“As the wall remains the same however many shadows pass across it, and as the looking glass remains the same however many changes of expression it reflects, so the soul that is held fast in God remains uninfluenced by the waving shapes and images that come and go.” (Dom Hubert Van Zeller, The Yoke of Divine Love, Templegate, Springfield IL, 1957, p. 226)
Sin casts shadows. Living in the world as I do, I can't help but see them. Shadows of sin wave daily across my enclosure walls. I walk into a room with a TV and I might hear them. I step into a store and they are there.
Wanting to live enclosed in the will of God, I choose the boundaries of that will in circumstance after circumstance. Yet unless I run away from everything in the world - unless I run away from my very own self, and my selfishness, and my memories - the shadows of sin remain.
"Be intent on things above rather than on things of earth," Scripture tells me, and I want to do exactly that. "Put to death whatever in your nature is rooted in earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desires, and that lust which is called idolatry. These are the sins which provoke God's wrath. Your own conduct was once of this sort, when these sins were your very life. You must put that aside now: all the anger and quick temper, the malice, the insults, the foul language. Stop lying to one another. What you have done is put aside your old self with its past deeds and put on a new man, one who grows in knowledge as he is formed anew in the image of his Creator." (Colossians 3:2-10)
'Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, so that you may judge what is God’s will, what is good, pleasing and perfect.' Romans 12:2
"The way we can be sure of our knowledge of Him is to keep His commandments.... The way we can be sure we are in union with Him is for the man who claims to abide in Him to conduct himself just as He did." (1 John 2:5-6)
Today I make the choice to live within the boundaries of God's will. In this time, in this place, I make the choice.
And the shadows? They will be there. They will tempt and remind and whisper; they'll try to frighten and condemn. But when it comes right down to it, they do not bring anything into the enclosure. They are only reflections of things outside.
Shadows are just shadows, after all.
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