i’ve been listening to a good bit of dylan lately. here’s a great track, ‘what can i do for you?’ from the ‘saved’ LP.
two parts that really resonate with me are:
Pulled me out of bondage and You made me renewed inside,
Filled up a hunger that had always been denied,
Opened up a door no man can shut and You opened it up so wide
And You’ve chosen me to be among the few.
What can I do for You?
You have given all there is to give.
What can I do for You?
You have given me life to live.
How can I live for You?
Jesus says in the gospels, “the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy i have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
this theme of “having life”, IS, in my opinion, the gospel. we are living, yes, but in order to experience REAL life we must come to Christ and be liberated from all that is holding us back from living as God intended. from being fully human. we are told that the theif “comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” the theif comes to destroy life. to respond to Jesus, and allow him to bring you home (so to speak), is to escape from destruction and LIVE. it IS to be fully human. if one cannot find it in themselves to follow Christ (be it for fear or pride or whatever else), then they cannot experience life to the full. they cannot know what it is like to actually LIVE as they were intended to live.
the gospel is about reconciliation. it is about redemption. it is about being lost and then being found. it is about being far off in a distant land and being brought home.
i met with a friend recently who is struggling with his faith (not that any of us at any point are above this!). he has questions about God and evil (naturally, as we all do) and he has problems with the church. now none of these are new problems. for heavens sake, people have been wrestling with these kinds of questions for millenia! however, he said one thing that struck me, he said something along the lines of, “i don’t know if i’m ready to give 100% of myself to God. there are things that i still want to experience.” this naturally lead into a discussion about Christ calling us to die before we can live. a discussion about denying oneself to experience life. and he explained to me that he didn’t know if he wanted to do that just yet.
this i think is the problem. not the fact that he has questions (because honestly, who doesn’t?), but the fact that he doesn’t want to die. and i can see this in his life. i can see the grips of a worldview that is not of Christ.
so we talked briefly about the gospel being about reconciliation and life. pray that this young man’s hesitation leads him straight to Christ. may he bring his questions and frustrations to the Lord, and may God give him the courage to die, so that he can live to the full.