A Divine Interrruption
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Happy New Year!

I don’t do resolutions. I’ve observed two things—that humans have an indefatigable drive to fix themselves, and that it is utterly futile and fruitless. The only good that comes from our self-fixing is that some of us finally learn it’s impossible.

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Adam Is Formed Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

Observe every world religion other than the faith of Jesus. Each proposes a method whereby lost souls may ascend to God. Whether the Zen Buddhist with his endless meditations or the Muslim with her daily prayers, there is an intended incline from earth to heaven, fueled by human effort; there are endless resolutions to do better, to aim higher, to improve, to achieve, to arrive.

In sharp contrast is the faith of Jesus. The most essential path of this religion isn’t the ascending path of the God-follower, but the descending path of God. It stretches from heaven to hell, only ascending after its original descent. Jesus, equal with God, became a servant, a man, an outlaw, and finally sin itself in our behalf (Philippians 2). Then God “made us alive together with Christ” and “raised us up with Him,” Ephesians 2:5 and 6.

Alleluia.

Consider evolution versus biblical creation. Evolution features the same ascendency, in this case from ape to human. Creation features a divine interruption in which God “spake and it was.” God came down to earth to form the man out of dust, and the woman out of the man. We didn’t achieve God-likeness as a result of millennia of self-development; we were made in God’s image by His own tender touch.

God is still touching people with something called grace. It comes to us via the same heaven-to-hell path that was carved out by the Incarnate God many years ago. It’s a divine interruption, a supernatural interposition, and the only means of truly elevating us out of our stinking, boring, hellish existence.

Maybe you’re at a point in life where you realize that your attempts at self-improvement have yielded little. Realize one more thing then—that it’s not over. There’s this amazing thing called grace, and it saturates the atmosphere. The great thing about failure is that your deep sobs create more room for the exhilarating air of grace. Take it in. It’s what’s been missing all along.

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A Divine Interrruption — 10 Comments

  1. I think the problem with making resolutions is that we’re liable to go about it in the wrong way. We may resolve to be better in order to get something, or out of fear.

    Resolutions per se can be good. “When you set your will resolutely to break off [an] indulgence, you will have the help you need from God,” we read in Counsels on Diet and Foods. If God honors resolutions against bad habits, surely He honors resolutions to form good ones as well.

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  2. I agree, Eric. There's a place for the human will. In fact, "everything depends upon the right action of the will," to access the power of God. We can overstress it or understress it. To me, it's like a gift we tend to leave unopened.

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  3. All of us realize something is missing; hence our search for the meaning of life. Only God radically and completely fills that void. I am so grateful that my Savior came to me, and loves me! Not only that, but improves my heart until I can be with Him face to face! His grace is astonishing to me.

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  4. Good question Quinnie,I think the word would be "cooperation." We need to submit to God's efforts and cooperate with Him, when He leads and empowers by going along and not resisting. When the angel told Mary the Holy Spirit would conceive a child in her, God did not need her effort, just her cooperation.

    I love this post by Jennifer. This may be why David asked God to cleanse Him and give Him a pure heart, in Psalms 51 rather than making promises to do better next time. David needed a divine interruption.

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  5. Quinnie I think not. But I would say it this way: "God can't save us without our permission." "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling because it is God who works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure." Our effort is really His power allowed into our hearts.

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  6. I am grateful for God creating us with His "own tender touch" and "God is still touching people with something called grace". We need to be able to feel that touch. It is that touch that transforms us and enpowers us. So many people have an armor that is touch proof. May God help us all to be able to feel His touch.
    Thanks Jen and I am glad to see your post!

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