13 May 2010
After this Brendan and his company prepared to set forth; and he said to the brethren: "See, dear friends, that none of you hath taken anything belonging to this island in which we are."
- Anonymous, Vita Brendani (Irish, 12th century, from an earlier ms.)
Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you...
- 2 Corinthians 6.17
Brendan and his company sailed to a small island, where they took their rest for a season. The Lord revealed to Brendan, by some means, that a member of his company intended to steal a bridle from their hosts. So Brendan warned them all, before departing, not to take anything from that island with them. Alas, one of his company stole the bridle, and he came under the judgment of God.
Now this little vignette has a historical feel to it; however, its purpose seems to be to remind those who embark on the life of following Christ that they must not covet the things of this world. You cannot flourish in the life of discipline if you're always dragging the baggage of this world around with you. There must be a clean break from desiring anything more than the Lord and His Kingdom (Ps. 16.1).
That's not to say we don't have anything to do with the world, or that we don't use the fruit of the world to meet our needs and care for others. But we do not value the world above the Word of God, above the call of God to have no other "gods" besides Him; we must resist the temptation to covet the spoil of Jericho or be dipping into the treasury of the world for our own sinful purposes. We leave the world behind when we take up the call to follow Jesus, and the life of discipline helps us to resist temptations and stay firm in our resolve to go wherever He would have us to go.
For many of us, however, the world is too much with us, consuming our time, distracting us from Kingdom business, draining our affections into the swamp of mere frivolity, and miring us in the clutter and kudzu of our ever-encroaching age. What in your life, "belonging to this island in which we are," is keeping you from a more fervent, consistent, and fruitful devotion to the Lord Jesus? Whatever it is, cast it out, throw it away, and lay it aside.
What Jesus has for you is far, far better than any of this world's goods.
Today in ReVision: Skin Problem - The President, it seems, can be a little touch at times.
This Week's Download: A Personal Rule - What rule of life guides your walk with the Lord? Or do you know?
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