Chapter 7 - War and Peace with a Holy God
Quotable Sproul: "When God signs a peace treaty, it is signed for perpetuity. The war is over, forever and ever. Of course we still sin; we still rebel; we still commit acts of hostility toard God. But God is not a co-belligerent. He will not be drawn into warfare with us. We have an advocate with the Father. We have a mediator who keeps the peace. He rules over the peace because He is both the Prince of Peace and He is our peace."
"Our peace with God is not fragile; it is stable. When we sin, God is displeased, and He will move to correct us and convict us of our sin. But He does not go to war against us. His bow is no longer bent, and the arrows of His wrath are no longer aimed at our hearts. He does not rattle His sword every time we break the treaty."
Allowing God's Holiness to Touch Our Lives - 4 questions
1) "Has God ever engaged you in an honest struggle, as He did Jacob? What was the outcome?"
I must first say that I don't hear a distinctly audible voice that I am willing to credit to God. However, I do hear reason and conscience, and those "voices" are formed by God's written word itself. After all, if the Bible contains all that is necessary to correct lives into holiness, then God realistically no longer needs to "speak", since the Holy Spirit does it through the Scriptures.
That said, I regularly hear, "What on earth are you doing? You know better, Michael." What hurts most is when I hear those words when I'm in the process of considering certain sins. Sometimes I wish the "voice" came standard equipped with a two-by-four to knock me upside the head every time I fought against conscience. If that were so, I'd probably be in a completely vegetative state by this point in my life.
2) "Have you ever challenged God, as Job did? What was God's response?"
During my recent struggle that I only briefly mentioned in prior posts, I routinely asked of God, "Do you even care? Are you even there? If so, do something about it!" Because I have a very godly friend in my life, and because I've taken to studying God's word extensively, I heard God's replies in two forms. First, my good friend reminded me of God's faithfulness in trying circumstances, and he reminded me that He indeed cares. The other reply came from Job's book. "Who are YOU? Where were YOU when...? What makes YOU think...?" With those, I'm immediately humbled; not always to submission, but often stubbornly humbled.
3) "What does it mean to you personally that Christ's death offers us unending peace with God?"
Wow, this is a mind-boggling thought. I have a difficult time understanding how God does it. After all, I'm vengeful, I like movies where the bad guys receive their just "pay-backs", I can be harsh when people do me wrong. But I have only proven that I am so UNlike God. I don't understand, first of all, why God would dare or care to choose to save me. That baffles me. But secondly, I cannot even fathom why God continues to love me after all the hurt I've caused Him and all the rebellion I've done. Yahweh is truly an amazing God.
4) "How will you worship God for giving us unlimited access to Himself?"
I wish I could say I will worship Him with my life, but I'd be fooling myself. Every time I commit to honoring Him with my very being, I mess it up. Completely! Whether by thought, word, or deed, I mess it up. All I can give is my best. When I mess up, I hope I have the wisdom and teachableness to learn and not do again what I had just done. And when I succeed, I hope I have the humility and strength to avoid boasting in myself and what I had just accomplished.