Disclaimer: I wrote this post a year ago, and just now forced myself to publish it, hoping God will use it for His glory.
For the past month or so, my heart has been hidden away in a magical land called Narnia. I even had a dream that I stepped into it (For those who don’t know: There is a familiar, yet mystical land I find in my dreams every now and then, similar to a place I’ve been like Shiloh or the woods by my house, yet far deeper and meaningful and even mysterious, It’s almost scary at times). Well, I watched The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Extended Edition, but I didn’t get too excited about it… Why? Because the Narnia portrayed in the movie and illustrations is unfulfilling, I thought it was too empty and weird. It wasn’t the true beauty as my heart imagines. I long for more than Narnia! I was, as C.S. Lewis himself said, “made for another world.” My desires are too strong for just Narnia, or any movie for that matter.
There is something healing about good stories, just like there is something healing about gazing at a beautiful sunset or mountain range. It’s because we were made for glory and beauty and adventure. It’s a God-given desire, we are “Incarnate Thirsts” for God; as Thomas Dubay says. The great lie since The Fall is that this glory we were made for is found in created things. But the glorious truth of the gospel is that this glory is only realized in Christ. The glorious truth is that God has written a story. A story about adventure and beauty and redemption and romance. It’s the story we’ve always been wanting to hear since we were children. God has formed and fashioned out of the abundance of His heart a grand story, and “it’s not about God making much of us, but God empowering us to enjoy making much of Him.” (as John Piper says) It’s about God drawing near to men and His intentions are simply: Peace and Good-will (Luke 2:14, 12:34; Eph. 1:5). His intentions are for our greatest joy… which is being forever lost in God. God has written this story according to “the good pleasure of His will” (Eph.1). The gospel means “good news” (Luke 2:10). It’s that God has drawn near in the person of Christ and has given us a grand invitation to be children of God.
God’s plans ever since creation have always been for ‘good’ (Gen.1-2) His plans for Israel when they turned from Him were for ‘good’ (Jer. 29:11). When God became man, His plans for for all humanity were for good (Luke 2:14). At the Cross, His plans were for for good (“the Lord was pleased to crush Him…” Is. 53:10). In the end, when God brings heaven and earth together in Christ, His plans are for ‘good’ (Eph. 1:9-10). Truly, He is a God “who works all things after the counsel of His will” (Eph. 1:11) and this will is “according to His kind intention/good pleasure which He purposed in Him” (Eph. 1:5,9). In heaven right now, an elder is crying out “You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created!” (Rev. 4:10). It is the Will of God that created this universe and it is the will of God that sustains it’s existance. I like to think of ‘will’ as ‘desire’: “And by Your desire they exist…”
God has always desired to dwell and rest with men on earth. Why else would He pursue mankind with such vehemence and passion? Why would he “Put” Adam in the garden to worship and obey and rest (please read Ron’s excellent post on Gen. 1-11 here)? Why would He call and establish His covenant with Abraham simply for the purpose “to be God to you and to your descendants after you. [And to] give you and to your descendants the land for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God”? -Gen. 17:7-8. Has anyone asked WHY? Does anyone dare to peer into the heart of God, to “stand in the counsel of the Lord” and behold what hidden plans and desires lie there? There are things which “eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those that love Him.” -1 Cor. 2:10. Who dares to take the wild search engine of the Holy Spirit into the depths of God to see and hear and feel that which God plans for us. Sometimes you must remind yourself, it’s not selfish to love the Bible.
Something greater than Narnia is here! (put your notes in here…) Something that will satisfy the thirstiest soul and give them beauty for ashes. A story “which goes on for ever; in which every chapter is better than the one before.” (as C.S. Lewis says in the closing sentence of the whole Narnia series)
This is our glory: that nothing created can satisfy us, it can “Wow” us for a moment but then we are bored again. (Insert quote on Ducks never growing tired of mundane-ness)
Narnia is not evil, but it can lead to evil. It leaves you hanging, wanting for more, longing for your own wardrobe to lead you to a great world. The point of it all is this: C.S. Lewis was playing off of our desire for God when He wrote the Chronicles of Narnia, just as God was playing off our desire when He created the Universe. yet Aslan is a dim image of the true image of God, (Col. 1:15) Jesus, who is the exact representation of the Father. (Heb. 1:3, Jn. 14:9) Jesus is the exact representation, not Aslan. Aslan is an echo, like creation it says: “Not me, but the maker of me is the desire of your souls.” So, maybe we should stop searching for true pleasure where it wasn’t meant meant to be found and begin to look for it in Christ and in His Word. They say of Aslan “he’s not a tame lion but he’s good.” And to that I give a call to all, “O taste and see that the Lord is good.” He is intimately acquainted with our deepest desires and He knows how to satisfy them “For to those who fear Him there is no want.” (Ps. 34:8-9) He is the One who will “lead you to living fountains of water” (Rev. 7:17, 21:6), who will “make you to lie down in green pasutres and lead you beside quiet waters” (Ps. 23:2). This hit me, why do I fool around with the dim reflections of fairy tales and Narnia when reality is written in the Bible, the greatest story ever. And you are in this story, you are the one who’s been redeemed and who is fighting a good fight with your captain Jesus at your side.
O Lord, for this generation and my own heart, take the Bible off the shelves of antiseptic intelligence and bring it to bear reality on our hearts that we would exult in joy and hope of the glory of God. “Open my eyes that I may see wondrous things from Your law…” -Ps. 119:18