Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Power of God

Growing up as a Christian, you learn about the power of prayer and how it correlates to the power of God. A lot of emphasis is put on witnessing and being a good example, but through the years I have begun to realize that there is so much more to it than that.
Now that I am in Texas and attend a Baptist (affiliated with though not in the name) church, I have begun to learn about election. It is a topic that frightens me a bit, because on a surface level it seems to contradict the picture of God that has been ingrained in my head since childhood. Because of this supposed contradiction I have hesitated looking more into the subject. It is something that I feel I will need to do a lot of research on before I can grasp it, and in the middle of the school year I do not feel I have that time to spare (but really this is another excuse).
There are some aspects of election that I can readily accept without fully understanding, such as the irresistability of God. Growing up Free Methodist, there is a lot of pressure put on the individual to witness. I was told that we are the billboards for Christianity, if we don't tell of God to the world, then who will? If we don't pray, then who will? Now, these concepts are crucial, their importance has not diminished at all. It is of vital importance that we witness and pray for the mass of people who have yet to accept Christ as their personal savior, but the decision of salvation is not ours. We cannot force it upon anyone else any more than we can actually make it ourselves without the will of God acting in our lives. He calls and we have no choice but to answer. No matter how much I pray or witness to a person, I cannot take the responsibility of their willingness or lack there of to submit to the will of God. It is encouraging to know that it is up to Him, not me. Out of obedience and love I will still pray and witness as best I can, but oh the relief of leaving their salvation up to Him.
It might seem a bit presumptious that I thought I had any control in the first place, and it probably is, but nonetheless, it is how my thoughts progressed. I am very logical, and after adding everything up, I couldn't help but conclude that if I did not witness to a person, then I must hold some sort of responsibility in the fact that they were not saved. I can say one thing in my favor, if someone did convert, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that their conversion was a miracle of God and I had no hand in it.
I recently read a fictional Christian book that dealt with an interesting aspect of this topic. The world was faced with the possibility that the Bible might actually be true, and the book gave an amazing image of what that might look like. It was beautiful to see how each heart and mind began to think of what implications that might have in their life. If the Bible is true, then what should I be doing? How should I be living? Even though these questions were posed to the world as a whole, it was amazing to see how individually each person responded and how personally God called on each of their hearts. It helped me realize even more the intricate and beauty to be found in God's plan. Though the book was fictional, the way God calls us was acurately portrayed. The only thing I don't fully understand yet is why/how we can resist him? If the Baptist doctrine preaches that God is irresistable, then how do we resist? Moreover, how come the doctrine also says that we are fully responsible for not accepting him? These are the things I need to look into.
On a more personal note, how amazing would it be if the people of the world really did believe that the Bible was true? Entirely true. So many people I know and love seem to live their lives in such a nonchalonte way, not really living as the Bride of Christ, or even expecting Him to return for her. The Bible is so serious! How can we get others to realize that?! I guess that is where we pray and wait for God to reveal Himself in a way as to make that claim irrefutable. How great is our God that He can and will do that just because he loves us?! Hopefully you will join in my prayer that the Bible will become real and relavent to the world.

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