When the Water’s Your World

“These things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.  I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.  I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.  They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.  Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.” John 17:13-18

“The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned… ‘For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:14,16

When the dark deep of water is your home, you avoid light and air. Think fish, who might tickle the surface or occasionally slice through the unlined barrier in a flip of other-worldly exertion. Their nature always dominates, and back to the wet they return. In contrast, the dolphin, a mammal needing air, breaks the water’s surface in smooth, regular arcs, silent save for the gentle whoof of a blow before intake of fresh breath. The necessary, life-sustaining rhythm is serene and certain.

As mammal sinners, we can do everything possible to remain in the world’s depths and often prefer the anonymity of darkness. We flit about in places we can hide, unwilling to have habits exposed, and flirting with shame. But we’ll never know full life as God intended without regularly breathing out the old and in the new. We must come to the light and partake of His Spirit to live.

While in the world, we will not escape its pull. But as Jesus prayed, we are not of the world, and can resist the evil one. We have every freedom (and urgent admonition) to break the surface of its mania and drink deeply the air of the heavenly Christ. Regularly carry the oxygen of His countenance and truth and loveliness to the madding realm of darkness. (Philippians 2:15)

What do we love and coddle too much in the present world, and so desert, or even recoil from, the things and people and ways of God? Addictive or sultry habits in entertainment? Mindsets of angst, resentment, or catty complaining? Indulgences of the flesh, wallet, tongue, or mind? When will we take the necessary escape and exhale in order to inhale the purity, wisdom, and inspiration of the Lord?

While destined for this world’s water in our numbered days, take and delight in God’s precepts and have life. Bask in His light, and there we see light. Drink regular deep draughts of Jesus and be refreshed. The longer we linger in the murk of unsound teaching and unchecked passions without taking heavenly air, the harder it will be to make surfacing and remaining in Christ a practice. (Psalm 36:9; 119:92-93; 2 Timothy 4:3-4)

Father, having assigned me to this world for now, keep me coming up for You often and rhythmically. So sate me with Your way, truth, and life that I can spread it here below. (John 14:6)

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