Thursday, April 25, 2013

Being consumed by a lust for life? (Psalm 34:12a)

SCRIPTURE: Psalm 34:12a (TM)
Who out there has a lust for life?

Watchman Nee tells the story of his stay in China with twenty other Christians. The bathing accommodations were inadequate in the home where they were lodging, so they went for a daily dip in the river. 

On one occasion, one of the men got a cramp in his leg and began sinking fast. Mr. Nee motioned to one of the other men, who was an excellent swimmer, about the drowning man. To his astonishment, however, the man did not move. He just stood there and watched the drowning man. 

Mr. Nee was agitated, but the swimmer was calm and collected. Meanwhile, the voice of the drowning man grew fainter and more desperate. Mr. Nee hated the swimmer who just stood and watched on the shore when he could have jumped into the river and rescued the drowning man. As the drowning man went under for what looked like the last time, the swimmer was there in a moment, and both were soon safely on shore. 

After the rescue, Mr. Nee chewed out the swimmer, accusing him of loving his life too much and being selfish. The response of the swimmer revealed, however, he knew what he was doing. He told Watchman that if he had gone too soon, the drowning man would have put a death grip on him and they would have both drowned in the river, and he was right. He told Mr. Nee that a drowning man cannot be saved until he is utterly exhausted and ceases to make the slightest effort to save himself.

What consumes our every moment? What demands our undivided attention? What requires 100% of our energy? What keeps our focus? It is these things that we lust after.

An old Scottish Presbyterian evangelist challenged my home church congregation to be so focused in on God that it matters not what we are doing – driving, studying, laundry, watching TV, eating – it is done to the glory of God because we desire nothing but God all the time.

He would have labeled this: Lust for a Godly life. Lust as all consuming, attention riveting, energy requiring desire. Another way to look at lust is: great eagerness or enthusiasm for something that literally drives our being until we achieve or obtain it. Or, a strong desire that demands satisfaction and will not rest until it is reached.

Is this the driving force in our relationship with God? Do we lust for a Godly life? Do we start every morning with this drive within our soul? Like a the drowning man in the story maybe we have to get to the point that we cannot save ourselves any longer and just give up at which point God can step in and save us. The experience will be so moving that we will begin to lust for the life that only he can provide.

Oh that we might be so consumed by the lust for life that nothing else matters until we desire nothing but you Lord. 

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