Below are the first 10 things that currently make up my world-view. You can check out the rest of the list here.
1. Food is good. Believe it or not there are people who mainly eat food because it’s functional. I pity these people. It may not be godly, but most everything I do in life is an overflow of the fundamental belief that eating is one of the greatest pleasures afforded to mankind.
2. Community is Important. My community has been the means of God’s perseverance in my life. They speak truth to me when my senses are so intoxicated by the sweet scent of sin that I cannot possibly discern the way to go.
3. The only things I’m promised are the things I’m promised. My walk with Jesus used to be one of constant disappointment and frustration. I would ‘hear’ God promise me certain things and then as time revealed a different reality I would blame God. Instead of concluding my hearing might be faulty, I would conclude that He was faulty.
I am so thankful that God’s ability to communicate doesn’t depend on my ability to hear. He has written down promises that are strong enough to lean fully into; that are beyond sufficient. They are great and mighty and will prove true in the days ahead.
4. The only things I need are the things I have. Sooner or later you will meet a moment in your life when those same promises appear to be false in the light of your circumstance. You will read something in the Bible and roll your eyes heavenward, confused by the disconnect between what you see on the page and what you see in your life.
One of the areas where this has most played out in my life is the struggle for physical purity in singleness. It’s a struggle I have failed more days than I have succeed, but by the grace of God I continue to fight. And the fight is a fight to believe that all that I need I have.
5. I am a far greater sinner than I ever imagined. I used to confess with my lips that I was a sinner. But when visible sin began to spill out of my life, I was surprised – shocked even. Of all the things I am grateful for – God’s willingness to prove to me the depths of evil in my heart is top of the list. Those of us who have been forgiven much, love much.
I used to believe that I was standing on Christ alone for my righteousness, but looking back it was an incomplete faith. I was standing entirely on Christ – as if a plank of wood, my feet both firmly planted on Him alone. But deep down I believed that plank was laid across a firm floor.
Now, I view Christ as a plank of wood stretched across a vast canyon. I have no safety net. If not for the gospel I have no hope of obtaining God. If not for the gospel I am surely lost.
6. I have a far greater savior. When I was learning all of the above, a friend showed me this illustration and it’s really helped:
As I progress in sanctification, I will have a higher view of God’s holiness and a deeper understanding of the depths of my sin. Christ’s work on the Cross will become more and more precious to me. Christ is a better savior than I could even dare hope and a more firm foundation than any imaginable.
7. The Bible really matters. We can only love God to the extent that we know Him. By the time I reach the end of this life a lot of things will have happened, but despite the lies I am fed each moment from the world and the enemy and my heart – there is only one thing that really matters: did I know and love the one true God? To know Him is the purpose of my life. It’s impossible without His word.
9. My obedience really matters to God. Because God has taught me so much through my failure I can begin to believe that obedience doesn’t matter. But our lives prove what we believe. At the end of the day – do I trust God to the degree that I will walk in the way He prescribes? Obedience is my opportunity to testify with my life that I truly believe Jesus’ ways are higher and better.
10. God is Sovereign. The sovereignty of God is breath to my soul. It is the foundation of my faith. I believe I will finish this race. I believe I will wake up tomorrow and love God despite my wandering heart and I believe this entirely because I rest my heart and my soul in the sovereign hands of God.
Week after week I watch people encounter this doctrine and repel from it as if sabotages all hope; as if it sucks the peace and joy out of one’s walk with God. I will teach this truth till I can teach no more for no other reason than this: storms are coming. Really hard and really bad ones. Christian: you are going to fail in ways you never thought you would and when you do, all of your faith will feel no more certain than shifting sand. As for me, I will trust entirely in Him to finish what He has begun. I will trust Him to hold on to me.
This doctrine is sweet joy to me. As Edwards says:
“Though it seems to me, that in some respects, I was a far greater Christian for two or three years after my first conversion, than I am now; and lived in a more constant delight and pleasure; yet, of later years I have had a more full and constant sense of the absolute sovereignty of God, and delight in that sovereignty; and have had more of a sense of the glory of christen, as a mediator revealed in the Gospel.”
Believer – rest your heart in the sovereignty of God.
Tomorrow I’ll walk through the next 10 of my foundation beliefs!