I came to know Wendell Berry at the wrong time in my life. My husband and I, with three children in tow, had just barely ... Read More
Adam, in his original state, was not a sword but just an untempered hunk of metal. He had to be hammered out in the fire and on the anvil of his wrong choices, like Moses, like Abraham, like Paul.
Is it my will that my children make wrong choices? No. In my father-feelings I want them to make right choices and undergo no suffering. If this feeling is given its head it is called “spoiling my children.” I will either let them off the hook or be a drill sergeant and make their choices for them. In such a case they stay like Adam and Eve, pre-Fall, as babies, expecting everything, learning nothing. But suffering induced through consequences for actions produces a good harvest in the end. Now, I’d rather my children always made right choices. But quite often some of the greatest pastors were some of the worst sinners.
Truth – Reality as defined by God in His multi-dimensional seeing – exists to our finite minds as paradox. Adam and Eve chose to disbelieve God (the first human sin). Their choices have worked out the predestined plan of God to purify a people who will trust Him and rely on His word no matter what.
Someone once wrote to me, “…my quest for righteousness has, to some degree, been for the purpose of pain avoidance rather than out of the wellspring of love for God.”
We all start that way. Quite often our conversion to Christ comes from a desire to avoid Hell. On the surface, in our soul-life, we may have some fear/unbelief issues somewhere that the Devil uses as a handle. He may get us to have mixed motives. But as we get more and more in contact with who we really are in Christ, and who He is in us, we see a love for God and neighbor begin to explode outward in and through us. That love is the implanted Christ in these human temples.
We’ve got to get past self-consciousness to see Him in ourselves. But in order to do that we have to “be no longer conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” We do not think we need mind-renewal until all our old ways of coping begin to break down; our wrong choices begin to breed a multitude of bad consequences. When we finally cry out to God like the Israelites in the Babylonian captivity, that’s when mind renewal can begin. We don’t think we need it until we really see our desperate state, until we are hungering and thirsting for righteousness. Mind renewal is simply setting our minds in accordance with what God says about reality, regardless of what we feel or think about it. When we start doing that, we see that our “false motives” and all that are just a bunch of devilry designed to keep us in the old-man consciousness.
The sword is being heated and hammered into shape for Heaven’s use. But these human swords have a choice: Will we continually surrender to the Blacksmith? What will be the eternal cost of not surrendering? What will be the eternal reward of a consistent, total surrender? We are called to count the cost. Will we?
Winner of 147 Grammys (or so), Ron Block is the banjo-ninja portion of Alison Kraus and Union Station. When he's not laying down a bluegrass-style martial-arts whoopin' on audiences around the world, he's taking care of his donkey named "Trash" and keeping himself busy by being one of the most well-read and thoughtful people we know.