Monday, June 22, 2009


I was sitting in Church, listening to the sermon, and again, I found myself disagreeing with some of what was said... not so much as a refutation but a desire for perspective to change.  And now, I'm sitting in the Library at Den Sem, reading a book on discipleship.  I was reminded of the peace God gave me yesterday of the mess it seems the Church is in.  Do we, as followers and disciples of Jesus Christ get things wrong?  Of course.  Is God frustrated with our lack of progress?  That is a more difficult question.  And herein lies a big difference between certain Christians: I presuppose that God is sovereign over all activity within the Created Realm... there is no activity or direction taken that is not authorized by God to suit His purpose.  Some do not adopt this position honestly when they hold strong convictions that Humanity has Free Will.  I recently read that Charles Finney, an American Revivalist of the 1800's, believed that we pursued God apart from any prompting on His part, and then God responded when we showed a commitment to Him.  That astounds me!  I see no biblical support for that position.  And yet, I feel that sentiment, that God waits for us to act before He moves in our lives powerfully, is taught and accepted still.  My frustration and discouragement yesterday was in light of this issue.  

Why is it that so many are just missing some of the vastly significant and powerful spiritual truths that are so vital for my passion for the faith?  

God answered that question both in prayer in the service, and through reading yesterday afternoon and today.  More or less, God asked me (isn't it funny how he asks us questions to respond, that we might have to engage all the more?... sorry - tangent) whether it took me no time or not to get where I was today.  Had I not experienced spiritual growth throughout the years that each prepared me for the next, that I might be exactly where I am at exactly this moment in time?  It was as if a lightbulb went off and I was assured.  Yeah, it is really frustrating to not have your pastors preaching the Glory of God and the significance of Christ's version of the Gospel (Kingdom come) vs. our own false gospel of salvation from Hell as if that was most important, our selfish experience.  But that frustration is worth it if God has a role for me to be a significant part of the Body for teaching and correction.  And the depth of His wisdom, that He may use us, a messed up and misguided people, centered on ourselves, is amazing to me; He will use us in all our depravity to show all how worthy of praise He is to sit on the throne and reign with authority over all creation. 

A final thought on this is that patience is important but not excuse for passivity.  I could just lie down to the circumstances of our collective lostness, saying "oh well, God will bring them around eventually to a more empowered knowledge of Himself."  The problem with that is that God would not have brought me to the place I am if He did not want me to share it with the Body, for edification and growth.  As I progressed gradually, through flawed teaching over the years, so Christ will use my obedience to the measure of faith given me to impact and teach others.  Is this not Christ's desire for us, that we may make disciples (those being taught in the faith)?  The closer God get all of us to a fuller, truer knowledge of Himself, the sooner we all will exponentially increase our effectiveness for the Kingdom, the sooner He will return because the world will actually start to hate once more what His chosen does to there comfort in sin, once more convicted and unnerved.  

May His Kingdom come to Earth as it is in Heaven, where Humanity joins the heavenly hosts in saying, 
"You are worthy to take the scroll 
      and to open its seals, 
   because you were slain, 
      and with your blood you purchased men for God 
      from every tribe and language and people and nation. 
 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, 
      and they will reign on the earth...
"Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, 
   to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength 
   and honor and glory and praise!...
 "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb 
   be praise and honor and glory and power, 
         for ever and ever!" (Revelation 5:9-10, 12-13)

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