Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Life Begins In The Middle...

...and works it's way out.

My writing focus recently has been about things you can do to live effectively. While each principle I have given you is -- I believe -- both true and helpful, I would be amiss if I don't tell you the most important truth I have learned.

Let's be honest with each other for a moment. No matter how we try to make life work, we frequently find ourselves in an identity crisis of sorts. Paul, the former Jewish legalist who became a passionate Jesus-follower (and wrote about half of the New Testament), put it like this...

I do not do the good things I want to do, but I do the bad things I do not want to do. (Romans 7:19 NCV)

I understand the struggle. Don't you? Perhaps it would be easier to grasp by gazing on the theology of Rubik:

In other words, life can be a mess! How can we sort it all out? Can we sort it all out?

We can if we understand that life begins in the middle. At least, that's how Paul -- in the same passage as above -- put it.

I learned to solve the original Rubik's Cube when it was popular back in the 80s. It took a small book of instructions, but the secret lay in one simple code: the middle square on all six sides remains constant. Once the cube is made, the middle can't change. For instance, the white middle square is always directly across from the black middle square and so on. The rest of the cube must align to those middle squares.

Paul said it's the same with us when we give our heart to Jesus Christ:
For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, (Romans 7:22 NASB)

In other words, no matter how jumbled up we feel -- regardless of the inconsistencies we notice in ourselves -- Christ changes the inner person. He changes us so that the deepest part of us wants to do the right thing. That becomes our "constant" when we put our faith in Christ and his payment for sins on the cross.

When someone becomes a Christian, he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same anymore. A new life has begun!
(2 Corinthians 5:17 TLB)

Your life begins in the middle. It takes the power of God through His Son Jesus Christ to change your true colors.


Dina said...

So true and such a good reminder of where our focus should lie, especially when faced with an unclear choice or path. It's so comforting to know that even Paul faced the same struggles we do. I sometimes forget that the apostles were imperfect humans and that Jesus chose very outwardly ordinary men purposefully. He knew that He could do great things within their hearts and that we could relate to them in a very real way.

C. Beth said...

Great analogy!

Deanna said...

I love this. I've just read a book that clarifies a struggle I'm having, but leaves my head spinning with how I can put the teaching into practice. It's good to consider the stability in this truth.

Sam said...

Welcome to Deanna (today) and Daniella (yesterday). Also, welcome to Anne, Chewbarka, Diane, Julie and Kella. You have all joined in the past few days and I'm grateful to have you read.

3 D's (Dina, Daughter, and Deanna -- Ha!), thanks for your comments today.


Scott said...

Another take on the rubic cube. I could always figure out part of it, but never the whole thing. So I would have to take it all apart and put it together the right wasy to solve the puzzle. This is also true of my life, I had figured out part of it, but it wasn't until I tore it all apart and allowed Christ to put it back together that everything seemed right.