Wanting Too Little
Wanting Too Little
We are told by the Lord Jesus to take up our cross, deny ourselves, and follow after Him. The call to self-denial is not noble in and of itself. The purpose of self-denial is not simply the denial of things for the sake of afflicting oneself. Rather, when Christ speaks of self-denial it is for the sake of following after Him.
The issue is not that we want too much. It is the exact opposite. We are satisfied with too little. We are content with lesser things than the everlasting, almight, holy God. C. S. Lewis said that we are like children in the ghetto content with making mud pies because we cannot fathom what it means to take a vacation on the beach. This is why The Spirit of God must come and give us new hearts that desire God.
Now we are not made perfect in an instant. All men who are regenerated by the Spirit will still wrestle with the flesh that will rise up day after day. How then do we strive to find our joy and satisfaction in Christ? Through Christ’s call to self-denial. We deny ourselves those things that would consume us, and we follow after Christ. For He is our joy and peace. Yet, most of us will find that simply trying to deny oneself can be short lived. What then is the solution?
The solution would seem that we must not simply deny ourselves the things that would take us away from Christ. Instead, we must replace them with the greater desire that the Spirit gives. Thomas Chalmers preached on the “expulsive power of a new affection.” In sum, he said that the Christian is not to simply go limping about as a child who cannot have the cookie he wants. Rather, we are to look to the goodness of Christ and have Him as our treasure. In this, as the Lord gives us greater and ever growing desire for Christ, it will expel the other unneeded, or even sinful desires. Therefore, dear Christian, hold fast to Christ. Find your joy and satisfaction in Him. May the Lord be pleased to increase our affections and desires for Christ.
Grace be with you,
C. R. Hamilton