Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Addition and Subtraction

From "What Does it Mean to Accept Jesus" by Ray Ortlund:
“You turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.” 1 Thessalonians 1:9
You and I are not integrated, unified, whole persons. Our hearts are multi-divided. There is something like a board room in every heart. Big table. Leather chairs. Coffee. Bottled water. Whiteboard. A committee sits around the table. There is the social self, the private self, the work self, the sexual self, the recreational self, the religious self, the childhood memories self, and many others. The committee is arguing and debating and voting. Constantly agitated and upset. Rarely can they come to a unanimous, wholehearted decision.
We are like that. We tell ourselves it’s because we are so busy, with so many responsibilities. The truth is, we are just indecisive. We are held back by small thoughts of Jesus.
A person in this condition can “accept Jesus” in either of two ways. One way is to invite him onto the committee. Give Jesus a vote too. But then he is just one influence among many. This way of inviting Jesus into one’s life is common here in the Bible Belt. But it isn’t Christianity, as defined by the New Testament. The other way to “accept Jesus” is to say to him, “My life isn’t working. Please come in and fire my committee, every last one of them. I hand myself over to you now. Please run my whole life for me. Show me how that works.” That is not complication; that is salvation.
“Accepting Jesus” is not just adding Jesus. It is also subtracting the idols.