Not even a hint: the Supremacy of Christ


A log entry about me, and Christ, and the church

This is another of those slightly-more-intense-than-comfortable articles. I thought about writing it yesterday, repented, then had a long-ish chat today with Sarah Sorrell when I decided maybe I would scribble something. For a more frank debate, along her lines, see my earlier post (‘the article’).

I’d like to explain why I’ve been coming back again and again to the doctrine of sovereignty in the last few months, in prayer meetings, in talks (as on Tuesday evening), and in conversations. I keep expressing my hope and trust that God’s mighty power which works so strongly within us to work and will for his pleasure is indeed able to change us and redirect our hearts to holy desires and pure fellowship with our sisters. The obvious truth is that as hard as I try, I can’t shake my own need for the doctrine and supreme comfort of turning our hearts over to him.

I read a chunk of Just do Something (Kevin DeYoung) this week, and it’s inspiring. It has rather less detail than my current go-to on traditional vs wisdom decision-making (which is Gary Friesen), and rather more exhortations to just do something, so I can entirely understand why it’s been so effective at getting reluctant people to be a bit bolder in their decisions. On the other hand, the sticking point is that you have to want to go through with the decision. If something else is jammed in the works than just some spurious reluctance to act, the cure needs to be deeper, and there has to be more change. I am in the same situation in fact in this area as very many if not most of my Eden friends, but I don’t know if anyone else feels towards it in the same way. I struggle to turn my heart over to God’s desires, because on some level I simply don’t want to.

I watched the clock last night for more than two hours, as I sometimes do on Saturday, knowing what Sunday will like and who I’ll see, trying to put my thoughts behind me. I don’t desire; that’s change. I don’t hold onto any hope, let alone expectation, and that’s change. But, the nothing I allow myself to have is still preferable to anything else. I don’t want, but I don’t want to want anything new.

Where does this leave us? Sarah saw the balance of numbers from her point of view, and I can’t help feeling that the balance is rather more heavily towards the proportions among my friends. In fact, it doesn’t matter about numbers. What’s tough is that when so many people at Eden are in my situation, finding it so hard to let go in every way and starting wanting to want something new, we feel sometimes the pressure is on us to be hasty. Different churches attract different sorts of people, and some of us I am sure can agree that it does take a while longer than we would like.

Each day this week then, and as I find myself lying awake next Saturday night, I’ll be preaching to myself what I’ve been sharing these last weeks with particular vigour. ‘The sermon’: Christ has conquered all things, visible, and invisible; what our hands do, and what our hearts feel, will, and quicken towards. By the renewing of our minds, by the hopes set before us, we will think on Christ as our end and salvation, on ourselves as pure temples, unable to contain rapacious hopes and desires, and on our sisters with not a hint of anything which is unwelcome. The church’s fellowship will grow, as he works in us to completion, and as our grasp in clutching good things tightens and we let go the old; as we with trembling submit to his Lordship, our act of consecration.