“If you walk with God, you will find yourself called up to the real thing. Intense battle. Authentic joy. The battle will find you. But you have to be intentional about the joy.”- John Eldredge
John Eldredge concludes the Fall section of Walking with God as he discusses the interaction between battle and joy. Mr. Eldredge stresses that joy is essential because:
- we live in a world at war
- the Enemy’s relentless
- we’re hard-pressed on every side (2 Corinthians 4:8)
- joy counters the effects of our unrelenting battle
- without joy, the effects of the battle suck us dry, leaving us with no inner resources
- without joy, we’ll fall into addiction because we’re absolutely starving for joy
In contrast, the world’s version of battle and joy consists of striving and indulgence. as John points out, the world’s version of battle and joy equates to “a cheap counterfeit of battle and a cheap counterfeit of joy.”
Furthermore, the mood, spirit, or climate of our present age- busyness- further complicates our battle. Also, technology, rather than simplifying life, has us by the throat. But, like the prodigal son, we won’t change our busyness until we wake up and desire a different life. In the meantime, Mr. Eldredge lists the “benefits” of a life of not living but getting things done:
- It provides us with an illusion of security– I’m tackling life and staying on top of things.
- Although it’s a false security, we believe it’s our sole road to security– thus, I stay on top of things to maintain control.
- The wonderful quality of “purposeful distraction”– I’m too busy for God or anything else.
- Added bonus: my busyness is “just the way it is”– therefore, I feel no guilt that I’m not facing myself, God, or anything else.
In conclusion, John notes that all these “benefits” support an underlying conviction. That conviction- we wouldn’t kill ourselves trying to hold the world up if we believed God was going to take care of our concerns. To truly live differently, we must show some sign of belief in God’s providence in our choices.
Today’s question: How has God called you up to the real thing of intense battle and authentic joy? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Learning to hear the voice of God”