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yuehan
Member



Joined: 2011/6/15
Posts: 510


 How has your understanding of God's sovereignty / human responsibility shaped your life?

Discussions about God's sovereignty and human responsibility are brought up on this forum with fair frequency. Usually there's no single consensus on these issues, given that we could be on different parts of the Calvinist-Arminian spectrum.

I'd like to ask: How has your understanding of God's sovereignty / human responsibility made a *practical* impact on your life?

Note: This is NOT a discussion about doctrine (certainly not a Calvinist-Arminian debate). It is for testimonies about how your beliefs on this topic has shaped your life in a real manner, regardless of where you are on the Calvinist-Arminian spectrum.

 2016/2/10 7:38Profile
TMK
Member



Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5585
NC, USA

 Re: How has your understanding of God's sovereignty / human responsibility shape

I felt far better about God when I dropped Calvinism.

Just keeping it real.


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Todd

 2016/2/10 9:05Profile
dolfan
Member



Joined: 2011/8/23
Posts: 1632
Alabama

 Re:

I am daily comforted in the face of uncertainty by the biblical assurance that God is fully in control of all things at all times. It is a safe harbor.

I am daily comforted by the renewal of mercies each morning, which I continually stand in need of, because it is very possible that I may take the first or thousandth step in shifting my hope away from the gospel and be without Christ.

These are always real and near thoughts to me.


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Tim

 2016/2/10 9:09Profile
havok20x
Member



Joined: 2008/9/14
Posts: 801


 Re:

So I am on a journey trying to figure this stuff out, but the more I dive into this discussion, the more I am compelled to put my trust in Jesus Christ. Each day, as I grow, He becomes more and more my hope and I cast myself upon Him daily.

In trials, in death (of others), in temptations, in failures, in triumphs, in glories, and in answered prayers, God is directing me to cling to Christ, because He alone is my source of strength and hope.

 2016/2/10 9:23Profile
JFW
Member



Joined: 2011/10/21
Posts: 1436
Dothan, Alabama

 Re: How has your understanding of God's sovereignty / human responsibility shape

Brother Yuehan,

Perhaps a personal testimony would be appropriate to best give an insight into the practical application of my understanding regarding the sovereignty of God in my life-

A while back in my earlier life with Christ I was faced with an opportunity/challenge of faith... One day, with bills coming due during the "slow season" of the business I'm in, I had a series of last minute cancelations which left me seemingly dead in the water financially (as I was counting on these funds) and faced with this delima I turned to the Lord and inquired of Him. I asked Him if I'd done something wrong and sinned or mismanaged the resources He made abound towards me to which He gave an interesting answer... He said no son this is my business and you work for me and I will keep this business open and you employed there as long as it serves my purposes as its by My will that this is so and not by your efforts apart from my will, however today I have something other than haircuts for you to do, so don't worry about the bills as I will cover those as I am your provider, rather you just trust me and go where I will lead you. So at His behest I got in my old truck and headed downtown where I felt strangely compelled to go. I'm not gonna lie, I was wondering if I was crazy and just making this up in my head as there was no "practical" reason for me to go downtown other than I felt His hand leading me there. So I kept asking Him,.. Where are we going? And He didn't answer verbally but to this inquiry He gave me impressions. It's weird to say/type this out now but I just "knew" when to continue and when to turn and then finally He said stop here and get out. So I did and He had stopped me in front of a startup ministry called Love in Action that I'd heard a lil about but never been to or seen before. I felt strongly that I should go in even tho they looked closed as if His hand was upon me literally making me go. (I suppose I could've resisted this compulsion but I did not want to resist it even tho it was very awkward for me).
So as I proceeded in the front door I found all the lights off and no one in sight and I began walking around and calling out "hello?" And eventually I was answered and met by two men and they asked hopefully if I was the fire marshal, to which we all got an uncomfortable laugh as I was clearly not. They then asked what they could do for me and I said "well I don't really know exactly, my day just opened up and the Lord told me to come here". Eyebrows were raised, tho pleasantly so, and the introductions began and I quickly discovered these men were pastors from local churches who weren't supposed to be there tho as a favor came to meet with the fire marshal for a friend in hopes of getting his signature of approval so this outreach center could be opened. They reiterated that the center was not yet opened and they weren't even supposed to be there and as they did we all silently entertained the possibility this was a divine appointment. I perceived this in my spirit and asked how I might be of service to them, to which one of the pastors asked what I did? (A common southern means of identification) to which I replied that I was a hairdresser/barber. He seemed surprised and we stood in that awkward silence for a moment before he inquired wether I'd be willing to cut homeless people's hairs... Of course! I said, it'd be an honor. He then explained the purpose of that centers ministry and that they had an upcoming event where they would host different groups, acting as a hub, to meet the needs of all the area homeless and said that a haircut would go a long way in helping this group feel better and be more employable. So the arrangements were made and a space was reserved for me to offer my humble services in concert with the greater ministry.
A month or so later when the event took place, I had closed the doors to my business, taking the day off to serve. (Bills are still mounting)
It was a wonderful experience as the people were very responsive to the opportunity to get haircuts, which I suppose we take for granted but if you're homeless it's a much bigger deal and I was humbled by their gratitude for such a small thing that I had often felt wasn't the greatest contribution to humanity but on this day it was indeed a significant contribution. With each service performed I asked if I could pray with them and most if not all accepted and some were clearly moved by the offer to hold hands and pray. I guess I hadnt really considered it before but most homeless people don't get touched and handled with respect and tenderness. So anyway, the offer to come back and continue to serve alongside these other saints was extended and a wonderful relationship insued that ultimately led to my being a board member and shortly served as VP of our local coalition for the homeless. The number of which has dropped significantly since the inception of said ministry:)))

