Monday, October 19, 2009

"Determined Or Allowed"

God has determined or allowed everything that has ever happened in the universe, or is presently happening, or will happen in the future.

Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice: and let men say among the nations, The LORD reigneth “ (I Chronicle 16:31).

This truth presents countless implications to our hearts and minds, including the realities of this present moment. We are as we are and where we are by the determination or allowance of God, and He knew from eternity past that we would come to this time, this condition, this circumstance, and this reality. “His understanding is infinite” (Psalm 147:5). Accordingly, we always start or proceed from where we are in relating to God, recognizing that He is the great fact of every moment, and seeking His guidance and enabling for our next step.

“Commit thy way unto the Lord, trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass” (Psalm 37:5).

The need of this hour may be honest acknowledgement of sin and humble repentance. If so, we are in the sphere of God’s allowance rather than His determination. He does not lead us to sin, or tempt us in any way to do so (James 1:13). However, in the mystery of His eternal purpose in Christ, our Creator has granted freedom to human beings whereby we may use the breath He gives to disbelieve and disobey Him. Our confession of sin involves the admission of having used God’s good gifts for wrong purposes, particularly His amazing gift of freedom. But even more, we confess and believe that God foreknew our waywardness from eternity past, and our need for a Savior. Thus, the Lord Jesus is “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8). This applies to the lost sinner in need of salvation, and the sinning saint in need of a Father’s restoration and cleansing.

If repeated sin and irresponsibility has led to this time, place, condition, and circumstance, it may seem as if there is there is little use in approaching God. We may feel that His attitude toward us is, “You have made your own bed, and now you must lie in it!” Certainly it is true that we may be lying on an uncomfortable bed of our own making, and God’s established reaping and sowing mechanism has brought us to our present distress. However, our Lord’s heart is guided by a completely different sensibility toward us than "You have made your own bed..." He rather made a cross for His beloved Son, and at Calvary, the Lord Jesus hung on it for our redemption. This is the guiding template of grace and mercy in the heart of God, and if in this present moment, we will come in honesty, humility and faith, He will receive us with purpose to redeem us regardless of the nature or measure of our sin.

We begin from wherever we are with the God who had determined or allowed wherever we are. There is hope for the hopeless, and there is somebody who can and will do something about the blessedness or difficulty of this present hour. "The Lord reigneth." We are now and always in the sphere of His domain, "living and moving and having our being in Him" (Acts 17:25). Recognition of this truth is the light of our hearts, and the moving of the Holy Spirit upon us or within us in calling us to begin or continue with God from where He has determined or allowed us to be.

"He is... the beginning."
(Colossians 1:18)

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