Living larger, stronger, calmer As we walk each hour with him Feeds the spirit of believing, A vibrant life too real to dim. (Living Calm 2016)
All denominations have their flaws. And the one I grew up with certainly had some. But it did open my heart to an awareness of spiritual life. I’ve always known that who we are is more than what we see here. That could be why Lewis’ reference to the Lord’s “larger, stronger, quieter life” made sense to me as soon as I read it.
But we aren’t the ones who can extend the scope of our lives. We aren’t the ones who can originate lasting strength. And we aren’t the ones who can make a satisfying calm. As much as my earlier denominational believing would reject it, I’m now completely assured that this greater potential of life is what the Saviour brings to each of us. We live because he lives. As Jesus says in John, “The bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world” (CEB 6:33).
Christ’s life is as essential to us as bread, as the food we eat. It is Christ who sustains and nourishes our “spirit of believing.” Whenever we start mingling our natural self-reliance and self-effort with our religious believing, we either lose our faith or sink it in a selfish quagmire of pride. That’s because, as Jesus says, “The Spirit is the one who gives life and the flesh doesn’t help at all” (CEB John 6:63).
Our helplessness in this whole process of faith and believing has grown to be a major source of comfort for me. So the only need for me and for you, day after day after day, is to practice intentional and deliberate relaxing back, placing every initiative in God’s hands. When we do this, the Lord’s vibrant life flows in—in just the way Lewis described in Mere Christianity (“Is Christianity Hard or Easy?”).