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 February 2011

Have you ever seriously asked God, “Lord, what do you want of me?” This is a fundamental issue every believer must address in order to grow spiritually. C.S. Lewis was no exception and here is his answer to the question:

" is not so much of our time and so much of our attention that God demands; it is not even all our time and all our attention; it is ourselves. For each of us the Baptist’s words are true: “He must increase and I decrease.” He will be infinitely merciful to our repeated failures; I know no promise that He will accept a deliberate compromise. For He has, in the last resort, nothing to give us but Himself; and He can give that only insofar as our self-affirming will retires and makes room for Him in our souls. Let us make up our minds to it; there will be nothing “of our own” left over to live on, no “ordinary” life. I do not mean that each of us will necessarily be called to be a martyr or even an ascetic. That’s as may be. For some (nobody knows which) the Christian life will include much leisure, many occupations we naturally like. But these will be received from God’s hands. In a perfect Christian they would be as much part of his “religion,” his “service,” as his hardest duties, and his feasts would be as Christian as his fasts. What cannot be admitted—what must exist only as an undefeated but daily resisted enemy—is the idea of something that is “our own,” some area in which we are to be “out of school,” on which God has no claim.

For He claims all, because He is love and must bless. He cannot bless us unless He has us. When we try to keep within us an area that is our own, we try to keep an area of death. Therefore, in love, He claims all. There’s no bargaining with Him."1

There are remnants of the old self within each of us that we cling to and do not want to part with—areas of sin and selfishness. Some we recognize, others we don’t. Because God loves us, he brings them to our attention, one by one over time. Whenever he does, we have a decision to make: resistance or surrender. If we resist, we consign ourselves to spiritual stagnation and decline. If we surrender, he prunes it away, allowing the fruit of his Spirit to blossom more fully and bringing greater Christlikeness and intimacy with him.

...put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt
through deceitful desires, renewed in the spirit of your minds...

EPHESIANS 4:22-23  (ESV)

1 C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory. (New York: Touchstone., 1996), pp. 140–41

COPYRIGHT: This publication is published by C.S. Lewis Institute; 8001 Braddock Road, Suite 301; Springfield, VA 22151. Portions of the publication may be reproduced for noncommercial, local church or ministry use without prior permission. Electronic copies of the PDF files may be duplicated and transmitted via e-mail for personal and church use. Articles may not be modified without prior written permission of the Institute. For questions, contact the Institute: 703.914.5602 or email us.

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