Monday, November 14, 2016

Do You Need To Be Undragonned?

In C.S. Lewis’ The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Eustace is turned into a dragon for having greedy
dragonish thoughts. After he has a change of heart, he meets Aslan who will change him back into a human. But first he asks Eustace to “undress”, or take his dragon skin off. Three times, Eustace claws and scratches a layer of skin off, but he is still a dragon. Finally, Aslan undresses him. It hurt terribly, but it was the only way to be cured.

As fantasy as this is, it is something we all need spiritually.

The analogy here is one of salvation. We all begin with hard hearts that God changes when we accept His sacrifice for our sin. We all need His new heart. And only He can give it to us.

But I think this applies even more to Christians.

We all sin. And for the most part we have a pretty good idea of what and when we sin. But there are sins that are not so obvious. Things that we either don’t realize are sin, don’t want to admit are sin, or don’t realize that we do at all. Those sins are hard to find and harder to eradicate.

They may be things like gossip, complaining, criticism, overeating, an obsession with ___ (fill in the blank), putting yourself first, etc.

That is why we have to ask God to search our hearts to reveal the sin inside us. Then we have to listen for the answer, accept it, and ask God to change us.

Psalm 139:23-24 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; 24 And see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.  


Psalm 51:10 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Obviously, we can’t do it on our own. We have to have God work in us. But we also need to work at it ourselves.

We all start with hard hearts. And when we believe in Jesus He gives us new hearts like His. We come as we are but we are then supposed to become like God: holy, set apart, pure, selfless. We need to do our part and seek that.

Not that we are saved by our works. We are only saved by confessing our sins and believing that Jesus paid the debt for our sin. But faith without work or fruit is dead. It is our changed heart and lifestyle that proves we are saved.

James 2:26 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

Philippians 2:12 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;

I know a lot of Christians who think they are good enough because they are good people and don’t do anything “too bad”, but they see no need to change themselves at all, no need to continue to grow. They have become stagnant ponds when they should be fountains continually flowing. The fruit proves the type of tree. We need the fruit of the spirit to prove we are God’s. What kind of tree does your fruit say you are?

That is why we need God to search our hearts, to find what isn’t God-like in us. We naturally want to stay comfortable and love ourselves. The desire to change and become better (which requires admitting that you are not good enough by yourself) goes against the grain. It calls for humility and self sacrifice. But it is that godly heart and lifestyle that honors and pleases God, and it is the best way that we can thank Him for loving and redeeming us. 

So really, the question is not do you need to be undragonned, but are you willing?

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