“The act of saving people from sin and evil : the fact of being saved from sin or evil.”
As we get into Chapter 7, we encounter some of the most important pages in Dr. Willard’s book so far. For you quick readers, my slog through Hearing God may be maddening but there is so much depth to the book. I feel compelled to comment on the good points.
In the sections “An Additional Birth by the Word of God”, “The Teacher Who did not Know” and “Birth Through the Spirit and Word of God” Dr. Willard discusses what I call “foundational ideas” of Christianity.
I just can’t skip over them.
You might ask, why comment on redemption?
Because as human beings, we either think we don’t need it or we forget that we need it.
How could that be?
We get too caught up in our life here on earth.
When you explore Scripture in Genesis, you will see man and woman in constant, everyday communication with God in the Garden of Eden. In fact God created man and woman to be interactive with Him. We all know the story. The forbidden fruit was eaten and what God said came true “in the day you eat of it you will die.” [Genesis 2:17].
You might ask what does this have to do with the premise of the book, Hearing God?
This is a major reason why many of us don’t hear God. Man is mired in “original sin.”
Life can be very distracting. We all get busy. We have jobs, children, goals we want to accomplish. Numerous responsibilities confront us every day. Who has time to think about God?
God gets put on the back burner of our lives. It is only natural.
Do you think God likes it on that back burner? Let me go “out on a limb” and tell you, He does not. God wants to be the center of your life. He wants you to realize that all that you have comes from Him. He is in control of your life if you let Him be in control. If you insist on having control, He is in control anyway [just ask Job].
Sometimes we act like we just don’t want redemption. We don’t want it because it means giving up something. I have friends who tell me that they don’t want Christ in their lives because the Christian life is “no fun.” What they are experiencing is so much better. They want to do what they want to do with no God guilt making them feel bad about what they are doing.
Sometimes people act like they just don’t have any of that “original sin” to deal with. That was Bible stuff. That does not relate to me. What Adam and Eve did in Genesis has little relevance for my life. I am a good person. My efforts to be good are good enough.
Let me be blunt.
Trying to be good just won’t get it.
Well you might ask, what’s a person to do?
1.Stop. Take some time every day to open yourself to God in prayer, serious prayer. Acknowledge His role in your life, no matter how busy you are. You would not have the opportunities to do as much as you do if God had not given you those opportunities. Make time for God
2.Honestly access the peace in your life that you have from all the fun you are having. Is it real peace? Are you lacking something? Can your whole life revolve around the activity that you love so much or do you need more? Maybe the real fun is knowing that you are making an effort to connect with God, you seek Him, you want Him, you need Him and you let Him know. The reward is “peace that passes all understanding”
3.You can’t be good enough on your own. People kid themselves that they can be nice and that is good enough. You can’t be good enough because we all sin. That is what makes us humans. That is what we got when Adam and Eve did what they did in the Garden. We got the penchant to sin. It is hard to admit it but we need God to work on our sin. We can’t do it on our own. A person who is trying to be nice and they think that is enough is making a feeble effort and they are going to to lose the war against sin. Satan knows that and he will put that person in a position where they will not be able to say no to a very strong temptation. Then they will know that “being nice” is not good enough.
Why have I rattled on about this idea of redemption today?
Because the fact that we need to be saved from sin and evil is the basic reason that we need to communicate with God. Unless we admit that we have this stain, we will never even begin to make progress removing part of it.
When we open dialogue with God, we will begin the process. When you hear from God, He will tell you what to do.