The Grace of Disenchantment

Disenchantment is the feeling of being disappointed with something and no longer believing that it is good, useful, or worthwhile. It is the overwhelming feeling of disillusionment you feel when something or someone has not lived up to your expectations.  And it is a great and glorious grace when disenchantment is rooted in anything smaller than God!

When we build our hopes, our dreams, our trust, our worth, our identity, perhaps our very existence on anything smaller than God, that thing (or person) will always leave us wanting.  Whenever we put anything on the throne of our lives expect the One who rightfully should be there, we set ourselves up for disenchantment . . . and that is one of God’s great graces given to every Christian.

Whether we are in hot pursuit of a person, a pastime, a profession, or a possession, when we finally get what we wanted, it isn’t long before we realize it is utterly unable to deliver on what we thought it promised.  We wind up disappointed, disillusioned, and desperate for our next “fix.”  But instead of driving us to despair, the grace of disenchantment should drive us back to the only One who can meet us in our place of deepest need: that One is Jesus Christ.

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.  (Colossians 3:1-2)

God will deliver the grace of disenchantment whenever we set our hearts on earthly things and place them above Christ.  Now, please don’t misunderstand what I am saying: loving our families, caring for our children, working hard on our jobs, and enjoying our recreation are all good things.  But when we make good things into ultimate things (by setting our hearts on them and placing them above Jesus), then they become bad things.  They become idols of the heart that enslave us, because our hearts are yearning for something smaller than God.  When any of these desires becomes our deepest desire, we are on our inevitable way to disenchantment.

We will only be immune from disenchantment when we regard Jesus as our ultimate treasure.  Only Jesus can deliver on every one of His promises.  The promise of meaning and purpose is realized only in Him.  The promise of success and significance is realized only in Him.  The promise of approval and acceptance is realized only in Him.  The promise of rest and relaxation is realized only in Him.  The promise of peace, pleasure, and prosperity is realized only in Him.  Everything we are looking for in everything smaller than Jesus we already have in Him.

So . . . have you been dealing with any disenchantment lately?

To be sure, Jesus has given us the good gifts of this life and He wants us to enjoy them to their fullest.  But we will only enjoy them rightly when they maintain their proper place in our hearts.  When Jesus is our ultimate love, then we can we love all these other things appropriately, without our affection rising to the level of adoration.  God will tolerate no rival.  When we put anything in our lives ahead of the Lord of all our lives, we can be certain the grace of disenchantment is not far behind.

This is the Gospel.  This is grace for your race.  NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!

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