“Living comfortably with confusion and mystery is not easy. It erodes our sense of competence. We like to feel we are in control. We feel better when we know what is going on and we know what to expect. We like to have answers for everything mysterious because walking in the dark is disturbing. So any answer is better than none. Many people will accept glib explanations because it provides them with a way out of confusion; it provides something to hold on to. Since we don’t like to be in the dark, we seek to replace confusion and mystery with understanding. Let’s face it: few of us handle ambiguity well. This desperate desire to be in control makes us cling to the illusion that if we search hard enough we will find answers. We are unwilling to brave the fog of confusion, and fail to see that it is often in the midst of massive confusion that we have the opportunity to build the muscles of faith and trust. The truth is God has not chosen to answer every question.”
Every Day with Jesus (from the 10th Feb.) by Selwyn Hughes
OH how I want God to be [for me] my God Mon-Sat! I’m trying to get my head around what it means to be IN RELATIONSHIP with Him. I want Him to invade my life…though I do agree it’s partly a scary thought.
God is a rewarder of those who earnestly seek Him (Heb 11:6). It’s a growth thing, it takes time.
ummm… no. tomorrow morning. but i will be back on this.
My own thoughts are in a state of flux on this topic. So I’m interested to know what others think.
i knwo there is a “drawing.” yet, the more i talk with people, especially people who find themselves outside of the church, i find that this drawing is a universal thing. people feel encountered by a spirit of sorts. they don’t really understand it, but one day, something comes to them and challenges them to sihft their perspectives on life and how it is lived. to begin to impact the world in a more positive manner.
whether they respond or not, it seems, is up to them. or what they do with the response once they have responded also seems to be within the power that has been given to each individual, in my experience.
and what shall we do with the term “elect”? traditionally, this term has been taken to mean the church. but is that the case? are there not, seemingly, a certain few who are empowered with the ability to search out and carry out the deeper things of god? and is that something available to everyone?
does everyone have the ability to be paul? or jeremiah?
it brings back a question for me that has been around for a few years as a result of the parable of the sower. in 3 of the 4 cases, there is response. but based on the type of soil where the seed fell, you received different results. so my question is, can we control the type of soil we are? or is it already determined for us?
and what about predestinating of individuals? commonly the scriptures used taht speak of predestination do not have to do with individuals. we just take them that way. more commonly, they seem to point to groups of people. “vessels for common use and vessels for noble purposes.”
in reading scriptures like these, it does not seem incompatible to say that those who have been predestined are those who would yield to the drawing and sell out everything for it. and the other group are those who do not. this goes beyond doctrinal affirmations or joining of a certain religion. (i.e. christianity) but rather, that god has foreordained that any who would receive his spirit by faith would indeed be called, justified, and glorified. (rom 8:30)
and that those who do not receive it as by faith do not share in the same blessings. they receive blindness and hardening.
but it seems to get confusing when we associate the term “christian” with the group that he is talking about. because even a cursory glance at the church will let you know that this can not be so. for under the umbrella of the church we have wheat AND tares. so simple doctrinal affirmations cannot be what is being spoken of here. it must be something BIGGER and more personal and mystical and hard to pin down. yet so simple.
like a child. the spirit calls your name and you answer. and who knows who you are or where you are at when this happens? i think this can indeed happen to those who are ignorant of what has actually happened to them in the course of this transaction.
but at the same time, as a result of submission and agreement with this intangible convicting influence, it seems as though a repentance has taken place and people leave behind what they have known and champion something new and better. 2 examples of this type of thing taht stand out for me are ghandi and john lennon.
2 men who were going down one road and then had a spiritual encounter of some sort that radically altered their lives and sent them on a mission to spread love and peace and several other things completely in agreement with the workings of the spirit of god further into the world.
this to me speaks repentance. this to me speaks fruit. but it seriously calls into question all formulas and stock answers as to who the elect are and how one becomes elect.
i know this does not arrive at an answer, it is simply a furtherment of the discussion at hand with my own questions as related to the topic.
i grew up an arminian. i became a calvinist for a time. and now i am something else…
That’s really interesting. I hadn’t realized that Scriptures about predestination are not about individuals but about groups of people. That certainly throws a different light on it.
I need to think about this some more but one thought that springs to mind is perhaps there is a parallel between God choosing the Jews (predestining the Jews?)in the Old Testament and God choosing a people for Himself in the New Testament.
Is it mearly a coincidence that i’m coming to gisbourne next week and your leaving the country
I booked my trip before I knew what dates you were coming 🙂
It is strange though … maybe God thought Dad needed help ironing his shirts so He is sending you, afterall you have ironed more shirts than him, lol.
I’m going to think about these. Some are ver relevant that most people rail against.