7th November 2018
Most people think exhilaration is produced by some stimulus outside of you. But, each one of us has a capacity for inner exhilaration; far, far different from the sugary highs of the ‘instant’ culture.
To be in a crisis of right and wrong yet choosing the cultivated inner voice to actually do the right exhilarates our lives. ‘The Kingdom of God’, the power of God working in a believer’s life, ‘is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit’.
Little and big opportunities come to us, mostly every day, to choose between right and wrong, or between what is just socially OK, and what is best. Between mediocre and the ‘excellent way’. Not the bloodless conformity of self-righteousness, or basic instincts to be tamed and trained. Human beings can walk with God, in the likeness of God’s character.
When was the last time you were in such a crisis, or had opportunity for decision to choose right, because it was right? You may have had to turn against your flesh and lift your fist against indulgence, inconvenience, pleasure or acceptance by others, all the masks of contemporary idols.
You heard that gentle inner voice - the way of moving on. It is really the power of Christ, happening in your life, no matter how small the issue is. It is the doorway to opportunity.
Satan hates that. He wrote a bumper sticker for fools; “It’s not right or wrong, it’s fun or boring”. This is believed by worldly intelligentsia who are ruled by emotion, and live by instinct, and are willing to trample their consciences. They will never climb higher or know sustained exhilaration.
Contemporary culture has little virtue; it presses no strain on moral muscle. Jesus was the most alive of any man, and he said he would take us in his steps. The old theologians called this sanctification. God working his ways in the child-like who listen to him.
Right now we hear about abuse. Abuse monsters the human soul. Restitution, recompense and retribution won’t fix it. Neither will formulas; nor moral or psycho-spiritual help or sheer discipline. But receiving Christ into the soul will. Someone beautifully named it ‘the explosive power of a new affection’. And it lasts. It regenerates because it is a living thing. It is Jesus.
Preach Him, Lift Him up .There is no and nothing other.
Rev Ian Clarkson is the minister for HopeNet in South Australia.
This article is published in the December 2018 edition of ACCatalyst