(Post by: Lilly Hobbs)
I have felt a bit stuck in my writing lately. Do you know what I do in times such as those? I begin a book by C. S. Lewis.
What else would be more appropriate?
Just a few days ago, I finished his book titled, “The Weight of Glory” (if you have read it, please let me know in the comment section). This was my first time reading it, and it is most certainly a book I will reach for again.
One of my most favorite quotes by Lewis is found on the last page of “The Weight of Glory”, and I would like nothing more than to turn our attention to it today.
He says, “What matters, what Heaven desires and Hell fears, is precisely that further step, out of our depth, out of our own control” (Lewis, 1980).
Please forgive me if you think I am asking to simple a question, friend, but do you believe this statement to be true?
Lewis goes on to say, “I do not think any efforts of my own will can end once and for all this craving for limited liabilities, this fatal reservation. Only God can. I have good faith and hope He will. Of course, I don’t mean that I can therefore, as they say, “sit back.” What God does for us, He does in us. The process of doing it will appear to me (and not falsely) to be the daily or hourly repeated exercises of my own will in renouncing this attitude, especially each morning, for it grows all over me like a new shell each night” (Lewis, 1980).
I believe this is what scares humanity most about Christianity. The fact that it requires us to surrender, to renounce our own attitude of reservation, not just daily, but at times hourly.
What exactly are we surrendering when we surrender? It is nothing other than our own control.
This, he says, is what Heaven desires and Hell fears.
Oswald Chambers once said, “If I do not put to death the things in me which are not of God, they will put to death the things that are of God.”
Deciding to take that further step each hour can sometimes feel as if we were stepping off the edge of a cliff, but is this not what we were made for?
God has nothing to offer us except Himself, and that He does. Will we not have Him? Do we not long, with every fiber of our being, to just take hold of Him?
The shell Lewis talks about is what I am going to call the “shell of self”. Oh, what a terrible, miserable thing it is. He alludes to the fact that it grows over us anew each night. Our first thought in the morning when we arise should be how great and wondrous our precious Savior is, and the second should be how we can get out of the “shell of self”.
Often, our desire for control overrides our desire to surrender, which results in us getting stuck in a cycle of self-sourcing. This is not true Christianity.
True Christianity is not just the act of a mere decision. For just a decision does not ultimately transform our lifestyle. It is the cross of Christ, the repentance of sins, and the daily, sometimes hourly surrender of our own control to the Lordship of Christ, that changes us.
This is true Christianity, and this is precisely what Heaven desires and Hell fears.
“We may never, this side of death, drive the invader out of our territory, but we must be in the Resistance, not in the Vichy government. And this, so far as I can yet see, must be begun again every day. Our morning prayer should be that in the Imitation: Da hodie perfecte incipere – grant me to make an unflawed beginning today, for I have done nothing yet” (Lewis, 1980).
Lewis, C. S. (1980). The Weight of Glory. Harper One.