Sunday, October 3, 2010

Seeking God

"There is no one who seeks God"--thus says a commenter on a blog.

He believes we are too sinful--totally depraved--to seek God.

OK, I believe that we are as bad as we can be. I do believe in "original sin." I agree with the statement from the CofN that we are "inclined to sin, and that continually..."

So we need help from God from the beginning to seek Him. He instills the hunger. He draws us to the places we need to go and to the people we need to see. It is God from beginning to end.

I can't believe that people are able to save themselves, but I do believe there is a consent of the will to go on with God's pushing and pursuing.

I remember one time a patient we transferred from the late IRHC to the late Baptist Hospital for psychiatric care. That person consented voluntarily to care; they were not on a 72 hour hold.
When the ambulance crew arrived at Baptist and opened the door, the patient jumped out and ran down Rock Hill Road. Remember, voluntary commitment. The patient could still chose not to get care. They were not pursued.

We can be like that with God, if we want. His salvation is always available, and for most that get as far as the ambulance ride, we take that salvation. A few of us do jump off the gurney at the last minute--we are not tied down. We, for the moment, withdraw the consent of our will.

Oh, by the way, that does not mean that God has stopped pursuing or that salvation is no longer available.

Some believe this doctrine makes God "weak." Remember, God put the hunger in us in the first place. Salvation is not limited to person or time--it is offered to all people all the time. Also not only does salvation offer forgiveness from sin, it does positive work in the believer via the Holy Spirit. I refuse to limit the work of God's salvation to particular people or a particular type of work in the human heart and soul.

Wesley said he was "hair's breadth" from Calvinism. That's because grace that goes before is working all the time, and often so quietly that it's hard to see exactly what causes the sin sick soul to turn and seek God. So it's hard to tell exactly when God stops and our will starts in each individual case. Even the Bible is not clear on this.

I let it rest, like the physics problem of light. It's like this: sometimes light acts like it is made out of waves propagating. Other times, light behaves as if it is made out of particles. Either way, it is still light, it still keeps me from tripping over the cat in the dark.

The grace of God is spiritual light. I don't always need to fully understand how spiritual light works, but I see how it illuminates souls. Until I reach Heaven, that will work for me.

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