During my senior year of High School (way back in April of 2001), I was part of a group of students in our school that went to France. It was an amazing experience, although I can safely say I would appreciate it much more now than I did back then. I will never forget going to the Louvre museum in Paris, one of the largest and most famous museums in the world. We were given 2-3 hours to browse around, but you could easily spend many more there if you had the time. The first thing my friends and I did was to locate where the Mona Lisa was on the map, and then go check it out. We had all heard about this famous painting and so we figured we would go and see it. I will never forget walking into that room with all those people crowded in and being totally underwhelmed by the “ordinariness” of the painting. It was not a large painting and in my opinion at the time, not very impressive. I didn’t know what made for a good piece of art nor did I really care. Apparently, my friends thought the same because after a couple minutes, we moved on to something else (I think the Venice De Milo) and then after that we plopped ourselves down at the cafeteria and hung out for a couple hours before it was time to leave. In other words, we weren’t impressed by what the Louvre had to offer. Like me, my buds were more interested in sports and other things than “the arts” at the time.
There are probably a lot of people all over the world who would jump at the chance to go to the Louvre and see the Mona Lisa and other great works of art. They would probably think that my friends and I wasted an opportunity. Obviously, everyone is different and we all have different tastes and interests, and I am certain that High School boys do not make up the biggest demographic of museum visitors. But as I pondered this all, it made me wonder, why is it that Christians often seem to be bored with Jesus? We know that Jesus is the most amazing, wonderful, wise, compelling, loving, gracious, powerful, glorious, perfect and compassionate person to ever live, and yet it seems as though the world has all our affection. We tend to be captivated by the things of the world and we fix our eyes upon ourselves rather than the Savior of the world, the Lord Jesus Christ. How can this be?
To be completely honest with you, all too often I find that this is true of me. Even though I desire to set my mind on things that are above (Colossians 3:1-3), I find that my thoughts are set on earthly things. I can relate to the struggle that the apostle Paul talks about in his letter to the Romans. He writes, “For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing” (Romans 7:18-19). Frankly, this battle is real and it is something that every Christian must deal with. God’s will for us is to be sanctified (1 Thessalonians 4:3) and mature (James 1:2-4) in Christ. Therefore, we must fight for holiness, for without holiness, no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).
Real quick, let me share a few things that I have found helpful in my struggle against sin. First, remember that this is a spiritual battle and that Satan is out to destroy you and to keep you from the light of Christ. The antidote is fairly simple….resist him, firm in your faith (1 Peter 5:9). Second, meditate on the glories of Christ (Philippians 2:5-11, Colossians 1:15-20 and many more in the gospels) and remember that He has already won the victory over sin, death, and Satan. The Bible says, “Greater is He that is in you that he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4). Third, remember that “beholding is becoming.” I got that from John Piper, but He got it from 2 Corinthians 3:18 and the apostle Paul: “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.” In other words, as we gaze upon the risen Christ, we can’t help but be transformed. Fourth, remember that this is a work of God in the soul of the believer. “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord of hosts” (Zachariah 4:6). We can’t live the Christian life in our own strength. No, we need all God’s spiritual resources that come by way of the Holy Spirit. Fifth, our citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20) and this world is not our true home. We are simply passing through on our way to a better place. How silly to live as if this world were our permanent home.
Friends, when you have your eyes fixed upon the world and all that it has to offer, I can pretty much guarantee that you are not going to grow spiritually. But when you have you eyes fixed upon Jesus – His glory, His beauty, His majesty, then I can pretty much guarantee you that you will grow. You will experience growth and sanctification in your life. And you won’t find Jesus boring. Far from it, you will find Jesus exciting, compelling, wonderful, and He will change your life. God’s Word reminds us that this world is transient and is passing away (1 John 2:17). But Jesus is eternal and one day He will return to this earth to reign and rule. Praise God!