Lift Your Eyes
2018 is an exciting year.
It feels positive. Hopeful.
Governments are vowing to clean up the oceans.
Innovation is everywhere.
Our generation is collectively embracing and fiercely defending a shared set of values and ethics that are touted in TV and cinema, all over social media.
A lot of very good things.
Things to be celebrated.
Compassion. Acceptance. Happiness. Love.
But there is a problem.
One that is overlooked, ignored and unchecked.
The problem is me.
If we really ask ourselves, we know that we aren’t perfect. We know that we couldn’t ever be perfect - in one way or another we’ve gone too far for that. Maybe we don’t want to be perfect, or wonder why we’d even need to be. After all, if there is no cosmic, moral absolute demanding our perfection, why bother?
So, perfection is off the cards, but we’re all mostly good, right? Navigating our lives directed by the warm inclinations of our naturally altruistic hearts. Just a planet full of basically ‘ok’ people hosing down oily seagulls, litter picking and looking out for the little guy. Right?
Whether we really know it or not, without intervention, we all live for a single, standardised purpose - me.
My dreams, my needs, my longings, my little kingdom.
A world full of people living for themselves.
This inherent brokenness can’t be healed by subscribing to a shifting collection of flimsy principles that satisfy our makeshift moral requirements just enough to keep us doing what we’ve always been doing - guilt free living for ‘me’.
Our world of broken people can’t be fixed with tape and glue.
We need something much more substantial.
We need a Saviour.
Someone to transform our purpose. To fulfil our deepest longings and lift our eyes from our little kingdoms of one. Someone to pick us up out of our mess and carry us in the opposite direction.
If you are a Christian, you already know this.
You have committed to the journey away from ‘me’.
You know that you aren’t perfect and that you never could be.
You know that the only way to be right with God is to acknowledge your mistakes and live by faith in a Saviour who stood in your place and paid for the consequences of them with His life.
You know that you are now secure, not because you hold tightly to Him, but because He holds tightly to you.
But, for Christians who have been given this new and glorious purpose, it’s still so easy to buy into what the world is selling.
We subconsciously drift along in its current. Swept away in it until, before we know it, we’re measuring our beliefs and convictions against those we see on screens instead of those we read in the pages of God’s word.
We look longingly back down the road we once walked.
Christianity is in direct conflict with this world’s makeshift morality - the greatest enabler of ‘me’-centric living. Because principles don’t get you right with God. In fact, faith in their sufficiency puts you at odds with Him.
It says, “I’m good enough to meet your standard on my own. I can get there.”
We need to address the problem and listen to what God is saying instead of peddling motivational, innocuous, self-improvement Christianity.
We must tell the whole story.
Because this world’s brokenness will never be healed through dreaming bigger dreams or embracing a better you. God doesn't just offer secret tips for you to live a more fulfilling life. He doesn't offer to improve your circumstances or make you more efficient at achieving your own ends.
He changes your ends. He changes what you're about.
He changes your purpose.
He makes me right with Him - in spite of me.
I couldn’t earn it.
I don’t deserve it.
But He does it - because He loves me.