No deeply-happy person
is an idolator. Deeply happy? Joy, peace, contentment. And every believer I’ve ever known, including myself, are bigtime idolators, but we live in denial of the extent of our unhappiness caused by idolatry, in my not-so-humble opinion. Those of us with a grace foundation in our lives, get better glimpses of our idolatry, but it’s still the tip of the iceberg we see at best, in my experience with others and self. As Jesus grows a believer in self-awareness, s/he’s enabled to see much further under the waterline, and the more growth in self-awareness, the more we see the magnitude of the problem. Without Gospel-awareness, we would surely die from grief at the horror of what we are in our flesh — what great examples we are, of bad examples. We can’t handle the truth, so we unconsciously suppress.
I find I’ve needed three things to experience a measure of happiness in this world, and to begin to be compelling to the seculars around me. Gospel-awareness, self-awareness, and sovereignty awareness. That’s the order in which Jesus has worked in me, historically. For me, any one, or even two, has been insufficient. I find I desperately need all three, and I need them in ever-growing ways. No such thing as being arrived in any of the three awarenesses as a believer goes through a day. And each of them come and go, as the Spirit works. For control-freaks this is quite frustrating.
–Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, king of control-freaks, whose flesh wishes it could claim some of the credit for the now-and-then work of Jesus in him
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