We love and reason because God loves and reasons and holds our hand while we do it. #CSLewis
— C. S. Lewis (@CSLewisDaily) December 18, 2011
(Longer quote on Facebook.)
I love the way Lewis describes this, because when people say things like, “well if God’s in control, then what does it matter what I do?” I feel the same as when I’m helping my kids form letters (or shapes), and their grip goes slack because I’m guiding the pencil’s movement. It’s like the point of what we’re doing is lost on them — as if so long as the triangle’s drawn, our work is done.
Of course, if I wanted to get a triangle on a piece of paper, I could do it all by myself — and with a lot less trouble, to boot. But the goal of the exercise isn’t the triangle; it’s that my children learn — in a real, first-hand, experiential way — how triangles are made.
Asaph the Psalmist quotes God talking about our obedience in relation to His needs:
“I do not need the bulls from your barns
or the goats from your pens.
For all the animals of the forest are mine,
and I own the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know every bird on the mountains,
and all the animals of the field are mine.
If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
for all the world is mine and everything in it.”
– Psalm 50:9-12 (NLT)
God doesn’t call us to “love and reason” — and pray, and read the Scriptures, and care for the poor, and extend hospitality to strangers, and sing our hearts out to Him — because He needs anything from us. He calls us to these things because His goal is to make us like Him:
“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
– 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NKJ)
“…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”
— Philippians 2:12b-13 (ESV)