Over the weekend my family and I did a bit of traveling. Not too far, but we did have enough time to listen to an audio book. It was The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis, in the Chronicles of Narnia series.
This was actually my first time hearing this particular story. My favorites have always been the Magician’s Nephew and The Last Battle.
Anyway, the story was incredible, and, as always, it was lined with Lewis’ relationship with our Father.
There’s a scary scene toward the end, where a certain witch is attempting to keep a certain illusion going. She’s basically casting a Jedi mind trick on everyone to keep them under her oppression. They’re trapped in the underworld, in darkness, in slavery.
She wants to keep them. They try to remember the sun, the grass, anything real… anything with life. She weaves her spell, convincing them that they’re just using their imaginations, wishing for a different life. They should simply forget it, and give themselves fully to the dark underworld.
This hit home with me. This is a choice we have everyday.
I believe that there’s things we all know in our hearts are true, though, our senses would often like to tell us otherwise. But there is a war going on for our souls and spirits.
Christ talked about this struggle when he told us not to store up our treasures here on earth, where moth and rust destroy. He doesn’t want us to waste our time, let alone our hearts on that which will only fail us.
Isaiah gave us God’s plea for us to invest ourselves in what will not fade away in chapter 55…
Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good…
God hates us wasting ourselves, or being wasted on this illusion that’s around us. He hates for His children to be in slavery to anything.
I did a search on spiritual slavery, and I found some wonderful quotes from some awesome men (and I’ll show those below). I think their perspective on this is good because it gives a balance to what I’m trying to say.
You see, what I’m NOT saying is that we need to not look, touch, eat, feel… I’m NOT saying that we need to deny all things good because we don’t want to indulge our flesh. But I am saying that we should not indulge ourselves and thereby become slaves to stuff and pleasures… and our freedom with the Creator disappears.
You see, it’s a trick. It’s like a homeless guy spending the few bucks he’s got on a couple of 40oz. beers because it’s easier to get to that buzz RIGHT NOW than it is to save up those pennies and put them toward something better. We do the same, day in and day out on so many levels.
A man is a slave to anything he cannot part with that is less than himself. – George MacDonald
The first step toward becoming free for God is the realization of how unfree we are. – Thomas H. Green
My very favorite book, Lilith, by George MacDonald ends with a quote by 18th century German writer, Novalis.
Our life is no dream, but should and will perhaps become one.
This line sums up the whole book. For those who don’t have the grace for reading a MacDonald fiction book, I’ll sum it up.
Our life here, brief and intense, is a dream. There’s a side of us that desperately longs to be in the arms of our Father, and find the rest of actually being who we truly are, and there’s another side, that is rebellious to the core.
If we’re going to invest in anything worth doing in this life, we have to dream of life. We have to fight the cynicism and slavery that our flesh craves… We have to dream of something bigger, better, more loving and more amazing than anything we can touch here.
It’s funny, when you start giving yourself over to it, to the thoughts of God that is, you’ll begin to see Him everywhere. You become a child again. You’re awake with excitement. The birds are really singing to you. (and you’re not too cool to say it) The colors and breeze are there to let you know that He is near.
Follow that breeze wherever it leads. Invest your heart in things that will not fade away.
I’ll end this with Hebrews 12:26-29
And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven.”… the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.
There’s an unshakable kingdom we can work toward building… It’s worth giving up everything for.