Tuesday, February 7, 2012

103. - The Spiritual Awakening

Our first perception of God's redemptive effort, the place that it really begins to touch us, personally, is the point at which we start to sense the Holy Spirit drawing us. Jesus said in John, chapter 6, "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him..." As the Holy Spirit draws us to Christ, we start to become more aware of our own need and the worth of what Christ offers.

So, this drawing, this heart awakening process, is how God initiates contact. It unfolds in many varied forms including providential encounters with godly people (or books). Or, it may be a personal epiphany or recrimination or guilt. The drawing sometimes involves insecurity, curiosity, desperation, or an awareness of need or emptiness, etc. There are many ways that this divine "pull" expresses itself.

Nevertheless, if all goes well, at some point, the "chemistry" becomes right. The Holy Spirit's overtures, of whatever sort, align perfectly with our mental, emotional, and/or circumstantial condition. It all becomes a powerful concert of divine arrangements. So eventually, as a result of this Heavenly alignment, we find ourselves able to respond to God, if we choose to do so, with a profound humility in true repentance.

103.0 - Releasing Control: Repentance is simply a decision for change. In the redemptive case, it is a decision for change on a very profound level. It is a conscious decision. The material outcome of this decision is that we choose to stop setting our own life agenda and allow God to do that.

103.1 - The Same Coin: Repentance and faith might be thought of as two sides of the same coin. That is, they occur as two facets of the same decision. As we turn from self determination (repentance), we move toward spiritual humility (faith).

So, we give up sovereignty over our life as an act of repentance, and we give over the sovereignty of our life to God as an act of saving faith. Essentially though, it is one movement, one decision.

103.2 - A Good Example: We can see a perfect example of repentance and faith framed in the words of the apostle, Paul. At the time of his own conversion, he said in Acts, chapter 6, "Lord, what would you have me do?" Clearly, he was now willing to lay aside his agenda and embrace God's.

It is precisely at this point that the salvation of the soul occurs. The divine pardon happens when we truly turn from our self determined course and humbly embrace God's authority over our life. At that point, the sacrifice of Christ is applied to us, personally; and, we are entirely pardoned.