"We live in a society”
It’s a phrase that has been memed to oblivion, due to it’s nonsensical nature.
“Yeah, we live in a society, so what?”
I think a better question to ask is what society do we live in? That question has a purpose; now we understand what characterises our society.
If I were to ask you to sum up our society in a phrase, I wonder what you would say? Some might say ‘scientific advancement’, others a ‘misogynistic patriarchy’ and some might say ‘nihilistic meaninglessness.’
One thing to note in all those examples and probably all examples that you could think of have in common is that they place the might of mankind above all. Scientifically advancing by the means of mans mind and reason. Fighting the patriarchy by the means of protest by mans power and will. And being completely driven to the brink in the meaningless drivel of purposelessness because man has proclaimed God is dead.
Man have the might.
“You can do anything you want if you put your mind to it, use your willpower and find purpose in your life” our society proclaims.
However, most of us find that truth to be half-baked; 6:00am strikes, the morning has come and the alarm on your phone blares. You awake from your sleep progressively. You had been good this week. Getting up early to pump iron and get your body into shape. “I want to get up and work out” your mind says “but 5 just more minutes and then I’ll get up.”
Then that snooze from 5 minutes, develops into a 10 minute doze and then a 20 minute rest and then a 40 minutes later, you slip into a slumber saying to yourself “not today.” The willpower cannot overcome the comfort of your toasty bed.
I’m sure that’s a common occurrence for most people, society states that our mindpower and willpower can do all things. But sometimes they fail, in fact the more I try to use my own might, the more I find that to be the case.
That might be what society says, but Paul, one of the early writers of the bible talks about his strength not coming from his willpower or intellect; but rather a different source.
“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13
Hang on Paul, who’s this ‘him’ who gives him strength to which he can do all things? We know it can’t be another human, because we couldn’t strengthen another if we fail…
Well Paul declares something profound in another letter of his, that this ‘strengthener’ is Jesus living in him!
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
Paul says that when Jesus died on that cross, we died along with him because of his great love for us, and the one who lives now is Jesus in us!
But see allow me to broaden your categories just a smidgeon. To say that Christ is the means to which Paul gains strength or taps into is wrong. Rather the Son of God who lives in us IS strength. He’s not just the giver of strength or the source of strength. No! He is THE strength. He is THE wisdom, He is THE purpose.
Perhaps there is some arduous task you must complete or case of suffering that’s happening in your life currently. One might simply look to the devastation of the recent coronavirus. Too often we cry out “I can’t do it anymore God!”
But what Paul is encouraging us to say is this; “Jesus, my will, my intellect, my strength can’t do the task that’s presented in front of me. But you are THE strength, you can! So, allow me to have faith in you and what did for me at the cross!”
So Dear Reader, I implore you to reflect on your life. Are you living by your own strength?
Mine, Paul’s and Jesus’ advice is this; Allow yourself to die, to receive He who is able to do immeasurably more that we could fathom, to work in you, that you might live by faith in the Son of God, That you might be free from the burden of control and live a life to the one who loved you and gave himself for you.
I leave you with this Dear Reader;
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30