Monday, April 9, 2012


I recently heard someone say that salvation was not a one-time decision and that emotional decisions were not to be trusted - the person even went as far as to say that decisions made in the heat of the moment of emotion were not valid. 

Hm.  That's kind of a really wide-sweeping generalization. I wonder if that person ever fell in love. 

It's convenient to think that because a decision to embrace God in any way at all (even if only superficially) doesn't produce the desired end result right away, that it isn't real.  It's easy to blame the emotion (which, by the way, God gave us!!) and claim that it "didn't count."  That puts God into a nice manageable box, one that puts conditions on how far His grace reaches, one that puts limits on how great His power is.  The problem is...He's uncontainable. 

I can only offer the benefit of my own experience here. I made an emotional decision for Christ when I was 11 years old.  I'm not exactly sure what happened, all I know was that I was overwhelmed with the knowledge that I needed God and that I could not possibly get to heaven by my own merits. I was scared to death of going to hell.  My conversion was "fire insurance" and nothing more.  

Yet, from that moment on, I can testify that through all of my wanderings, God had placed His finger on my life and His seal on my heart, and I was marked, whether I wanted to be or not.  How do I know?  because He WOULD NOT let me go.  He would let me go to the end of my rope - and there was a LOT of rope - and that was all.  The more I tried to fight Him, the more the rope tightened, and the more miserable I was.  I have said before and will continue to say it: there is absolutely no more miserable creature on the face of the earth than a Christian who is running from God. 

Source (via Google Images):

The Hound of Heaven is relentless.  He will persistently pursue us, in infinite love and grace, until we are overwhelmed by His wooing and embrace Him whole-heartedly. That's what He wants.  

This is a different kind of dynamic than 'conviction' as we think of it.  It's more like what the prophet Hosea experienced.  God told him to go marry a prostitute.  On purpose.  Wow. And not only to marry her KNOWING she would go back to her old lifestyle, but to go and woo her back, every single time.  Over and over again.  And never once to draw up a divorce decree, even though he had every legal right to do so.  

He gave his heart to her, and she broke it into smithereens, over and over again - so that God could make a point to His people.  

His grace doesn't depend on us.  It depends on Him. And He will NEVER give up on us.  Once His, we are HIS. He becomes responsible for looking after us.  

That kind of unconditional love is beyond our understanding and it's easier for us to say, "Well, it doesn't count if we walk away." But God can't be contained in that kind of box.  He is far too big.

He'll break out.  He'll surprise us with His grace.  He'll lavish His love on us, whether we want it or not.


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