22. Further Up and Further In (C.S. Lewis)

22. Further Up and Further In (C.S. Lewis)

The legalist that lives in us has goals and dreams that are way too small to be from God. That is why we have to fight against the temptation to dream only of knowing the Bible and living a sin-free life. We have to go much further up and further in.

Obviously, all of us should know the Bible well. I am so glad that God did not give us His Word in the form of a theological work in 29 volumes. The Bible is small enough so that when we study and feed from it, we can get to know it well.

However, just knowing the Bible well is a goal that is too small. We need to go further in. The Scriptures testify about Jesus.1 The Law is our schoolmaster that leads us to Christ2 so our goal should be to know Jesus through the Bible. Isn’t that what we tell the pre-Christians when we witness to them? We don’t tell them they need to know the Bible, we tell them they need to know God. Jesus reaffirms that when He says that eternal life is to know the Father, the only true God and to know Jesus who was sent by the Father.3 The legalist residing in us gets scared when he thinks of knowing God.

To live a sin-free life is also possible. But it is only possible when we are aiming at a much higher goal. Then we can achieve the intermediate goal.

Jesus does not want us to live in a defensive position. He doesn’t want us to live in fear of contamination. He wants us to bravely launch out on the attack and to tread down our enemies.4

It is true that there are fiery darts shot our way by the enemy, but the shield of faith enables us to extinguish them all.5 However this is still too small of a battle for a believer that has been baptized in the Spirit of Christ.

Our victory against sin, the world and the devil has already been won when we walk in the Spirit and do not satisfy the desires of the flesh.6 We overcome the accuser by the blood of the Lamb, the word of our testimony and the fact that we don’t love our lives even when we have to face death.7 The victory is ours.

OK, but when someone talks like I am talking right now, we tend to think of a totally sinless life. I don’t believe in a perfectly sinless life while we are here on earth, but I do believe and know from experience that we can consistently overcome because greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.8

Jesus came to destroy the works of the enemy.9 He specifically said that if we believe, we will do greater works than He did when He was here on earth.10 We are greater than John the Baptist11 and by extension, the least of the Christians is greater than any man or woman in the Old Testament. Go ahead, say out loud with me, “I am greater than John the Baptist.” It is true! The gates of hell do not stand a chance with us. Let’s attack them and they will fall.

Let us not waste this abundant life that Jesus bought for us at such a high price. Every believer should be walking in and enjoying that abundant life of more than just a mere conqueror. Let’s walk in faith and victory12 and take it to the enemy.

1- John 5:39 2- Galatians 3:24 3- John 17:3,4 4- Psalms 60:12; 108:13 5- Ephesians 6:16 6- Romans 8:13; Galatians 5:16 (the original text for Galatians 5:16 that by walking in the Spirit, it will follow automatically that we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.) 7- Revelation 12:11 8- 1 John 4:4 9- 1John 3:8 10- John 14:12 11- Matthew 11:11 12- 1 John 5:4