C. S. Lewis
“Talk to him about ‘moderation in all things.’ If you can once get him to the point of thinking that ‘religion is all very well up to a point,’ you can feel quite happy about his soul. A moderated religion is as good for us as no religion at all—and more amusing.”
~ Screwtape, from The Screwtape Letters.
The devil is discussing with his minions the best way to neutralize a man in his view of faith in God, by making it just ‘religion’ and moderated that by the ‘I am’ syndrome in the natural man….
This was Adam and Eve’s problem. Although only one instruction of what not to do, they took a look and decided they could judge the situation with their own mind and sight. It looked good to them and they fell. When we judge or trust any situation to our own mind, vision, thought, education, without getting God’s call and wisdom in the matter we are treading the ground of Adam and Eve.
We all are born with a natural ‘I am’. Even a child before cognition is all about themselves and their comfort and are quite helpless to do any different. As we mature and learn that there are other people around us and we must consider them, we have to loosen the ‘I am’ a little. Then as we grow into adulthood and are presented with the Gospel (actually our parents should be instilling in us, not only manners and consideration of others, but the Word of God) we find that we are not in charge and shouldn’t be. We must submit to the rules. That is just the way it is. The Christian life submitted to Jesus is the best life. Again I refer to one of my favorites, Pascal. “Belief is a wise wager. Granted that faith cannot be proved, what harm will come to you if you gamble on its truth and it proves false? If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation, that He exists.”
The requirement is to give yourself to God. Matthew 22:37 Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
God does not get in our wagon, we get in His. He is in control, we are not. He is God and we are not. When we make ourselves, our life and our desires first, we are our own ‘god’. Does that ring true to you?