Made to Run on Divine Fuel

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God made us: invented us as a man invents an engine. A car is made to run on gasoline, and it would not run properly on anything else. Now God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other.

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That is why it is just no good asking God to make us happy in our own way without bothering about religion. God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.

–C. S. Lewis,
Mere Christianity

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More to come

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We long for more
and God’s promise is
that there is more awaiting us.
More to delight us than
we will ever exhaust.

–C. S. Lewis

Spiritual thirst

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What man needs
is discovered in Christ.
Then he realizes
he is thirsty because,
incomprehensibly,
God is thirsty for him.

–Antonio Lopez

Hearts made for God

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Pride struggles to push us to the top of the heap. But the top of the heap is not vacant. God is there, high above all. Ambition drives us to seek power and glory—but the glory and power are Yours, Lord. The promiscuous man or woman is looking desperately for some kind of love in return, but fails to see the love of God, offered freely and without condition . . .

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Others search restlessly for satisfaction in this or that sensual experience, but only “at his right hand” are there “pleasures forevermore.” Truly our hearts are restless until they find their rest in You, O Lord . . .

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In other words, sin comes when we take a perfectly natural desire or longing or ambition and try desperately to fulfill it without God. Not only is it sin, it is a perverse distortion of the image of the Creator in us. All these good things, and all our security, are rightly found only and completely in him.

–St. Augustine
The Confessions of Augustine
In Modern English

Our true home

cuadros-paisajes“Lord, You have been
our dwelling place
in all generations.”
(Psalm 90:1)

Even the best home is only a pale reflection of the perfect home: the shared life and love of Father, Son, and Spirit. The story of salvation can be understood in this way: God, our true home – the source and goal of all our longings – makes his home among us (John 1:1,14) in order to make his home in us (John 14:23; cf. Eph. 3:17) and to make us a fit dwelling place of God (Eph. 2:22). God wants us to abide in him and welcome his abiding in us. God wants us to share his life and love. In short, God wants us to find our home, not just with him but in him.

–Richard J. Vincent
Home: Life in God

Artwork: Stephen J. Darbishire

No such thing as atheism

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In the day to day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is: what to worship. And a compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual type thing to worship . . . is that anything pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive.

–David Foster Wallace

Published in: on 04/28/2014 at 5:53  Leave a Comment  
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Make me new

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Batter my heart, three-person’d God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise, and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.

–John Donne
(1573-1631)

Hard-wired for worship

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The instinct of adoration
is in our blood,
and we are fretful
and fevered until
we find One at whose feet
we can lay the tribute
of our devotion.

–F. W. Boreham ‏

Published in: on 01/26/2014 at 20:01  Leave a Comment  
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Where we belong

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The Kingdom of God
is where we belong.
It is home, and whether
we realize it or not,
I think we are all of us
homesick for it.

–Frederick Buechner

Nothing can take His place

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If you put anything
in the middle of a place
that is meant for God,
it will be too small.

–Tim Keller

Published in: on 10/20/2013 at 5:31  Leave a Comment  
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Beauty, love and shampoo

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The goal of all marketing is the reduction of a big desire to a small desire. In other words, you long for beauty, love, friendship, wisdom, and it is the job of the marketer to convince you that the way you will achieve these desires is to purchase a certain brand of shampoo.

–Kimberly Shankman

Satisfied and wanting more

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“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water that I shall give him will never suffer thirst any more. The water that I shall give him will be an inner spring always welling up for eternal life” (John 4:14 NEB).

Everyone who drinks this water, the waters of the world, “will be thirsty again.” The waters of this world – sex, money, pleasure, fame – have the doom of thirst upon them. You get them and then you know that they are not what you really want. “But whoever drinks the water that I shall give him will never suffer thirst any more.”

“Never suffer thirst”  – 
that is literally true.
For the inner being and Christ
are made for each other,
and when you find him you find yourself.
The soul cries “This is it,”
and you never thirst again.

