A farmer plows his field, sows his seed, and fertilizes and cultivates—all the while knowing that in the final analysis he is utterly dependent on forces outside of himself. He knows he cannot cause the seed to germinate, nor can he produce the rain and sunshine for growing and harvesting the crop. For the successful harvest, he is dependent on these things from God.Jerry Bridges
Yet the farmer knows that unless he diligently pursues his responsibilities to plow, plant, fertilize, and cultivate, he cannot expect a harvest at the end of the season. In a sense he is in partnership with God, and he will reap its benefits only when he has fulfilled his responsibilities.
Farming is a joint venture between God and the farmer. The farmer cannot do what God must do, and God will not do what the farmer should do.
We can say just as accurately that the pursuit of holiness is a joint venture between God and the Christian. No one can attain any degree of holiness without God working in his life, but just as surely no one will attain it without effort on his own part. God has made it possible for us to walk in holiness. But He has given to us the responsibility of doing the walking; He does not do that for us
What first piqued your interest in C.S. Lewis?
What first piqued your interest in Chopin? In sunsets? In astronomy? In Audrey Hepburn? The question does not need to be asked by anyone who has answered it. The thing itself, the object, Lewis’s mind and spirit, the truths and goodnesses and beauties in his writings, rather than any psychological, individual, “felt need” on my part or any sociological relevance or fashionableness on the part of the society or culture I came out of.
My college roommate credited Lewis, especially Mere Christianity, with saving his faith. When I tried it, it was like Augustine’s first reading of the Bible: “Oh, I know all that; that’s too easy for me.” Like the Bible, and like a human face, the book is deceptively simple on its surface but inexhaustible in its depths. Once we have grown some depths of maturity and overcome superficiality and superciliousness and adolescent arrogance, we love it. It’s the second book I mention, after the Gospels, when people ask me what to read to understand Christianity.
The Problem of Pain was actually the first Lewis book I read, as a college freshman. I didn’t understand it all the first time, but I did understand that the reason I didn’t understand had nothing to do with Lewis, but only with me. Here was the clearest, most direct, honest, intelligent, reasonable answer I had ever seen (and almost 50 years later it remains that!) to the most difficult problem in the world.
Take God in Christ for your only rest, and fix your heart upon him above all. May the living God, who is the portion and rest of his saints, make our carnal minds so spiritual, and our earthly hearts so heavenly, that loving him and delighting in him may be the work of our lives; and that neither I nor you may ever be turned from this path of life… The saint’s rest is the most happy state of a Christian. It is the perfect endless enjoyment of God by the perfected saints…Richard Baxter