by Rod D. Martin
October 19, 2014
I visited a friend’s church this Sunday morning. One of the songs we sang posited that “Christ is everything I need,” and went on to say that, having met Jesus, nothing else in this life could ever satisfy me.
I thought about that for a second. And I realized it isn’t true.
The truth is, lots of things short of Christ, the Creator and Redeemer of the world, the lover of my soul, satisfy me all too well. Like a small child who has no greater culinary desire than ketchup, I satisfy myself with mud pies every day. My attention span is anything but eternal.
Oh, there’s a butterfly!
But we all — all Christians at least — struggle with that. And that’s not what hit me.
What I thought about as I sang that song were the things for which I’d be tempted to trade my Lord entirely.
Don’t understand what I mean? Ask Jesus Himself. In the Wilderness, Satan thrice tempted our Messiah, once with a short-term impulse, food; once with an all-too-common intoxicant, pride; and once with an uncommon offer that would overwhelm most people’s defenses: globe-girdling power.
It was this that spoke to me. The common sins are one thing. But what about the temptations that swamp our capacity for reason, or even our physical limits?
These vary from person to person. For some it’s a substance: cocaine, or perhaps Johnnie Walker Blue. For others it might be a type or degree of sexual behavior that has slipped far beyond control. Nor did Satan waste his three shots at Jesus: he picked lines of attack that would be too much for most to handle.
There are certainly others. But that’s not the point. The point is, called to imitate Christ, could I in such a moment be satisfied with the Father’s surpassing, eternal riches? Or would I trade Him and all that’s His, consciously and deliberately, for some seemingly overarching Earthly price, temporary though it be?
I Corinthians 10:13 provides a safe harbor to be sure. But like all my other blessings, it is entirely by grace. In and of myself, even as a believer, I realized in the singing of that song how faithless, how shortsighted I really am. Paul said that “For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain,” and he lived and died accordingly.
Would I? Would you? Really?
Oh Lord, please bear with our childish weakness, and make us, your adopted children, more like your only begotten.