Wednesday, February 22, 2006

leap of faith

It seems to me that the people with the most pain, the most frailty, have the least trouble coming to Christ; making a leap of faith. The irony of this is rich; people who’ve experienced the worst in life can somehow understand a God who claims to be the opposite of all they’ve experienced. God calls out to Hell, “I am Heaven…” and somehow, for some reason Hell believes Him.

Questions:
1. Why is it that people with the most pain have the least trouble taking a leap of faith?

2. Is this really a leap of faith or is it just an act of desperation? If so is desperation really the right reason to come to Christ? Is it selfish?

3. Can someone come to Christ without selfishness and without desperation?

Any thoughts?

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

One must be broken and even shattered sometimes in order to be re-created.

Inheritor of Heaven said...

I think it varies wildly. I don't think anyone comes to Christ who has not been drawn by the Holy Spirit. So I would say yes, someone could come to Christ without selfishness. They hear Him say "come and follow me", "repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand", "whoever believes and is baptized will be saved", etc. and they do. Now of course coming to Christ means dying and being reborn. I think this is often quite painful (especially to our ego). If we come in selfishness or desperation, does it ultimately matter? Will Christ not continue to break us of our selfishness or heal our desperation?

WES ELLIS said...

great thought inheritor,
You ask if it matters ultimately. Ultimately, I don't think so, as long as you come to Christ He is powerful enough to change things. My concern is for now. I think if we come to Christ just to go to heaven when we die, just for healing, for satisfaction, etc. we may be missing the point. When we come for these reasons it becomes about us and not about God and others. If I come for my own healing and it has nothing to do with Jesus mission in the world or for God's glory then I wonder if I've even really come to Christ. Coming to Christ means joining in God's mission, following Him, being like Him, not just being healed or satisfied by Him.

I think coming to Christ out of selfishness may not be the issue but it may become one. if at some point in your journey you don't stop and realize that folowing Christ means living for everyone except yourself, including God, then you've missed the point.

...Just some thoughts.
Wes

Dolores said...

I have found that God is so loving that He doesn't really seem to care why we come to Him. He'll even take us in if we come out of desperation...just like the perfect father would.
In answer to number three, yes. I know several people who came to him out of the pure desire to do so. Didn't you?

Inheritor of Heaven said...

I know what you're saying Wes. I think the example of the thief on the cross (and the prodigal son story as well)shows how accepting Jesus is, in spite of ourselves and motives. Absolutely best is to come to him out of love and to serve him and others out of love and to give joyfully out of love....that is what truly living the abundant life is about (and when done out of love it will not be done selfishly).

BruceD said...

You could have probably guessed what I would say...

We don't "come to Christ", He came to us. He is with us always, but some of us just haven't become aware that He is. Like you said a while back... "it's an awakening" of realization of what has been done on our behalf. But, so many times, that awakening doesn't happen until we are forced through our circumstances to be "made awake".

Pastor Art said...

As is being said people come to Christ from the depths of sin. Desperation selfishness and many other reasons motivate entering into the Kingdom, however the problem comes about when people continue with these motivations as you said Wes. In our day and age those moderations have become “Movements” over the last 100 to 150 years. These have changed discipleship and other historic disciplines of the church into # of easy steps or # of days of repeated something or other and this will be the result. More often then not the result benefit’s the one doing the formula (in reality incantation).

Coming to Jesus in the condition that we are in at the time of His calling and our awakening to that call is the will of the Throne. But as with the woman caught we are told by He who has saved us go - sin no more. Thatincludes changing any sinful motivations that brought us to His feet.
Pastor Art

Janette said...

Hm, well I can at least answer number three I think. When I came to Christ I wasn't in the lowest depths of depair or consumed by a crippling vice that was destroying me. But you know what, sometimes I wish I was.
I struggled for about a year and a half trying to figure out the intense feelings that everyone else had of gratitude and joy in being lifted from extreme circumstances. With very little spiritual mentorship my conversion took, in reality, so much longer than I thought it would and often frustrated me.
For some reason it wasn't hard for me to look to Christ and believe...I'm not sure why, I had been raised to believe in what I saw alone. It was in all those millions of moments after I said "I believe" that I learned the hard way that it's not just believing.

So yeah... long story short, this question is so situationally specific to the individual. However the Holy Spirit draws you there is something beautiful and real in that. No matter how, where, or when it happens.

WES ELLIS said...

Bruce,
Yes... awakenning... I just need to be careful how I word things. I hope you understand what I meant. thanks for correcting me.

Janette,
I can relate. I think we overemphasise the emotion too much sometimes. We act like if you come the realization of Christ you'll be sprinkled with pixie dust and everything will be different. This isn't true for everyone. Good thoughts.

Inheritor of Heaven said...

When I say come to him, I always presuppose a call of the Holy Spirit first. God is always the initiator, the revealer.