Sola Deo Gloria7:30 AM
In general, girls wake up and stare blearily at the wall, blocking out the sunshine, blocking out the world. I admit that it's sometimes lovely to just scrunch up in my bunk bed, bedraggingly sleepy.
But it's more fun to think. And I thought today. I woke up, with the sunshine tiptoeing in beneath the shades, and I imagined I was talking to a friend. Don't know what friend. Just a friend. And she asked me why I wear skirts. (No, I won't belabor the point.) I told her, "Because I like being pretty and feminine." Not for religious reasons? I was going to say no -- but then I wasn't so sure.
Where did I get that notion of prettiness and femininity? It's different from the models at JCPenney.
Then (still dreamy) I wondered if there was any preference or conviction or opinion I had that hadn't, in some way or other, been influenced by the gospel of Christ. Now, surely, I am not flawlessly conformed; but I couldn't think of anything that couldn't be traced back to something I got from my Lord Jesus.
As I put up the dishes that morning, I kept thinking Take every thought captive. Take every thought captive.
I tend to not understand the verses that are quoted frequently. But I thought of that and I thought of not I, but Christ who lives in me.
And I got it.
If we are Christ's, we quickly learn that Jesus isn't a pet Santa Claus to guide us on our path and pour sunshine on our souls. He is the way; that is, we follow a new path -- a totally new path -- a path that could not be taken by anyone but a person saved by grace.
If we are Christ's, we will also quickly learn that Jesus isn't a self-help guide to fix up a sinful person. He crucifies and brings back to life: that's His specialty. He isn't interested in getting us back on our feet; He's all about getting us to depend on Him.
If that's true, then there should not be an area of our life that isn't conformed to Jesus Christ. I am not advocating we put together little rulebooks with a bunch of do's and don't's backed by out-of-context Scriptures. I mean that we learn to love best what Christ loves best -- that we value what He values -- that we change the lens of our outlook and see the world differently.
Sometimes it means stop sinning. But I think it also means start conforming. Start looking for ways that actively build up our relationship with Christ -- things that unapologetically affirm Christ in our lives -- thoughts that bring us closer to holiness.
It's not about whether it's sin or not. It's not even about if it's good. It's about what is best...for the love of God. If I think this or do that, it may not be sin: it may, in fact, be a good thing. But is it best? Is it what God wants me thinking right now? Is it something that glorifies Him, something that brings Christ to the center and pushes out the folly and flesh of my old self?
Ambiguous, yes, but again, it's not about do's and don't's. With one fell swoop that takes care of legalism and lawlessness both. It's not about rules. It's not about my freedom. It's about turning our hearts to His leading. Conforming. Embracing. Taking every thought captive -- for the glory of God alone.