But a strange thing happens: “The water that I shall give him will be an inner spring always welling up for eternal life.” The gift, “the water that I shall give,” will become “an inner spring,” become an inner spontaneity. The gift creates spontaneity. That is a miracle, for gifts usually create dependence and weakness. This creates independence and strength, “an inner spring.” Another strange thing happens: The person who drinks of the water which Jesus gives “will never suffer thirst anymore” – he will be forever satisfied, and yet that water becomes “an inner spring always welling up for eternal life.” That satisfaction becomes not a dissatisfaction, but an unsatisfaction for more; it becomes something “always welling up for eternal life,” always crying for more of this eternal life. A paradox, but a blessed paradox. I had what I wanted and I wanted more.

–E. Stanley Jones
A Song of Ascents

The fundamental problem

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I am persuaded that all of your problems
are conceived and born in the sinful belief
that something or someone other than Jesus Christ
can quench the thirst of our souls.

–C. Samuel Storms

The deep desire

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If we will listen, a Sacred Romance calls to us through our heart every moment of our lives. It whispers to us on the wind, invites us through the laughter of good friends, reaches out to us through the touch of someone we love.

We’ve heard it in our favorite music,
sensed it at the birth of our first child,
been drawn to it while watching
the shimmer of a sunset on the ocean.

The Romance is even present in times of great personal suffering: the illness of a child, the loss of a marriage, the death of a friend. Something calls to us through experiences like these and rouses an inconsolable longing deep within our heart, wakening in us a yearning for intimacy, beauty, and adventure.

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This longing is the most powerful part of any human personality. It fuels our search for meaning, for wholeness, for a sense of being truly alive. However we may describe this deep desire, it is the most important thing about us, our heart of hearts, the passion of our life. And the voice that calls to us in this place is none other than the voice of God.

-Brent Curtis & John Eldredge
The Sacred Romance
(emphasis added)

Memories of Eden

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For all of us, Eden’s loss hits hard. A snake comes into every garden, interrupting innocence with a divorce, a death, a shaming moment, or a terrible violation. It may have been dramatic or it may have been subtle, but whatever it was, it signaled Eden’s demise, the loss of innocence.

I wonder – if Adam’s sin courses through my veins, perhaps so does his memory of Eden. Could that be what it means to have “eternity written in our hearts?” – that we’ve been there before and its goodness has been imprinted on our souls?

Maybe it’s time that we begin to remember those days – those moments or relationships we experienced when all seemed right with the world.

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What if we looked at those memories
as bread crumbs left behind
by a God who loves us.

Perhaps if we pick them up, we’ll make our way back home, finding there a taste of a future that will be ours.

What do you remember about your Eden?

Spend time with that memory. Write about it. Be thankful for it.

–Al Andrews
(emphasis added)

 

Built in desires

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It is part of our human nature to desire God,
and it is part of God’s nature to desire us.
We can never stop yearning for God
until we are possessed by God
in the fulness of love.

–Julian of Norwich (1342 – c. 1416)
Revelations of Divine Love
Paraphrase by Ralph Milton

Dreams of blessedness

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Like Adam, we have all lost Paradise; and yet we carry Paradise around inside of us in the form of a longing for, almost a memory of, a blessedness that is no more, or the dream of a blessedness that may someday be again.

―Frederick Buechner 
The Magnificent Defeat

The deepest thirst

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The soul’s deepest thirst
is for God Himself,
who has made us
so that we can never 
be satisfied without Him.

–F. F. Bruce
(1910 – 1990)

Waiting at the door

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We are orphans at the gate of the orphanage, awaiting our new parents. They aren’t here yet, but we know they are coming. They wrote us a letter. We haven’t seen them yet, but we know what they look like. They sent us a picture. And we’re not acquainted with our new house yet, but we have a hunch about it. It’s grand. They sent a description.

–Max Lucado
When God Whispers Your Name

Published in: on 04/18/2013 at 3:34  Leave a Comment  
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Never meant to satisfy

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Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desire exists. A baby feels hunger; well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim: well, there is such a thing as water. Men feel sexual desire: well, there is such a thing as sex.

