Do you ever feel like Prince Rilian of C. S. Lewis’ “The Silver Chair”? Enchanted by the Lady of the Green Kirtle, he lives under her spell, a member of the waking dead, riding silently by her side or parroting her lies that he is her honored protégé and fiancé.
For one short hour each night her spell wanes and he remembers his true identity as a Prince of Narnia. Bound during that hour to the Green Lady’s enchanted silver chair to prevent his escape, he cries to those sent to seek him, “Let me go, I say! . . .Once and for all I adjure you to set me free. By all fears and all loves, by the bright skies of overland, by the great Aslan himself I charge you. . . set me free! . . . Don’t you understand, this is the only time I know what I’m saying?”
It is a perfect picture of how I feel some days. An occasional hour of sanity. An hour when I remember who I truly am, united to Christ, a princess, a warrior for Life in God’s kingdom. Uniquely gifted and commissioned and filled with God himself and given everything that I need to complete the task assigned. Then I know it an honor and a thrill to be fighting for hearts under His banner.
Too quickly the spell takes hold again and all I can see is my inadequacy and fear and the size of the task. It all feels so true. Impossible to escape. And I cry out with Paul, “What a wretched person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?” (Romans 7:24)
I think again of the little phrase that I’m rediscovering: “in Christ.” Of John Murray’s statement, “Union with Christ is the central truth of the whole doctrine of salvation.” What do I know of this, really?
And I ask again the question that I’m asking often these days. “Jesus, what difference does it make, in this moment, that I am one with You?”
What difference does it make, right now, in the moment when all comes crushing in again, the fear and the smallness and the conviction that I can’t do it?
This: that whether I’m remembering who I am or struggling against lies, I am held. Always held. “For your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:3)
And this: that the One who holds me secure is passionate about setting prisoners free.
Can plunder be taken from warriors, or captives rescued from the fierce? But this is what the LORD says: The warrior’s captive will indeed be snatched away and the tyrant’s booty will indeed be set free; I myself shall fight those who fight you and I myself shall save your children. . . . Then all humanity will know that I am the LORD, your Saviour, your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob. (Isaiah 49:24-26)
The Spirit of the LORD is on me [Jesus] because . . . he has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and . . . to release the oppressed. (Luke 4:18)