Now, for me, this is the kingdom of God. This is the sovereignty of God practically lived out in realtime as it is by His word that His body is knitted together and here is a living example of how by His word He led His people to do His work:)

I would like to say this, tho there is risk of pushback, The word of God is indeed eternal however in its personal practical application, I would say like the manna in the desert it has an expiration date, we have a limited time to act on it in faith. Just like how the manna would rot after 24hrs and they'd have to collect a fresh supply, so to do we have to get "today's word/manna from heaven" in order to keep step with the Spirit,... for the Spirit is the Word and the Word He speaks IS LIFE! so man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God<\\\><
If we are walking by His word, personally to us, then He's able to keep all His promises to us. If we are walking by our own will then we fool ourselves and there is no life in it, even if we call it Jesus.

Oh and btw,... Yes not only were all the bills pertaining to the business met but the Lord has in fact prospered it as I walk in joyful obedience to Him. And tho sometimes, like David, in my abundance I stray He remains faithFULL even when I don't, and praise God for that cause if His faithfulness to us was exclusively dependent on our faithfulness to Him, we (no one) wouldn't have a snowballs chance...

Hope this helps and wasn't rambling too much-


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Fletcher

 2016/2/10 12:06Profile
dolfan
Member



Joined: 2011/8/23
Posts: 1632
Alabama

 Re:

JFW, that is sovereignty and assurance, isn't it? I am so glad you posted that,

Pray a few times for my barber up here in NW Alabama. Goes by Shorty. He is about 6'7". Pray for his heart to soften to Christ.


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Tim

 2016/2/10 13:09Profile
JFW
Member



Joined: 2011/10/21
Posts: 1436
Dothan, Alabama

 Re:

And id like to add that yes sometimes I miss Him/His will/Word for me cause I'm distracted by the cares of this world... He still loves me tho I'm sure my unbelief grieves Him and He remains faithful to woo me back to His way.
I guess my only real fear in this life is that I may miss Him/His will and attempt to please Him in my own ways rather than in His.

This is (for me) the Eph. 2:10 in real time-

I think it really is as simple as trust and obey, like the old hymn says, there is no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.

A while back sister Sandra (ginneyrose) posted a study guide where she had suggested that one exchange the word faith for obedience (just as a study guide). This blessed me emensely and I'm truly grateful for he having shared this insight as it helped me grow in the knowledge of Christ:)


Brother Tim,
I def will pray with you brother- but just your life of faith lived is witness and even in the short time you spend with Him the Lord can use to bring about His plan, IF you are being directed by His word to be there at a certain time/place;)


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Fletcher

 2016/2/10 13:25Profile









 His life - not human efforts

HIS LIFE

God said "by My will that this is so and not by your efforts apart from my will."

Enjoying Christ's LIFE daily is NOT done by human efforts.

 2016/2/11 6:24
romanchog
Member



Joined: 2011/10/27
Posts: 329


 Re: How has your understanding of God's sovereignty / human responsibility shape

It is the understanding of God's soverignty, together with His nature and all His other attributes, that gets me through life everyday.

When my husband died 3 years ago, I understood that this was the will of God. It was His will that I be left a widow, with 6 (of 9) children in the home depending on my support, my instruction, and guidance. It was His will that I stop being a home maker and go out to work.

I had to come to grips with that, because it did not make any sense to me in the natural. But I knew it was His will because I understand His sovereignty. But that is not enough- I also understand His love, His goodness, His mercy. I understand that if that is His will for my life then it must also be GOOD for me and my children, regardless of whether I can see with my eyes or feel in my heart.

So I cling to that truth- that above ALL GOD IS GOOD- and all His choices for my life (and my children's lives)through His sovereignty are GOOD for us. It gets me up every morning and allows me to walk through every valley, leaning on Him alone.


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Natalie

 2016/2/11 12:11Profile
romanchog
Member



Joined: 2011/10/27
Posts: 329


 Re: How has your understanding of God's sovereignty / human responsibility shape

I wanted to add separately that this is the main question in the matter of FAITH: do we TRUST God to be Who he says He is? Do we even know Who He is?


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Natalie

 2016/2/11 12:14Profile





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