There are two Hawk Nelson albums that I have probably listened to hundreds--yes hundreds--of times. Made and Diamonds. So even though I couldn't have told you the name of even one member of the band, Hawk Nelson's music, at least, is part of me.
I have many mini-reactions and responses.
- Only God knows the heart. Only God knows the beginning, middle, and end of Jon's story.
- Only God knows. He knows our thoughts--every single one of them. He knows our struggles, our doubts, our wrestling. He knows our words and actions, too, but individuals can keep the outer motions going. You can't keep secrets from God. This 'surprise' announcement wasn't a surprise to God, though it may be to fans.
- Having doubts isn't sinful--especially, especially if and when you take those doubts straight back to God. Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.
- Faith is a gift we receive--a gift we receive from GOD through the Spirit. Faith isn't something that can be manufactured or manipulated by will power or peer pressure. Faith comes from outside ourselves--from God to us--and it's not something that generates naturally within the human heart/soul.
- Faith is personal. You can't piggyback on anyone else's faith. You can't piggyback on the shoulders of your dad, your mom, your grandparents, your spouse, your friend, your brother. You can't have enough faith to will someone into a saving relationship with Christ.
- The Bible is foundational to the Christian faith. But it takes spiritual eyes to understand, to interpret, to process. The Bible judges us--reads us. It is not our place to judge the Bible and decide what is "fair" or "not fair" or "true" or "not true." We are not to call good evil and evil good.
- Our desires reveal much. Think about it. If you don't have a spiritual appetite or desire for God and all things eternal, then you may have a big, big, big problem. How we feel about the spiritual disciplines--Bible reading, praying, meditating, praising and worshipping God, fellowship with other believers, being taught from the Word, etc--reveals our spiritual temperatures. If the last thing you want to do on earth is "spend time with God" then heaven would be hell for you. We are prepared for heaven on earth.
- Honesty is better than dishonesty. Lying about your beliefs won't help anybody. Going through the motions of being in a right relationship with God--when clearly your heart, mind, soul, and body are not genuine--won't help on judgment day.
- Being raised in the faith doesn't mean that you actually actually get the ABCs of the gospel and understand the ins and outs of the faith. It just means you can be fluent in Christianese and church talk. You can parrot the phrases without internalizing what it means.
- It is perhaps dangerous to be assured of our salvation if we are only looking at one moment in time--the moment we signed a card, prayed a prayer, walked an aisle, got dunked, etc. It is a walk. Walking requires steps and movements. Yes, a walk can include missteps, stumbles, falls. Yes, a walk can include a few crawling moments here and there. But a walk is more than one moment in time.
- That being said, Christianity is not a to do religion. It is a done religion. Jesus paid it all. All to HIM I owe. It isn't what we do that assures us of our salvation. It is WHO we are trusting in--hour by hour, day by day, week by week, etc. Every day is a day we trust, we believe, we cling, we cry out.
- God is God is God is God. We may never understand the big picture this side of eternity. We may not be able to answer all of the why did this happens. But just because we don't see how every single detail fits together doesn't mean that God's big story isn't pieced together with wisdom and goodness.
- Only God knows. End of story. It is not our place to speculate if he was ever truly saved...or not. The truth is you can't look at someone and say "saved" or "not saved." Or "elect" "not elect." No one is beyond God's capability of saving.
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible