A Hyper-Arminian’s Theological Transformation
With my shirt clinging uncomfortably to my skin from sweat, I walked through the heavy night air of a city in the Middle East. My heart was heavy as I surveyed the apartment buildings around me and listened to the sounds of passersby speaking a language of which I had no clue. This wasn’t the moment I rebuilt my entire doctrinal viewpoint, in was just another buttress being added to the structure of biblical understanding that had been forming, consciously or unconsciously for the past several years. I think in that time and place something, be it pride or merely lack of understanding, was stripped from my heart.
In that place, foreign and new, I was faced with a very real task that God had laid in front of me. I was overwhelmed. How could I do anything for God? In the states it seemed easy enough to fulfill “my calling”; lead some bible studies, occasionally share the Gospel, go to community group. Suddenly, in a step of obedience I found myself at a place in my life where I had to reevaluate how and why I did things for God simply because God brought to a place where I did not have all the knowledge, all the answers. Many of my theological arguments were tested in that moment. As dramatic as that may sound, it is very true. That night, walking through that city that I had been called to bring the Gospel to, I felt very, very small; very, very insignificant. I think the reason why that moment stands out to me is because for many reasons I had never felt that helpless before. I couldn’t explain how I had got to that place or how anything was going to come of it. The foundation of my transformation was coming to the place where I really, really, really began to see that nothing was about me and everything was about God. Everything in my life that had led up to that moment had been by a grace that despite all odds and all my wretchedness had grown me, worked in me, moved me to that place. I looked into the future and I looked at the Word and then I looked at where I was and I felt that if anything was to come of this work it must have nothing to do with me.
That night I went home, a feeling of hope welling up in my heart. I had considered my life with all of it’s ups and downs and how God had led me. I considered the unknown of the future and I felt at peace. God was in control. I was there in that city, married to that wonderful woman, with that beautiful daughter not because of choices I made, but because of a grace greater than I could comprehend. I knew that by sovereign appointment God had called me to that place for the sake of the glory of His name. All that had been and all that was to be had been preordained by God, the just and loving sustainer of the universe. I was filled with hope. I knew that whatever lay ahead, I existed for God’s glory. To borrow familiar words, it was grace that had brought me safe thus far and grace would lead me home…. It was irresistible….
Following Chapters To Come Soon…
April 26, 2010 at 3:04 am
Wow. Thanks so much for writing this. Amen! I’m so blessed to be able to be your sister-in-law and watch what God is doing through your family.
You’ve encouraged me. To not be about self. Reminded me that -everything- is about GOD. Not me, my life, where I’m going, what I want to do. But about God. And what HE’S doing in His universe.