No Half Measures

cslewis

C.S. Lewis (1898-1963)

“Give me all of you! I don’t want so much of your time, so much of your talents and money, and so much of your work. I want YOU! ALL OF YOU. I have not come to torment or frustrate the natural man or woman, but to KILL IT! No half measures will do. I don’t want to only prune a branch here and a branch there; rather I want the whole tree out! Hand it over to me, the whole outfit, all of your desires, all of your wants and wishes and dreams. Turn them ALL over to me, give yourself to me and I will make of you a new self—in my image. Give me yourself and in exchange I will give you Myself. My will, shall become your will. My heart, shall become your heart.”

― ― C.S. LewisMere Christianity

This quote is striking, and a bit biting. As a “halfway” believer, a decision to do this is potentially damaging to my happiness. As I count the cost I start doubting my heart. I say to myself, “who can make this decision?” Can I really renounce my life like this? Perhaps this religion thing has gone too far?!

Then, I have to reflect that the Son of God has died for me. And that changes everything. Such a price, and such an investment was made. How can I resort to half measures? To respond like seems like to diminish His sacrifice.

I demand a religion that doesn’t demand anything. I want convenience, not commitment. (At least not total.) Yet the Lewis quote continues to maul me unmercifully. (How dare Lewis say such a thing?)

And yet I roll this truth around realizing that its logic is valid. The ‘pointy parts’ hook on me as I acknowledge their truth. There is a specific ultimatum that is inherent in this. If I don’t surrender, I will not be saved. Without denying myself, I will not be free. I can’t have it any other way.

I must surrender, and do it over and over again. I believe the basic terms of discipleship are as follows:

  • we must be under Jesus’ authority,
  • we must be seeking to follow His teaching,
  • we must actively be doing what He did.

From a secular viewpoint this is brutally outrageous. It seems I’m being forced into a decision– but after all, He did die for me. (This point cannot be understated.) The Son of God gave Himself so that I could live. Jesus said it best,

26 “If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple.”

Luke 14:26. NLT

Can anything so eloquent be so brutal? Jesus consistently demands everything. Perhaps this is the only way Christianity works? We must be renouncers as well as repenters. We must say, “Yes, God” when we want to live forever. In short, God must be all we live for.

A religion of half measures is not Christian, it is merely a convenience. To follow Jesus is to be radical; and perhaps insane (the worlds evaluation). But to love Jesus demands a “first-love” approach. Anything else is hardly adequate.

The gospel is radical, or it is nothing.

aabryscript

CLIVE STAPLES LEWIS (1898–1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954. He was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement. He wrote more than thirty books, allowing him to reach a vast audience, and his works continue to attract thousands of new readers every year. His most distinguished and popular accomplishments include Mere ChristianityOut of the Silent PlanetThe Great DivorceThe Screwtape Letters, and the universally acknowledged classics The Chronicles of Narnia

About Pastor Bryan Lowe

A repentant rascal with definite issues, but who is seeking to be authentic in his faith to Jesus Christ. An avid reader and a hopeful writer. Husband and father. A pastor and Bible teacher. A brain tumor survivor. Diagnosed with clinical depression, epilepsy, and now disabled. Enjoys life, such as it is, in Alaska.
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One Response to No Half Measures

  1. tannngl says:

    I was just writing in my journal that I should be fearful of such an almighty God. That if I am not fearful and if I do not obey nor love him enough, there is huge question about whether my faith is in operation.
    Perhaps this post is important to me right now. I’ve maybe kept too much from God.

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