Links Daily Devotional

The Lie Angle

For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. (Romans 8:6-8, NASB)

Club fitting is critical in finding proper, efficient equipment. We are all made wonderfully and uniquely, and thus our swings follow this unique pattern. Today, let’s look at the lie of the club, reflecting the path of the golf swing.

For relatively flat or upright swings, the angle of the lie needs to be adjusted accordingly, because golf clubs have a standard lie at manufacturing. It is a pretty simple process. However, a small mistake in that department can have disproportionate ramifications. I have been in the situation where my new clubs were supposed to have the correct lie angle for my swing, which is about two degrees flat of standard, but when I went out to play with them all I could do was hit shots left. And if I tried to straighten the shots out, I felt I was doing something wrong in my swing, a compensation of sorts. I knew I could no longer continue like this, so I went to my club fitter to get them checked out. Sure enough, the lie was too upright for me.

In spiritual terms, the Bible teaches the existence of a certain “standard” (God’s righteousness) to which we all have to be adjusted. Because of the lie that Adam believed, a wrong “lie angle” was created in all of our hearts—our inclination toward sin. Today’s passage explains how unbendable by human means this inclination really is.

In many ways, this deep sinfulness is difficult to accept in a society where we are told we can do all things if we put our minds to it. The Bible’s description of our sinfulness confuses us and offends us.

It confuses us for many reasons. First, because our sinful nature is inherited through Adam, it wrecks our individualistic democratic worldview. Paul told the Romans: “…through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned…” (Romans 5:12). In our demise, we ask: Why pay the penalty that Adam deserved? Why are we all guilty? Shouldn’t we all get a fresh start? Unfortunately, this is like asking for new biological parents. What have no say; we are all part of the broken fallen family.

Second, we are confused by what we feel inwardly. We believe we can do good. We make choices that are “good” and we feel others can do good, too. But remember the lie angle issue. When we try to hit good shots with clubs set at the wrong lie angle, compensation in the swing has to happen. So the shot may have seemed “good,” but the underlying action was not pure! This is where we are offended. It is hard to believe we are that sinful, and we are often blind to it (2 Corinthians 4:4). And it is hard to believe Christ when he says that apart from him we can do nothing (John 15:5).

We are all unique and wonderfully made, yes, but we are all united in sin. It is from this problem that the light of the Gospel shines forth. C.S. Lewis writes: “Joy is the serious business of Heaven.” The Scripture shows everyone under sin (Galatians 3:22), but only in that it is aiming to lead us into joy… and joy everlasting!

The road to this joy starts with our eyes being opened to our need for a “heart fitter” to come fix our evil inclination. We need an able Savior, and the Good News is that Jesus of Nazareth was God, with God and sent from God, born into our world. He is the Lamb without sin who died and was raised to be in the business of “forging” new hearts that beat songs of joy for eternity—“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26).

Isabelle Beisiegel
October 17, 2013
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