Thursday, August 27, 2015

I want

"Great people don't do great things; God does great things through surrendered people." ~Jennie Allen

It's the beginning of a new school year. As a junior in college, I find that I and many of my peers are thinking hard about what we want - what we want from community life, from our studies this year, and, in the not-so-distant-future, from life after college.

To be honest, I want a lot of things, ranging all over the place in level of importance.

I want to have a fabulous apartment that people feel welcome in.

I want to enjoy being a college student - not get so swamped in work that I forget to appreciate the gift of being a full-time student with no more pressing responsibilities. 

I want to get decent grades.

I want to read every book that peaks my interest in both the college library and the public library.

I want to study in Oxford.

I want to live in Germany.

I want to get an interesting job.

Eventually I want to get married.

The list goes on and on.

I want, I want, I want.

But, as pressing as these desires may seem, none of them reach the core of what I truly want.

I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow, to attain the resurrection of the dead. 

I want to live a life that is Christ.

I want to know the POWER of the Holy Spirit.

I want to die to myself and my desires so that I may fling myself without reserve into the life God unfolds for me, knowing that every step of the way He is drawing me closer to Himself, who is the source of fullness of joy and eternal life.

How do I prepare for this kind of life? More pressingly, how do I live it now - a life poured out as a living sacrifice to God, not a living witness that in spite of my words to the contrary I still think of myself as number 1?

How do I keep my sights fixed on things above, where my heart is hidden with Christ in God, and not on earthly things while still affirming the goodness of His earthly gifts?

How do I learn to live prepared to lay everything He has given me down in a heartbeat and cling only to Him?

How do I know when to lay aside my plans and open myself to the wonder of His Plan - and yet not be paralyzed when I don't receive my own personal cloud like the Israelites had in the wilderness?

How do I love with Christ's love?

These are the questions of a lifetime. But as I head into this next school year, I want to start working them out, prioritizing these fundamental desires over all other superficial, circumstantial ones. I want to do this now, while I am still in college. Before I settle down and form habits that get me stuck in an earthly rut of selfishness and independence instead of the heavenly freedom of complete dependence upon God.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God. ~Romans 12:1

For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain. ~Philippians 1:21

For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. ~Colossians 3:3

For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and self-control. ~2 Timothy 1:7

Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart. ~Psalm 37:4

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