Thursday, 29 October 2015

Christian Security

Theologian and Apologist CS Lewis hit the nail on the head in “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader”, one of the Narnia stories written for children of all ages in an allegorical way. In the scene, Lucy has found a spell book in a magicians house and is reading from it aloud. She finishes the spell to make the invisible visible and this follows:
“Oh Aslan,” said she, “it was kind of you to come.”
“I have been here all the time,” said he, “but you have just made me visible!”
“Aslan!” said Lucy almost a little reproachfully. “Don’t make fun of me. As if anything I could do would make you visible!”
“It did,” said Aslan. “Do you think I wouldn’t obey my own rules?”
CS Lewis Voyage of the Dawn Treader ch.10
Aslan represents Christ, obviously. I found myself pondering this for years, but recently it began to dawn in my lightning fast mind that what Lewis said of Aslan, God says of Himself.

Aslan was not a tame lion, but He was predictable and reliable when the Narnians knew he was there. 
Jesus is not a tame lion either, but He is predictable – He will only do what the Father does as the Likeness of the Father. He will empower us to do the same in His name. Freely receive and freely give of what we have been blessed with. This knowledge gives us a security that simple theology cannot. It transcends mere intellectual information and truly enters the realm of Faith.
We should therefore be able to walk in Faith for what we need. The predictability of God should allow us to first hope for, then have faith and believe for, then finally in Love receive what our heart’s desire is for us – in every circumstance.

It’s not important how many years have passed with nothing. What’s important is how much longer will we make God wait to give us the Blessings he longs to give us? My own life has been – on the surface to the outside world – devoid of visible blessings for over five years. But seasons change. Bulbs push through the frozen ground in spring and carpet fields and woodlands with breathtaking colours. They are a blessing that begins long before the fruit is seen. It’s part of God’s Natural Law.
Aslan in the Narnia allegory had to follow the laws set out by his father, the great Emperor over the Sea. So in our world, Jesus did only what He saw His Father doing. He healed the sick, raised the dead, provided food and drink for crowds of exceptional quality. He never rebuked anyone who came to Him in Faith. 

Not a single time was someone told “You need to learn from your illness!”

Jesus was predictable – even in His apparent unpredictable behaviour He did only what He saw the Father do. We can see it reflected in creation around us from the tiniest atoms to the mightiest supernovas, everything has a purpose: to praise God. And God designed creation to do just that – a continuous choir of worship singing God’s Goodness to anyone who will take the time to listen.

That’s where predictability, and as a result security, comes in. For a Christian, something being predictable will not equate to being dull. Paul’s arrest, imprisonment and execution were predictable, not boring. We need to learn to walk the victorious Life we have been given by learning the Law of Faith that God’s Kingdom is built on. Faith is the foundation, along with Hope and Love for everything we will receive in this world and the next.

By seeing Jesus was predictable, or rather by realising it, we free ourselves to receive predictably from Him. We allow ourselves to walk a predictable path, meeting Him daily and talking with Him the way King David did – and getting replies. We need to bear in mind that God is Himself bound by choice to the Laws He made. He desires our company so He makes a way to have it. The Law of Faith. The Old Testament is completed by the New, not eradicated. That makes for predictability in our life.


In 2 Kings 4, Elisha is able to see the widow of the prophet provided for by a single jar of oil, and the implication is that she will be able to live for the rest of her life from the proceeds of the oil multiplied to her. Elisha asked, and received. He expected God to come through. He was secure in his Faith that God would provide.

In Daniel we see repeatedly Daniel and his friends expect God to come through for them, but they leave no room for Him not to. They are willing to endure fire and lions rather than quit the Truth of the God of Israel. And we must remember we serve the same God as Daniel.

Over and again, even in the tiny verse about Jabez buried in 1 Chronicles 4:9 & 10 we see God’s predictable generosity when we ask expecting a miracle. Peter expected the cripple to walk. He wasn’t surprised because it was a predictable result.

James 5:15 says “And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.” Expectation of the miraculous – real and genuine expectation not vain hope – will produce more than asked for. The prayer of Faith not only heals the sick person, it forgives their sins. Jesse Duplantis said in a talk back in the 1990’s “God’s not enough – He’s too much”, a sentiment which is essential to a predictable walk.

If we can grasp the concept of a “too much” God being our daddy-God, then we will begin to move in a predictable way of seeing His provision, healing and restoration in our lives.

I keep saying “we” because although I’ve begun to grasp this concept, the fullness of it eludes me. I see some provision, some healing and some restoration in my life. My health is not deteriorating, but I still need diabetic medication for example. I’ve used the same prescription of spectacles for over ten years – an eye examination last week confirmed my prescription has still not altered in 15 years – since I began to understand with my heart that God wants to restore me and heal me. But I recognise my head, after 40+ years, gets in the way of a fully predictable life.

But setting off on a journey still gets you and me closer than sitting around.

Predictability in God may not be a popular idea to the “Can’t put God in a box” crowd, but it makes sense. God chose to create and follow His own Law. And if we understand the Law, we can see the heart of God in the Law, and live in the knowledge that if He created it then it will never change. We didn’t put God in a box. He chose to design and work within His own set of rules for the universe.

And as a result we can live a predictable and a secure Christian life.
 I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]” (John 16:33 Amplified)

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