That something is faith.
It takes faith in the antidote to actually avail oneself of the antidote. Faith in Christ like this is impossible for the depraved mind we spoke of in the last post to express, but it is also impossible for faith like this to be imposed. It wouldn't be faith in that case, it would be something more akin to instinct. So two elements need to come together to produce the faith connection to Christ: God, the Spirit empowering; and a willful reaction to trust God from the human heart. Like epoxy, two elements mix together to make a bond that works.
The old adage says that one can lead a horse to water but he can't make him drink. The Holy Spirit convicts, draws, we might go so far as to say woos the sinful human, but the Holy Spirit cannot and does not believe for him. Enabled by the Spirit's action, we must believe for ourselves. If we won't, God will not do it for us, and we won't be saved. The snag in all this, it seems to me, is that big word, REPENTANCE.
Repentance means to change one's mind, to realize after determining a course, that it was not the right course, and so changing directions. We tend to fixate on the small population of our own misdeeds when thinking about repentance, but that doesn't really get to the root of things. To repent of the thing that really ails us we have to go back to Adam and Eve in Genesis 3. True repentance lies in undoing what Adam and Eve did.
Adam and Eve thought their judgment was as good as God's, we have to unthink that. Adam and Eve saw themselves on par with God as to determination of the what and wheres of life, we must "unsee" ourselves as like that. The thing Adam and Eve despaired over with regard to God, we must repair by the application of the cross and the victory of the resurrection. Simply put, we must stop trusting ourselves and start trusting God.
Pop psychology pushes people to trust in themselves, and seems to assume that people don't do so enough. As far as I have seen, most people have “trust-in-self” in spades. They really aren’t interested in trusting God, but they'll trust in their self, independent of God, even if their lives are falling apart. Pride? Perhaps. Yet, so many of those same folks still want eternal paradise, they're just not so hot on the whole overbearing God thing.
But if one doesn't love and trust God, one wouldn't like heaven.
An all-expense-paid trip to Disney World would be totally unappealing to me. I’m not interested in Disney characters, I don’t like standing in line, I have no interest in animatronics and I’m much more interested in experiencing a thrill in movement than watching a cheesy production. To top it off, I hate Florida! The heat and humidity are as close to hell as I hope ever to be. Why would I ever want to go to Disney World, even if offered an all-expense paid trip?
A similar question could be posed rhetorically to some folks regarding heaven. Heaven is all about God. Everyone there trusts him implicitly, everything there serves him unquestioningly, everyone there is fascinated by him, everything there is perfectly aligned to his will (and the people and angels there, willingly so). You see, everyone there is conformed to the image of Christ. For some folks that holds no allure. They may not want to go to hell, but they really don’t want to have life revolve around Jesus either!
The point of this life is not to get an all-expense-paid trip out of hell, nor to have life cease working against us (as in reversing the curse here and now). The point is changing our mind about God and ourselves, about realizing our need for Jesus and embracing a framework for living that revolves around trusting God rather than ourselves. A Christian worldview arises out of repentance toward God and faith in Jesus Christ.
So where are we heading as Christians?
Toward Christ in trust. Toward knowing Christ as Lord. Toward becoming just like him. A Christian worldview sees life revolving around God. Anything less is a fallacy. So turn to him today. Follow him tomorrow. Be at it next week. Make it the principle that governs all your living. That's where a Christian needs to be going.
How then shall we live...