Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A little bit of this...

On Sunday, Jeremy and I went to church for the first time in a long time. It felt amazing. I think it is hard to describe how much I missed going to church. Honestly, I didn't realize how much I missed it until I sad down and listened to a message on Matthew 24-25. I loved it. I plan on going to church for a month to see if this is the right church.

In the mornings, I get to work before any of my coworkers. The phones are typically silent, so it allows me a little time to read The Word and catch up on CS Lewis (always a fantastic way to start the day). Lately I've been starting with some readings from My Utmost for his Highest and A Year with C.S.Lewis. The other day, I could not help but notice the connections between the two, completely unrelated readings for September 18th. I wrote parts of them in my journal and thought I'd share their words with you today:

"Satan does not tempt us just to make us do wrong things--he tempts us to make us lose what God has put into us through regeneration, namely, the possibility of being of value to God. He does not come to us on the premise of tempting us to sin, but on the premise of shifting our point of view, and only the Spirit of God can detect this as a temptation of the devil." ~ Oswald Chambers"

Now Faith, in the sense in which I am here using the word, is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods. For moods will change, whatever view your reason takes. I know that by experience. Although I am a Christian, I do have moods in which the whole thing looks very improbable: but when I was not being fed at church, I had moods in which Christianity looked terribly probable. This rebellion of your moods against your real self is going to come anyway. That is why Faith is such a necessary virtue: unless you teach your moods 'where they get off', you can never be either a sound Christian or even a sound "Whatever-Christian" (My term for being a Christian, but not really growing- the response to this everything is "whatever"), but just a creature dithering to and fro, with its beliefs really dependent on the weather and the state of its digestion.

Consequently one must train the habit of Faith.The first step is to recognise the fact that your moods change. The next is to make sure that, if you have once accepted Christianity, then some of its main doctrines shall be deliberately held before your mind for some time every day. I've realized that churchgoing is a necessary part of the Christian life... We have to be continually reminded of what we believe. Neither this belief nor any other will automatically remain alive in the mind. It must be fed. And as a matter of fact, if you examined a hundred people who had lost their faith in Christianity, I wonder how many of them would turn out to have been reasoned out of it by honest argument? Do not most people simply drift away?" ~C.S. Lewis from Mere Christianity

I let my moods turn me into "a creature dithering to and fro." I let Satan gradually "shift my point of view" until I am at a place where I am no longer "of value to God." And that happens because I do not hold the doctrines of Christ "deliberately beofre my mind for some time every day." I foolishly expect my beliefs to "remain alive in my mind" as though I expect the lessons of College Algebra to stay alive in my mind despite 10 years without practice. Silly girl. Thank goodness for Grace.


Laura said...

I never thought about Faith being impacted by moods. That is a really good point and it gives me something to think about today. We do have to constantly reminded of what we believe and why we believe it or we will drift away. Love the analogy to college algebra...very true.