Thursday, March 5, 2015

Blog Post #300! and "The Audacity of Nope"

In just under two years, I've posted 300 individual articles on this blog. That's an average of one every two days, or 3 a week, or 10 a month. Not quite so much as to be a distraction for me from life in flesh and blood, and not quite so rare as to be defunct, a blog of little potential impact on others. I'm happy with what I've been able to accomplish with it, while because of the comparably light expenditure of effort it takes to blog, I'm driven to seek to do more.

I do have a deadline, after all. I have a list of content I want to get through within the next 2 years, particularly subjects pertaining to basic theological truths and also some contemporary treatises (addressing persecution, eschatology, and "how then shall we live?" type questions) -- because once I am married, I can't exactly write as a 'Single Christian Guy' anymore, can I? And while I'm working on "finishing/completing" the blog, I'll be undertaking academic and professional efforts to become financially self-reliant, to free me to be able to responsibly engage a young woman in courtship. Have you noticed that my biggest running goals are directly tied to two of my core identities (which are really emphases of one)? -- To glorify God as His servant, and to be a Christlike husband for a woman who I will in the course of time be introduced to.

I am ever grateful to God for having freed my mind from worldly thinking, so as to enable me to comprehend marriage as He designed it, and to be able to love a woman with the same character of sacrificial love that He exhibits for us. I yearn for the opportunity to give back what I have gained, in the most powerful way possible on this side of eternity.

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That brings me to the second part of this post. Love is a great thing to give and receive, but the thing about love is that it's volitional. That means that it's a conscious choice. And anything subject to choice is subject to the possibility of the choice being either "YES" or "NO." So the existence of love implies the existence of the right of volitional agents (human beings) to choose not to love.

A universe where the creations can love is a universe with greater displays of God's qualities (one of those being Love), and therefore is a more perfect universe than one wherein which there is complete obedience but no love because there is no free agency, no volition.

This leads to some shocking contrasts between God's nonhuman creations and rebellious humans. Here are two quotes, one by a Church father of recent history, and one from a contemporary pastor, that make use of this point to challenge those who defy God.

"I set before you an open door. I set before you Jesus the Savior who died for sinners on the cross, Jesus able to save to the uttermost, Jesus willing to receive. Go to Him first and foremost if you would know what step to take. Go to Him in prayer and cry, "Lord, save me or I perish! I am weary of sleeping—I desire to sleep no longer." Oh! "awake you who sleep, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light."
Sun and moon and stars are all witnessing against you; they fill their place in creation, and you do not. Sabbaths and ordinances are witnessing against you: they are all proclaiming there is a God, there is a judgment, and you are living as if there were none. The tears and prayers of godly relations are witnessing against you: others are sorrowfully thinking you have a soul, though you seem to forget it. The very gravestones you walk past this night are witnessing against you; they are silently whispering, "Life is short and death is near," all, all are saying, "Awake! awake! awake! "Oh, brethren, the time past may surely suffice you to have slept. Awake to be wise, awake to be safe, awake to be happy. Awake, and sleep no more!" ~ J C Ryle, The Ten Virgins
“God beckons storm clouds and they come. He tells the wind to blow and the rain to fall, and they obey immediately. He speaks to the mountains, 'You go there,' and He says to the seas, 'You stop here, and they do it. Everything in all creation responds in obedience to the Creator...until we get to you and me. We have the audacity to look God in the face and say, 'No.” ~ David Platt, Radical
Do not be amazed when you see the amazing intricacy of created nature, and then look to nations and families and individuals and see chaos and disorder. Do not be amazed. If something is wrong in the world, it is because we have refused to do things God's way. Do not be amazed. We were told beforehand.

Knowing this, can there be any wonder why I'm so excited to pursue God's model of romance? How I can get such delight from contemplating it as my duty to first and foremost serve my wife, for her greatest good? It's how God wants us to live. Selflessly. There was never anyone more selfless than Jesus Christ, who gave up His right to sit comfortably in Heaven and rule, in order to die in our place for the sins we deserve Hell for, to make it possible that we could be forgiven without dispensing with God's perfect justice that required a penalty to be paid. This is love. And if the Bible teaches that I symbolically represent Christ as the husband in my marriage to my wife, then how could I possibly approach that union with the idea that my own comfort and pleasure is paramount? I derive so much more joy out of living out the expression of grace and unconditional love and inseverable commitment that I've been extended by my Savior; imitating my King in grateful submission to His will, since I know His precepts are given to me for my good.

Is there a woman out there who desires a man like that?

I'll meet her at exactly the right moment. "Many are the plans of a man, but the Lord directs His steps."

~ Rak Chazak

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