The theme of “will of man versus the sovereignty of God” presents a problem age-old. No, I have not solved it, but the dilemma finds resolution in the person of Christ. What do I mean? Well, the gap between active and passive states of mind, for instance, dissolves when we allow for the presence of both mind-states in their precise and proper manner and timing. We recognize these dispositions as they are as easy as giving and receiving, or opening/closing the hand.
There are times when we do both simultaneously; we call this “exchange.” I take the ice cream cone and at the same time hand over the money. At the gas pump, for every ounce of petrol dispensed into the tank, my card is “rung up” to the equivalent dollar amount, side by side. The sense of equity and fairness combines these aspects of receiving and releasing quite naturally.
So, what’s the problem? Well, the sense of equity and fairness gets monkey-wrenched because, sometimes, things are simply “free.” This is where we need Jesus to help. See, with His life in us we will learn to freely receive and freely give and “it is better to give than receive.”
Yes, some identify as “givers” but you can’t get em to take, while others grab but never dish out. Both types live by a self-rule, and that rule excludes Jesus Christ. The same “rule” based folks argue for “will” over “sovereignty,” or vice-versa in their theological philosophy, but when asked to see it both ways, they balk. They want the easy mechanism of referring to their “pat-answer” for situations. Consequently, they back-off from a living relationship with the Savior and the person to person wisdom which results from a daily exchange with Him. This is fatal.
Friends, an absence of “conversation skills” and “friendship development” may eventuate a sad result here. Lack of marital “give and take” creates separation, while one party clings to a “rule” and the other the opposite. One gives and one takes, or both only dish out, or worse, both selfishly just take.
Fellow saints, please do not bring your Pharisaical ways (strong felt concept living) to the relationship, but take up the easier yoke and simply get to know the Master through His Word and Spirit. For some, to receive Him and His fellowship may rub against their core. These can be your “shirt off their backs,” big-giver type guys. They feel they do well with their “rule,” while they barge over and insult honest caring people who see deeper. Others take, get, receive, and gouge to the point of nuisance, never recognizing their call to nurture or consider others. “Think not on your own things, but also on the things of others.”
O boy! We discussed some real stuff here. Lets move to our solution, Jesus, Redeemer and Friend. This moving puts forth the question, are we to see our relationship to Him as those of sinners or saints? Would you cry if I said both, and in each it’s proper time? See, in obedience to His Word we relate to Him as friends, but in isolated times of sin, He must become our Advocate. When I fail miserably, He assumes the role of High Priest; when contented, He Shepherds me. See, throughout my Christian life I will get to know all of the multi-faceted nature of my Friend and Savior. And here is the kicker: we get our identity from Him.
Yes our identity too, is positionally unchanging though experientially changeable, but both derive from our relationship with Him. Do you see it? Sometimes we exist kings and other times as sheep. We are priests, and poor, beloved and sinners depending on time, relationship status and conditions. A mistake many make is to believe that as they grow older they will experience less of some of the above mentioned.
Beloved, as Jesus becomes “bigger” through fellowship, my amazing sense of littleness has waxed more real. My need to know Him as the Lover of my soul, Advocate and Friend seems to shine out. I am also more aware of my positional status in Him, but 1000 times more tuned in to His gracious Person and sacrifice that made it possible. Love, kind of, out-weighs all of the statuses. Receiving and giving have melted into a “money exchange” of “love” now. I just want to be a steward of the many-sided grace, love, mercy, and compassion of God.
Lastly, Paul said “I am what I am by the grace of God.” He goes on to say that grace produced a “labor” which really was “grace itself laboring.” Go figure. Beloved, we have received grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Let Him be your theological stance, your identity, your motivation, your work. Let Him be your wisdom, righteousness, redemption, sanctification. He is our peace, our glory, the lifter of our heads. He is beautiful for all situations, not ashamed to call us brethren. He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we could ask or think. Don’t limit Him to a “one dimensional” rule, He is so much more. Love ya