so real to me that I can say, "It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me."
My prayer has been for a while now, "Jesus, invade my life." I knew this was a dangerous prayer, and I expected the dangerousness to be something like "go sell all you have" or "go share the gospel with cannibals."
He's not told me to do those things (yet), because I could obey those commands and still not give him my heart.
So, the dangerous place he's sent me to explore for his gospel is my very own heart. The dangerous task he has given me for his gospel is to examine my desires and look my intentions in the eye. I'll be honest... it's painful. It's painful to see how hollow my heart is because of the little space Christ occupies there.
I've been mostly miserable most of the time on the inside for a while now, speckled with moments of pure, explicit joy for the gospel. But I want the colors to reverse. I want the speckles of full joy in Christ's presence to swell up and conquer the gray, nothingness of a Christ-less life that now seems to dominate this illustration like the black of the night sky. The vibrant specks that are the moments I find myself in his presence are like the stars. They by no means dominate our view of the night sky, but they alone make it worth looking up.
The past couple of years I've had a tough burden to bear. My wife knows all the details and her prayers uphold me. A few know some of the details.
This burden is a weakness, a 'thorn,' and I'm only now learning to value the goodness of being made weak... Christ's power is perfected in weakness. I think if not for our trials, we would walk our whole lives in the gray nothingness of a monochromatic, joyless, Christ-less life (even if we are 'saved') for apart from trials we would never cherish or beckon his full presence.
So Jesus, come on, invade my life. Walk me through the messiness of my heart and conquer it. Be the King of My Heart. Rule my desires. Let a deep, vicious desire for you drive all that I do. Don't let me be satisfied with anything less than you. I'm grateful for you letting me feel miserable with my idols. I'm grateful for the trials. Amen.
Can't listen to this song without crying. Enjoy. Worship through it. Pray this song.
"Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of Knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake, I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness of God that depends on faith - that I may know him and the power of his resurrection and may share in his sufferings becoming like him in his death that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead." Philippians 3:8-11ish
I love you all. Grateful for your partnership in the gospel.