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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Willy Wonka and the gospel

I am almost finished with the book I am writing on walking with God. It's been a very exhausting but enlightening process.

The second half of the book focuses on entering into and dwelling more and more in the spirit realm. This morning I was reflecting on loneliness and living the gospel, and how it relates to dwelling in the spirit realm. My thoughts actually led to Willy Wonka and his chocolate factory.

Willy Wonka dwelled with his fellows in this fallen world, but one day decided that he wanted to make this world a better place. He could make and distribute chocolate that was superior to what was available on this earth. In order to do so, he spent great effort to design and construct a factory that was sealed off from the world. To make something better than what the world had, he had to create a system that was better than the world had. In exerting the focus required of such a task, he became quite a hermit to the world. In a sense, he was quite alone. His only companions were the curious humanoids that co-habited his factory. But was he lonely? The truth was that the world was much lonelier than he was, they just didn't know it.

When we choose to follow God, we choose loneliness. Rather, we choose to recognize the loneliness ever present in this fallen world. Other people ignore it. No one has anyone they can rely on. No one has anyone they can trust in. Humans are not worthy of reliance or trust. Only God is. They plaster over it with temporary relationships, fleeting pleasures, vain pastimes, and carnal addictions.

When we turn to God, God will be our only companion, along with angels. As we draw closer to him, we begin to comprehend just how fallen this world is. As we draw toward him, we leave Babylon. The treasures we once coveted are no longer attractive. The pleasures it offers turn bitter.

Abraham was an incredibly lonely man. He was a source of strength to everyone that came across his path, yet he had no human he could turn to for the same support he universally provided to others. He was a stranger in a strange land. His walk with God in the spirit required an alienated existence in the flesh. Even his wife routinely let him down and sometimes actively attacked him. "And a man's foes shall be they of his own household." (Matthew 10:36)

When we find ourselves saddled with the weight of the world, we turn to and lean on God. Though our awareness of his involvement in our lives may at first be limited, it will expand as we turn to him. Even in our limited understanding, the company of God and his angels is so far superior to what this world offers. Everything he does is out of love for us. Though he may hide his face for a moment, it is for our benefit. Eventually, as we cry to him, we will see the literal fulfillment of Isaiah 49:14-16. He will come to us, show us his palms, and say, "I will never let you down. I will never forget you. I bound myself to you forever when I gave myself for you. Trust in me." The burden of sin becomes plain to our sight, and in comparison, the Lord's yoke seems much lighter and his load much easier. Our burden is replaced with an overflowing praise for an incomprehensibly loving God.

Glory and praise be to his name forever and ever. The condescension of God is beyond description.