If I find in myself a desire which
no experience in this world can satisfy,
the most probably explanation is that
I was made for another world.

If none of my earthly pleasure satisfy it, that does not mean the universe is a fraud . . . earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing.

–C. S. Lewis

Photo by Mohd Shamsudin

The fuel of our spirits

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God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other. That is why it is just no good asking God to make us happy in our own way without bothering about religion. 

God cannot give us a happiness and peace
apart from Himself, because it is not there.
There is no such thing.

–C. S. Lewis
Mere Christianity

The long terrible story

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Human history
is the long terrible story
of man trying to find something
other than God which
will make him happy.

–C. S. Lewis

Looking for God

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Every man who knocks 
on the door of a brothel 
is looking for God.

–G. K. Chesterton

Image by Vlado R. Vasilev

Published in: on 04/12/2013 at 2:42  Leave a Comment  
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When beauty beckons

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There you are, standing at a window, watching oak leaves flutter down from dark boughs, and without warning your whole body fills with a longing for something you can’t name, something you’ve lost but never had, that you’re nostalgic for yet don’t remember. You sense a joy so huge it breaks you, a sorrow so deep it cleanses.

Or in line at a store one day, you turn and look at a child who doesn’t notice you. The skin on her face curves down flushed and smooth along her cheekbones and creases into delicate folds at her eyes. There is a wild hope in those eyes, and her beauty pierces you in a way you don’t understand.

. . . And you wonder, How can this be?

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This is how: You want to go home. The instinct for heaven is just that: homesickness, ancient as night, urgent as daybreak. All your longings—for the place you grew up, for the taste of raspberry tarts that your mother once pulled hot from the oven, for that bend in the river where your father took fishing as a child, where the water was dark and swirling and the caddis flies hovered in the deep shade—all these longings are a homesickness, a wanting in full what all these things only hint at, only prick you with. These are the things seen that conjure in our emotions the Things Unseen. “He has set eternity in the hearts of men,” the writer of Ecclesiastes said, “yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end” (3:11).

–Mark Buchanan
Things Unseen

Our lifelong nostalgia

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Our lifelong nostalgia, our longing to be reunited with something in the universe from which we now feel cut off, to be on the inside of some door which we have always seen from the outside, is no mere neurotic fancy, but the truest index of our real situation. And to be at last summoned inside would be both the glory and honor beyond all our merits and also the healing of that old ache.

–C. S. Lewis
The Weight of Glory

Published in: on 04/10/2013 at 4:06  Leave a Comment  
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Echoes of Eden

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The power of “nostalgia” jogs our memories, making us reminiscent of our beginnings, calling us back to the original matrix of creation, the beginning of all things.

This heavenly homesickness
is also another gift from the Creator.

It is like an internal alarm clock, and when it sounds it awakens us and reminds us it is time to arise and return home to Father. The restlessness we sense when we have lost the way is a spiritual mechanism placed inside of us by Father-Creator. It is a human love-call bidding us to come home.

–Don Milam
The Ancient Language of Eden

What we all hunger for

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The Kingdom of God
is what all of us hunger for
above all other things even when
we don’t know its name.

–Frederick Buechner

Infinity inside

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Man’s unhappiness . . . 
comes of his greatness; 
it is because there is 
an Infinite in him, 
which with all his cunning 
he cannot quite bury 
under the Finite.

–Thomas Carlyle
(1795 – 1881)

A sense of exile

Paradise

We all long for Eden
and we are constantly glimpsing it:
our whole nature is still soaked
with the sense of exile.

–J.R.R. Tolkien
(1892 – 1973)

Published in: on 04/05/2013 at 21:08  Leave a Comment  
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A God-shaped void

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What else does this longing and helplessness proclaim, but that there was once in each person a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? We try to fill this in vain with everything around us, seeking in things that are not there the help we cannot find in those that are there. Yet none can change things, because this infinite abyss can only be filled with something that is infinite and unchanging – in other words, by God himself. God alone is our true good.

–Blaise Pascal
(1623 – 1662)

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