Titanic Thoughts

 

The ship Titanic is like my *flesh. I put so much effort into adorning it. I think I know how to keep my life going. I think I am immortal and invincible.

But God is like the ocean. As a believer I want Him to flood me. I recognize--though never fully, never to the extent of the truth of it--how useless the flesh is. He enters in when I open a door. I think He's a pleasant trickle. But the more He comes in the more apparent it is that He has one thing on His mind--the destruction of everything that is keeping me from being one with Him.

He floods a compartment--one of those deep within. He spills over into another and then another. The appearance of my flesh to the world is still intact. I must keep up that good front at all costs. Inviting Jesus into my life is supposed to make my life good, isn't it? I canít let people know that there's a place inside in turmoil, in the very throes of death.

Yet as it dies, after that initial chaos and terror of letting it go, that place becomes peaceful, filled with Living Water, quiet, powerful.

Then the next room. Gushing over the bulwark--the stronghold erected to keep that next part of me "safe"--comes the relentless onslaught of Water. The furniture, carefully selected and positioned, goes crashing into the walls. Everything is topsy-turvy. Then that room, too, surrenders, despite all my endeavors to keep Him out.

So often the Christian life is pictured as easy, peaceful, and calm. It is so only when God, Whose yoke is easy, Who is peace and calm, is fully in charge. It is so only when the room is full of Water. The process of my dying so He can live is rarely easy, peaceful, or calm.

On He comes, entering in just as I invited Him. The entire bowel of my ship becomes flooded with Him. The engines that have kept my ship running are rendered inoperable and I am in that frightening place of having no power of my own but not yet wholly surrendered to His.

Still, in the very depth of my being, there is God. And He will never leave. And He will never recede. But He will assuredly continue. "Love is as strong as death, ardor as unyielding as the grave" (Song of Songs 8:6). My ship is in turmoil, utter turmoil, but the process of dying put in motion will lead to peace, utter peace.

And I will know "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me" (Galatians 2:20).

 

*The Biblical explanation of flesh as I'm referring to it can be found in Philippines 3:3-9. Bill Gillham in his book Lifetime Guarantee gives this definition: "Flesh refers to the old ways or patterns by which you have attempted to get all your needs supplied instead of seeking Christ first and trusting Him to meet your needs" (p.17, see also pp.35-37).

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