Lenten Journey Day 16 – An Invitation to Divine Ecstasy

Today’s passage mentions “predestination” a couple of times, I am not a theologian but I have participated in a few conversations on the subject. I am not advocating or condemning the belief and understanding of it. What I will do is tell you that I believe I was created by God, given a purpose and that I am loved by God. The world, the universe and all its wonders were created by God for His purposes and glory. There’s absolutely nothing on my part to be worthy of love, I know there are times that I think to myself, “of course I’m lovable!” That is mostly pride or over confidence and the truth all wrapped up together. I am completely ok with the belief in predestination and I am also completely ok with the belief in free will. Maybe this analogy will help or quite possibly I could lose you in translation! I have been interested in Chinese Dynasty films for a few years and the Dynasties were rulers usually from the same family, one might say their heirs were “predestined” to someday rule. Usually rulers had many wife’s to ensure a son would be born to eventually rule and carry on the family name and traditions. But…just because the father is a wise and fair ruler does that mean his heirs will be too? Each person is faced with choices, “free will” just because a parent is wise and fair there are no guarantees that their children will do the same. If the heir follows in the footsteps of their fathers/ancestors is it because of free will or predestined (hereditary). Pride has a way of showing up when people think and take credit for things that were really beyond their comprehension. If the heir does something completely different, the blame game starts because bad choices were made? I am not trying to confuse anyone or seem like I am afraid to commit, the truth is salvation, faith and knowing, not just believing that God is real is personal and public all at the same time. Whether or not I was “predestined” “chosen” by God, I know that I had a moment of decision and wanted to publicly announce my “come to Jesus” moment. I strive to be the best person I can be, I study and read my Bible, read books about the Bible and I watch movies about faith and the Bible; plus I do a lot of other stuff too that I’m not so proud of…I procrastinate, I say bad things, I speed while driving sometimes, I miss church a lot, I over eat a lot…you get the picture, I’m not perfect. God is not looking for perfect, he’s looking for honesty, courage, and love to mention a few. What I know for absolute truth is…I am a sinner, I cannot save myself, grace is given not deserved, mercy is applied and given instead of punishment. I will never be or do enough to be worthy of salvation so I’m thankful that God created me and loves me and I strive to live into the purposes He created me for. My Father is the King of Kings and I am His heir, my destiny and destination is Heaven.

Romans 8:26-39 “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Psalm 44:20-26 “If we had forgotten the name of our God or spread out our hands to a foreign god, would not God have discovered it, since he knows the secrets of the heart? Yet for your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. Awake, Lord! Why do you sleep? Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever. Why do you hide your face and forget our misery and oppression? We are brought down to the dust; our bodies cling to the ground. Rise up and help us; rescue us because of your unfailing love.”

~Blessings and Peace~
References:
Preparing for Easter by C.S.Lewis
The C.S.Lewis Encyclopedia by Colin Duriez