SORRY, I’ve been procrastinating lately. As a codependant, I often take on too much but God has convicted me that I need to say no to some things and He wants me to prioritize the internet work so I’ve said no to some things and hope to be more faithful to this blog. I looked at my comments and God spoke to me through the last comment to get with it. So here goes.
God is pretty much in charge of everything, (sovereignty) .
He weaves us in our mother’s womb, gives 0us our parents, our sex our IQ our families and our life circumstances. When young, our brains soak in the conclusions of parents, siblings and same age peers, pre-programming our brains. Our brains are predicting machines guessing what will soon happen and PRE-PREPARE WHAT WE WILL FEEL THINK AND DO. Our thinking brain believes it is analyzing and choosing but 100% of our responses are driven by the past. The iniquities of our parents pass down for 3 and 4 generations.
Our responses are not just habits of practice and memory but they become powerful well defended urges. The Habit Brain DOES NOT WANT TO CHANGE. We try things and if it makes our dopamine rise, we say “hey lets remember to do that again.” If it makes us uncomfortable we remember to not do that.But, often, godly behavior is not as immediately pleasant as unhealthy choices are.These become controlling habits. We guess as to the meaning of things and try to make sense of patterns and believe principles that don’t reflect reality.
The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked and we can’t know it. So we come of adulthood thoroughly miss-programmed unable to see truth while CONVINCED THAT WE DO! Blind leaders of the blind who follow the blind, mistaking part of truth for the whole, emphasizing the negatives, calling good-evil and evil-good. Totally unable to even want, let alone see or choose God’s ways.
Then God steps in to make free will possible. First he wakes us up using the Law and the consequences of sin to make us question if we have GOT IT RIGHT. The truth of God’s nature is evident in the world around us and convicts us. The witness of the WORD and of God’s servants, jab at us. Next he gives grace enough for us to sense our need and to admit that we can’t even see, let alone change our ways and that we are unable to earn his love. Then he gives us faith and hope and strength to cry out to him for forgiveness for cleansing and the power to overcome, even the faith is not of ourselves. He gives the grace for us to ask for and co-operate with help and the feedback of others. I believe that this grace has appeared to all men: BUT we can refuse to admit our sin, we can water it down or try to fix ourselves or try to be good. This blockage of God’s grace results in consequences. God is not mocked what WE SOW we reap and God is just in holding us accountable for the results.
People often say” My parents did the best that they could.” That was the problem. God didn’t ask them to do the best they could, but to admit their sin and damage and cooperate with him and others to do the right thing. God then takes our IMPERFECT obedience and makes it work.
My friend fears that FREE WILL means that if she doesn’t pray perfectly that others will suffer and it will be her fault. My own litmus test for whether a thought is of God is to see if it causes me to be tense and uptight at the idea ME CARRYING IT OUT. God is not a fool. He knows I am made of dust and never asks me to be strong or do ANYTHING perfectly. So, if I am tense, I must have crossed a line into seeing obedience in a graceless way. I think that he wants me to use my free will after salvation to continue to be shown that without him I can do nothing. To continue to be shown that I need to focus my heart and will and love on him and to move my body member according to a GROWING sense of his principles applied, for him to make something out of. NOT FOR ME TO PAY HIM BACK OR BE TENSE DOING HIS WORK. He can take my feeble inadequate efforts and make up the difference and bless others , IF I SIMPLY ACKNOWLEDGE WHAT IS RIGHT AND SEEK TO GET TO KNOW HIM THROUGH THE OBEDIENCE. It is similar to a father hanging on to the seat of the bicycle as the child learns to ride, rather badly. The father wants cooperation and companionship and effort. He does not want perfect effort. In fact someone with a seminary degree in ministry might do a more nearly perfect effort but have it mean nothing if he has a lack of relationship with the father.
When I get up to speak to large crowds, I am aware of my BAD ATTITUDE and my GOOD ATTITUDE. I want people to like me to tell me how intelligent I am and that I am an important person. Yup! pretty screwed up co dependent. Part of me wants the listeners to be blessed by God’s practical ideas and to worship God for his wisdom and practicality. So I say, ” Lord you know my mixed up mess but please use my efforts for your kingdom despite their imperfect motivation and delivery. AND HE DOES! Woah, how cool is that?
Every person mightily used by God, became suicidally depressed in the effort and gave up. They loved God and his word and his ways and his people and his kingdom. BUT they did it in their own strength. We must arrive at each moment of obedience with the prayer, “Lord if you can make anything out of this go ahead! I sure can’t do anything well enough to work.
I say, gently, to my friend. ” Has someone cast a spell on you, tell me one thing, How did you get saved?Didn’t you trust in the finished work of Jesus? Grace has not gone away the same grace that saves you keeps you. It is not for nothing that pastors fear that grace will make people so peaceful that they will quit teaching sunday school, or sin to let grace abound. But they don’t get it. Once we rest in grace for all eternity we have vastly MORE ability to be his tool. God want to give you power in prayer, but that is like giving a child a high powered car. For the gift to not destroy you, you must let him do the driving and just go along for the ride.