Okay.......so 3 weeks ago, I was blessed with Influenza.......then, just this last weekend, as I was recovered to about 85%, I got sucker punched by the stomach virus (which I lovingly shared with my husband)
I can't remember a time of illness where it was just like a viral machine gun aimed at me........but this morning on my way into work, still a bit queasy.....I was listening to Crossmovement.....and feel as though God has used the illness to re-fix my gaze and refine my heart.
I heard Pastor Sproul preaching the other day on the ministry morning the words "Quorom Deo" which means something to the affect of "the awareness of living the life constantly before the Lord."
That simple hearted desire hit me this morning. I've been hard hearted & defensive, quick to point out circumstances that are 'causing' my hard heart in an effort to stifle my conscience that was pretty seared. You know you're not walking in the light when you are quickly discerning how your spouse should be living and you're not the least bit concerned about your own transgressions before the Lord. Agh.
Praise the Lord - I get some time to focus.......tomorrow afternoon, Lord willing, I leave for Costa Rica with a dear sister in Christ.
10 days away from the cares and concerns and temptation to control (thanks to Eve)
I'm exhausted from that sinful disposition....and I hate it.
Thank God that I have a loving and forgiving husband who doesn't give up on me, but keeps reminding me of the life giving word of God....and how important it is to be meditating on truth.
So, while I'm still adamant in my desire for brothers and sisters in Christ to know and love Jesus for who He really is......KING UNELECTED, and completely Sovereign. (as in, He didn't create the universe and then step back "hoping we'll chose him" but He HIMSELF converts the heart of His sheep that He knew before the foundation of the world)
I have to say that living life in the nitty gritty, day to day - humility in the presence of the Lord.....with a desire to commune with Him in all things -even the mundane.....is of tremendous priority.
Back to the Sovereignty issue.........
I don't want motives to be questioned about my efforts to promote the precious doctrines of grace.........(for those of you who might hear of it, and perhaps who still really dislike the thought that God saves some and leaves others to choose their own demise, because they would never choose Christ if left without grace to believe)
I suggest that when hard times strike....and the tough questions come..........a light and lofty idea of who God is will not work in these circumstances.........and the foundation will be rocked.
In a recent conversation I had with a dear sister who rejects God's Sovereignty over evil in the sense that He ordains evil be FOR GOOD AND HOLY PURPOSES and yet is not the actor of it, so that He cannot contradict His hatred of it. She accepted the doctrine on the level of her human experience, but the thought of God's ordaining evil to be unbiblical.
Which I believe happens with all true believers.....though they might struggle to look ahead at sin and say that God might ordain evil happen to them or through them........it sounds as though a human is blaming God for the evil - but THAT, I would say is blasphemy. The human is still the actor of the wickedness, since they REALLY did choose to do evil rather than good.
The fact that God does not give some humans grace to obey does NOT mean that He is blameworthy for their sin...therefore, arminians need not get "God off the hook" via 'free will' theology.
This sister spoke to me of how she prayed and prayed to honor God in her dealings with unbelievers and of how she failed.....repeatedly.....and I could see her internal battle raging.......how she was beating herself up.
Her conscience bearing witness of her inability to obey God in her "OWN FREE WILL"
Okay, this is a professing believer in Christ Jesus....whom I believe (based on much fruit) to be a true sister in the Lord......especially how her eyes welled up with tears as she spoke of her disappointment in herself to do what she wanted to do to honor God.
Along the lines of my understanding of God's purposes in the universe - in all things.....
I said to her something to the affect of "You know friend, when you pray earnestly for strength to obey, and your hearts desire is bent that way and all that is in you longs to be faithful and you still fail......the Lord is communicating something to you......He's reminding you of the Gospel. That you are incapable of meeting His Holy standard, He is pointing you back to the cross. It is Him. He wants you to cling closer to Christ, to love Him more than ever, and not trust in your own merit.
Since, if you were to have obeyed, God knows that that might not have been what is best for your heart.....perhaps you would (not verbally) but internally boost up your heart in self righteousness and the cross wouldn't be the focal point of your salvation? Who knows but God.
He lets His children fail to obey (go on a skid) with the end in mind that they will run to Him for mercy." BAM - God manifests His Glory in His mercy toward His beloved children.
Her heart seemed to receive the doctrine as it made sense to her in her circumstances......but shortly after that, in a discussion about God's control over evil, the question of all questions "well, are you saying that God ordains the molesting of little children?"
This question is hard because it seems insensitive to answer with sensitivity.....but "yes."
God is not after our temporal joy in having a life here and now free from sin......and if He is after our highest joys....than redemption from sin and forgiveness in light of the Gospel are more the question than the purposes of human wickedness.
Joseph's brothers sold him into slavery.........which ended up being means of the preservation of Israel. Gen 50:20 "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today."
God ordains evil.......for the ultimate good.....
The word "meant" in greek means "purpose, end, goal"
God is not responsible for our sin, we are....Human responsibility is a true doctrine.
God is the giver of the ability to obey....again, a true doctrine.
I choose to live with the beautiful tension of these truths......it's not either/or it's both/and -
And let me tell you - going to bed at night - I sleep like a Calvinist. :)
I love conversations about this very controversial topic.........
Wellp.....up out for now......and perhaps the next 10 days. Heh....not sure that I'll have Internet in Costa Rica.
Love in Christ,