Friday, August 05, 2005

... astonished (when i shouldn't be)

we were looking at romans 9 last night, considering the sovereignty of God along with paul, as he effectively makes a nonsense of the (seeming) conflict between God's choosing of people outside of their opinion, and our responsibility for our own actions. it made me think a bit about my relationship with God and whence it came.

years ago, not long after i decided to trust God with my eternal life, if i was asked how i'd become a Christian i would say that God knew me so well that when the time came he arranged things so that my natural choice would be to choose his will for my life over my own. he knew i would choose him when the time came. if i am asked now how i became a Christian i say that God chose me for himself before he created the world, and he enabled me to choose his will for my life, and he continues to make me more and more like Jesus.

there is a difference here, not unlike between the "deep magic" and the "deeper magic", in the lion, the witch, and the wardrobe. the deep magic refers only to what we can see for ourselves. the witch knew that a substitution could be made by an innocent for one who was guilty (aslan for edmund), but she did not know that by doing that aslan did not have to be bound by the ordinary rules for that punishment. the life he laid down for edmund he was free to take up again.

when i first became a Christian, i thought i understood the "deep magic" of the relationship i have been reborn into; as a more mature Christian i know realise (in my more insightful moments) just how little of the "deeper magic" i understand.

when it comes down to it, understanding is a blessing not everyone receives, and not always in the same measure. understanding is a gift from God - but it pales into insignificance beside the gift of salvation that we have from him. we should not be ignorant about it, but full understanding of it is not needed to glorify God with our love and obedience.

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