At our Life Group last night we had an interesting discussion about discerning the will of God. This morning, in reading a daily reading from CS Lewis I encountered the passage which shed some light on the subject. CS Lewis says as follows:
When you come to knowing God, the initiative lies on his side. If he does not show himself, nothing you can do will enable you to find him. And, in fact, he shows much more of himself to some people than to others – not because he has favorites, but because it is impossible for him to show himself to a man whose whole mind and character are in the wrong condition. Just as sunlight, though it has no favorites, cannot be reflected in a dusty mirror as clearly as in a clean one… God can show himself as he really is only to real men. And that means not simply to men who are individually good, but to men who are united together in a body, loving one another, helping one another, showing him to one another. For that is what God meant humanity to be like; like players in one band, or organs in one body.
There are a few thoughts which come to me after reading this. Personally, the need for self examination. I do not want to be a dusty mirror, but rather a clean one. As Jesus said in the Beatitudes, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.”
Secondly, the necessity to live out the Christian life in community. This was never intended to be a solo pursuit. There are those who believe that they can have an individual relationship with God and never connect with other believers. This reveals to me a selfishness and an attitude of only “What can I get out of this?” rather than a willingness to give of ourselves to others.
When we consider that the two greatest commands are to love God and to love others, that reveals the foolishness of an individualized vacuum sealed faith. It is in the midst of the rough-and-tumble of relationships that we get to practice these character qualities which God is developing in us, whether that is patience, compassion, love, gentleness or self-control.
So today my encouragement to you is to be clean, and to be in community. That is where love is lived out.