In our own times of severe testing, we want to be made “holy in every way,” our entire “spirit and soul and body ... kept blameless” (1 Thessalonians 5:23 NLT). Let me be quick to add, I think much of the testing and the Falling Away takes place very subtly in the heart. It’s the small turns from God toward our other comforters, the quiet feelings of being disappointed with him, the early stages of Desolation — this is how most of the testing plays out. But it has momentum like an avalanche.
C. S. Lewis’s personal secretary was a man named Walter Hooper. He described the Oxford professor and creator of Narnia as “the most thoroughly converted man I ever met.” (God in the Dock) What a wonderful thing to be said about you. Lewis was a man whose entire being — heart, soul, mind, and strength — had become almost thoroughly inhabited by Jesus Christ. His fragmented self was nearly fully reintegrated in Christ. (Nearly, because none of us are utterly whole until Christ returns. But my goodness — nearly is fabulous.) Many people fell in love with the presence of Dallas Willard for the same reason.
Let me pause on that thought for a moment, because while this is known to the saints, the Comfort Culture framed within us other goals. Does your heart tell you that it agrees with this — that the goal of your life is to become the most converted person your friends and family know?
Or does your heart prefer the goal to be something else? Perhaps, “I just want things to be good again, and let somebody else live through the end of the age”? Ouch. That hits close to home.
The battle taking place over the human heart can be described as Satan using every form of seduction and threat to take our hearts captive and our loving Jesus doing everything he can to form single-heartedness in us. This often plays out in thousands of small, daily choices. Which is kind, really; we want to develop single-heartedness before the severe testing comes.