Monday, November 17, 2014

Three Little Sentences

Three little sentences.

CS Lewis is my friend.

I have a problem with Lewis. He's hard to read. But my persistent fella keeps sending his stuff my way. And I can honestly say that Lewis and I are becoming closer and closer.

But I thought I could detect a moment a very, very short moment before this happened, during which the satisfaction of having pleased those whom I rightly loved and rightly feared was pure. And that is enough to raise our thoughts to what may happen when the redeemed soul, beyond all hope and nearly beyond belief, learns at last that she has pleased Him whom she was created to please. There will be no room for vanity then. She will be free from the miserable illusion that it is her doing. With no taint of what we should now call self-approval she will most innocently rejoice in the thing that God has made her to be, and the moment which heals her old inferiority complex for ever will also drown her pride deeper than Prospero's book.  (Lewis)

That miserable illusion that it is her own doing. It's miserable. We have been ingrained since a very early age that we work hard for what we desire. We want good grades, then we must study hard and do our assignments. If we want the weekly allowance for a new toy, then of course we must complete our chores as we are told. Our lives have been filled with good imperatives for good results. Yet our faith is different. We have an indicative of who God is and what He has done for us out of our honor to Him should flow the imperatives and obedience. That's what makes it hard for this hard-working girl who has always done A to get B. And what results is that inferiority complex Lewis mentions where we are constantly feeling as if we don't measure up - measure up to God's standard as to what His daughter should do and be.

Calvin has become my friend.

Umm. Excuse me? Yes, I know. I'm not speaking of Calvin, as in Calvin & Hobbs, but I'm speaking of John Calvin. I can't explain it all here, but I'll try my darndest to deliver. From previously mentioned segment about measuring up, there comes a doubt of being enough for God. Clearly this is self-focused. But it can easily lead to thoughts of not understanding God's love for me .. or why He would even choose me. And so in last night's discussion I asked about election. Yep, I did. I formally liked to just push that concept right on to the side. But I wanted to meet in right square in the face, and I wanted answers. This is what I got:

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things. Romans 8:29-32

And it clicked! And I sat there amazed! And I woke up with great peace and joy. Because here's the thing, God has saved me. He sent Jesus to save me, and by faith I believe. Imperfectly but I believe. He knew before I was even here and before I was even a "good" girl that He was going to save me. He predestined. He called. He justified. And He will glorify. It is His grace that He has chosen me as part of the elect. In so being a part of that, I have not "worked" for anything. These verses magnified the exclusivity of God being the agent of salvation. Though I have always known that, part of me has still sought to do it own my own (See Lewis above). I've trained to earn love and earn favor. I've tried to make the grade! But God doesn't need that. He's sufficient on his own. He can save apart from me. He loves apart from anything I've done. He blesses out of His grace, and those blessings are for our enjoyment (Ephesians 1:3).

Apart from Him I have no good thing.

Three little, but great, sentences.

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