Speaking about the characteristics of a mature Christian:Our hearts are like that. We think we've learned about grace, set our idols aside, and reached a place where we're serving God not for what we're going to get from Him but for who He is. There's a certain sense in which we spend our entire lives thinking we've reached the bottom of our hearts and finding it is a false bottom. Mature Christians are not people who completely hit the bedrock. I do not believe that is possible in this live. Rather, they are people who know how to keep drilling and are getting closer and closer.The great pastor and hymn-writer John Newton once wrote about this struggle:"If I may speak my own experience, I find that to keep my eye simply on Christ, as my peace and my life, is by far the hardest part of my calling...It seems easier to deny self in a thousand instances of outward conduct, than in its ceaseless endeavors to act as a principle of righteousness and power."
I was sharing last night to a brother that I notice how much idols (money, sex, comfort, approval from others etc...) are popping up in my life. I can feel them crawling right underneath my skin. The hardest is that as much as I want to put them away, there is a part of me that CRAVES these idols. Dirty idols. Like a cheap fix. Psalm 14 hits the spot!
Today, at dinner, I thought about the Grace that I bestow upon. I was quick to realize that there is no way I can tear these idols down myself. Tim Keller hit it right on. The second we tear them down ourslves, they will come back. Our heart is idols generating machine.
This is why we need Jesus. This makes a lot of sense. I mean, if I can tear down my own idols and worship God, I pretty much fulfill the Law by myself. Then why do I need Jesus? This leads to salvation by works..not by grace. If I am honest about myself and based all my thoughts, motivations, attitudes and actions from the Law, I will fail every single one of them.