“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”

-Romans 8:26

You don’t give your heart in pieces.

If we read Roman’s 8, we see two things. We first see that we, imperfect humans, have choices to make. We see two sides of a coin that determine the life that we have based off of what we choose. If we choose one side, the flesh side, we die. If we choose the other side, the Christ side, we live. Oftentimes Christians say things like “pick up your cross” or “die to your flesh” every day, but do we really know what that means? Or, we just don’t say them at all, and we convince ourselves and potentially those around us that it is good enough to say that we believe in Jesus and we love him, and leave it at that. He becomes just another addition to our busy lives. He’s like that self-help book collecting dust on your bookshelf; or that therapist that you saw when you went through that rough time and you keep their number in your phone just in case you ever need them again. He becomes a thing that we keep around in case we go through a rough patch, but for the most part we can take care of ourselves. But even just in this one chapter of Romans, let alone in the whole Bible, we see that it doesn’t really work that way. Paul tells the Romans that a life in the flesh leads to death. Those who are in the flesh are moving away from Christ. Now we all know that God is perfect, and he cannot be around us if we are not (AKA the existence of Jesus). So if we are moving away from Him we cannot be near him. Paul tells the Romans that those who live in the flesh are hostile to God. Hostile. BUT. If we choose Christ, we are given life. Life comes from God and we only need to choose him and his Spirit will dwell in us. And if his Spirit is in us we are co-heirs with Christ. We receive the adoption Spirit and become God’s children, part of his family. So there are two choices. But that’s the thing, there are only two. Paul doesn’t tell the Romans “well, you can kind of just draw near to God when you need him, but most of the time you can just do you”. He doesn’t give them a neutral option. You have to choose, and it seems as though if you are not actively choosing to follow him, then you are choosing to walk away. There is no neutral.

You don’t give your heart in pieces.

So what are we supposed to do with this information? Well I guess we have to choose. A lot of this blog will have me talking about problems or barriers that I see in my generation that keep people from Christ. One of the things that I feel often is a lack of commitment to Jesus. Jesus is seen as fun and a friend and a good addition to your life. But too often I see people who just want to keep Jesus in their backseat, rather than letting him be the driver. If take Paul at his word (which we should) then doing this is not neutral like we think it is, but rather is driving us away from Christ. This is a hard concept to get. Especially in a world that so values being a good person and “being the change you want to see in the world”. Not that you shouldn’t be a good person, but you should be a good person by accident because you are trying to be more like Jesus. We should be so entrenched in seeking him that all of the other “good” people things happen by accident. God doesn’t give himself to us in pieces. If he can see us exactly as we are, if he can accept us and fill us with his Spirit immediately after our hearts were considered hostile, if he can adopt us and call us co-heirs with Jesus without asking anything of us other than us to choose him, then how can we put him on a shelf to have if we need him, and continue living exactly how we are? Not blaming anyone here but something somewhere went wrong and we have begun to simplify a relationship with Jesus so much that we lost the commitment part that makes it a relationship.

You don’t give your heart in pieces.

God has made us co-heirs with Jesus, his perfect son, for no more payment than our love and devotion to him. The Spirit of God himself prays for us with groanings to deep for words. He knows that he don’t know what to pray for. He knows that we are imperfect and always will be. As just as he is, he is that much more loving. He does not give his heart in pieces. He goes all in, taking us in, and giving us all. But we have to choose. That’s the catch. Or really the obligation. We can’t just keep Jesus in our corner and only let him in when it suits us. We need to recognize our own neediness. We need to see that if we are not moving towards him we are moving away from him. And we have to choose. We can’t be moving away from him and expect him to still be there. Because he can’t be. He is perfect, and he can’t be in an unhealthy relationship. And a one sided relationship is unhealthy. He doesn’t give his heart in pieces. So neither can we.

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