Are we there yet?
Some years ago we were going to Merimbula for a family holiday, all six children in the car plus a lot of other stuff and off we headed. Eight hours of travel (or so) and not too far into the journey it started how much further, are we there yet, too far I want to go home, followed by several more are we there yet. Have you ever been a victim of this little question? I am quite confident that most of you that have children have experienced the joy of, are we there yet followed by are we there yet followed by how much longer, are we there yet and on it goes (hopefully they fall asleep). Well perhaps not this exact question but something similar to it. The answer is no not yet; we are on the way, sit back and enjoy the ride.
Life is a journey in many ways, we journey from childhood to adulthood, schooling is a journey, the various experiences in life are a journey and on it goes. There are many aspects of life, most in one way or another take on the form of a journey. Over the past little while we have been considering the implications of Christ in us. In the May newsletter I asked the question who am I and concluded that those in Christ are sons and daughters of the living God (1 John 3:1a). But just as much of life can be characterised by a journey metaphor so too can our life in Christ.
In writing to Timothy Paul demands an active pursuit of godly things and a deliberate avoidance of lustful desires (2:Timothy2:22). Paul uses the image of running a race and persevering to end (1 Corinthians 9:24-27, Philippians 3:13-14), and so too does the writer of Hebrews in 12:1. Our life in Christ is a journey that challenges and changes us through the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit. In The Keys to Spiritual Growth by John MacArthur acknowledges we can resist this transforming work of the Holy Spirit and states, “The Spirit filled life is yielding every decision to the control of the Spirit. The question is not whether He’s there, but rather, whether His power fills our lives so that He controls all we say, think, and do. Being filled with the Spirit means having the Holy Spirit released to permeate your life-to fill you in every dimension so that you become like Him.”
There is dreadful delusion we can all succumb too if we are not careful. We start our journey as we turn to Christ as sinners. It is easy for us to justify a pattern of life with little change blaming human nature. Dallas Willard notes in Renovation of the Heart, (pg81) “In the spiritual life one never rests on ones laurels. Past attainments do not place us in a position of merit that permits us to let up on our hot pursuit of God for today, for now.”
This gets us back to the heading, are we there yet?
Clearly not, but, are you, as Willard puts it, in hot pursuit of God?
Blessings, Pastor Stewart.