Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Organizing Your Interior World Around Christ

"For by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him" (Col. 1: 16).

Organizing our lives, beginning with our interior world, around our anxieties is our natural "go to" - our default mode. Doing so leads to a life of resistance, avoidance and fear-based functioning. Organizing our lives around Jesus Christ as our Center gives us a very different interior state - a very different starting place from which to approach the challenges and opportunities we face. "For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Romans 14: 17).

I have experienced this difference and yet I find that it still requires significant mental and spiritual discipline on my part to remain organized around Christ inside. When I am frightened by disturbing future projections or bogged down in past regrets, I can be thrown off a Christ-centered orientation and put some fear, regret, anxiety or depressing rumination on the throne. It's not that Jesus is absent from my interior world. I can still worship, pray, acknowledge Him in one hundred different ways, but He is no longer ruling within, that is, I am not organizing myself around Him. It makes me sad sometimes to see how quickly I revert.

The good news is that God has given us the gifts of prayer, worship, humility, reflection, His Word, natural beauty, and other tools of mental and spiritual discipline to help us refocus our center around Jesus. When we employ these things, we have fresh revelation of the excellence of Jesus and we also see more clearly our error in organizing around our anxious thoughts and feelings and basing our projected future and present assessment of ourselves on that point-of-view. Exalting Jesus with as the Center and organizing our state of mind, our future projections and our past perceptions around Him as Lord properly orients us to a future that can't help but extend the Kingdom of God within and without.

As the title of a book I once owned puts it: "He is the still point in the turning world".

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