The Tyranny of Individuality

Today is Friday, November 18, 2016. Six more days until Thanksgiving, and a four-day-weekend!

Quote of the Day

“If you would tell me the heart of a man, tell me not what he reads, but what he rereads.” – François Mauriac

Word of the Day

Juvenilia – works, especially writings, produced in one’s youth.

Today is Mickey Mouse Day, celebrating all things related to that most famous of cartoon mouses (sorry, Jerry).

It’s finally Friday, and we have a busy weekend. Tonight, C and I are going to the Majestic Theater in Dallas, to see “Alan Parsons Live Project.” This is a rare event, as Parsons and company rarely, if ever tour. We are really looking forward to this.

Tomorrow morning, the pool people are coming to finish the repairs on our pool system by replacing the old electronic board with a whole new system. Then, tomorrow afternoon, I’ll be playing with the Southlake Community Band at their “Home For the Holidays” event.

Sunday morning, we have our regular worship gathering, then Sunday evening, our church is having a Thanksgiving Feast.

Busy weekend, but we have a three-day work week following, as Thanksgiving is next week!

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

Praise the LORD! Praise the name of the LORD, give praise, O servants of the LORD,
who stand in the house of the LORD, in the courts of the house of our God!
Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; sing to his name, for it is pleasant!
Psalm 135:1-3

I say to the LORD, You are my God; give ear to the voice of my pleas for mercy, O LORD! Psalm 140:6

For you, O LORD, are most high over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods. Psalm 97:9

(From Praying With the Psalms)

For I know that the LORD is great, and that our Lord is above all gods.
Whatever the LORD pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps.
He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth, who makes lightnings for the rain and brings forth the wind from his storehouses.
Psalm 135:5-7

“High heaven, deep sea, and broad earth are hardly room enough for God to exhibit the dimensions of his good pleasure. Each recognition of the immensities of God gives additional scope to praise.”

“I see you active, O God,
in the small corners of my daily life and in the vast stretches of creation,
in the minute affairs that occupy my mind and in the terrific reaches of eternity.
Your will comprises small and great;
your love embraces strong and week.
All praise to the Lord on high! Amen.”

For the inward mind and heart of a man are deep.
But God shoots his arrow at them; they are wounded suddenly.
Psalm 64:6-7

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36

It is not just sin that keeps us from “getting at God;” our individuality also keeps us from being our best for God. We must deliver ourselves from our own sense of individuality, “to present our natural life to God and sacrifice it until it is transformed into a spiritual life by obedience.”

This is what the spiritual disciplines are designed to do. God will not discipline us; we must discipline ourselves. “God will not bring every thought and imagination into captivity; we have to do it.” We should not complain to God that we have wandering thoughts; we should stop having wandering thoughts. “Stop listening to the tyranny of your individuality and get emancipated out into personality.”

We must, as Paul, be crucified with Christ, our individuality broken and our personality united with our Lord, the Son of God, that he might set us free. I am not, as some popular theology and “Christian” music would have me believe, “free to be me.” Being “me” is the worst thing I can do. What I need to be is one with Christ, united with him in his life and in his purpose. “Me” needs to be set aside, that I might join with him.

Father, I pray that you help me (I know it is action that I have to do, but I still need your Spirit’s help) to emancipate myself from “me.” My individuality is a curse upon me! It continues to distract me from the purpose that Christ would have me enter into. My desire is to work the disciplines, that my life might be rearranged in order to serve your purpose in this world, and that I might enter into the deepest possible fellowship with you. But my self keeps getting in the way. Give me a stronger heart and desire, Father!

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

“In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” . . . Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. (Isaiah 30:15, 18)

Grace and peace, friends.

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