Christianity 201

June 14, 2012

Devotional Potpourri

From Jeff Mikels in January:

He Came

  1. Jesus came as Prophet to bring the Word of God to us.
  2. Jesus came as Priest to represent us to the Father.
  3. Jesus came as SON to bring us into God’s family
  4. Jesus came as Savior to take away our sin.
  5. Jesus came as King to receive our submission.
  • to have 1-4 without 5 is pointless mercy
  • to have 5 without 1-4 is Islamic legalism
  • to have them all together is the beautiful harmony of grace

Dan Delzell looks at the question Can Deliberate Sin Negate Your Conversion Experience?

Every Christian hits rough spots at times where a particular sin just seems to get the upper hand for awhile. It might be a grudge….or impure thoughts….or jealousy….or whatever. By God’s grace, believers somehow manage to bounce back and get beyond these spiritual setbacks. It’s so much better to be living “in the zone” of God’s abundant love, power, and boundaries.

But what about the professing believer who never bounces back? He just continues charging into sin while pursuing those desires which are contrary to God’s will. What are we to make of such a person?

Well….the Arminian might say that such a person has lost his salvation….while the Calvinist might say that such a person was never saved in the first place….or that he will eventually repent and return to God. What does God’s Word say? Can deliberate sin negate your conversion experience? It’s a question worth addressing because it’s a question that comes up quite often.

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Finally, Canadian counselor George Hartwell at Listening Prayer on Head versus Heart Prayer.

Creativity cannot be forced. Memory cannot be forced. Instead we find that creativity follows when we give ourselves a break or after we are asleep. Writers who know that they cannot force inspiration learn to live with the flow of creativity.

Our heart, what psychology calls the unconscious mind, is like a stubborn child. It is quite difficult for our head to control our heart. See Romans 7. Forcing the heart does not work.  Learn to cooperate with your heart.

I don’t know if over-dependence on the rational mind is the death of us, but I do remember that the serpent seduced Adam and Eve with the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This Bible account at least suggests that life based on head knowledge  shut down the life-giving flow of God’s presence to Adam and Eve.

Is pride in head knowledge our downfall?  Does life based on head knowledge mean life independent from God.  When we try to figure everything out are we trying to be ‘like God.’  Does head control generate a false sense of power, control and independence?  

Timothy Galway, The Inner Game of Tennis, points out that too much instruction hinders a player from playing their best game. When the head is out of the way we may find ourselves playing better than normal – ‘beyond ourselves’.

With humility do I recover the realization that real freedom comes in being who God created me to be. Real power comes from the presence of God, as we encounter God, while listening and obeying God. Real faith is a gift of God comes in the presence of God, as we encounter God, as we listen to God. Real healing occurs in the presence of God, as we encounter God and listen to God.

 Real prayer is not based on head knowledge. Real prayer is based on coming into the presence of God, an encounter with God, listening to God.