I've been seeking the Lord for my Salvation and I come across the responsibility of man as mentioned in the Bible.
So, I wanted to ask about the Responsibility of man and the Grace of God, Sovereignty of God.
The Bible in different places commands us to do something, or rather, to change.
In 1 Peter 5:6,
"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time."
"Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up"
"And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
"Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel?"
2 Chronicles 7:14
"if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land."
And GOD, throughout the old testament, keeps telling Israel and even other nations also at times like- Nineveh (Jonah), through Prophets, etc to Repent and turn to HIM.
And in the New Testament, we are told to Repent and Believe.
These verses seem to put it up, like humbling oneself or having a new heart and a new spirit, to Repent, as human responsibility to do what's been asked of us to do.
And so it implies also that we naturally have the ability to do what's been asked of us to do and that it's possible for us to do it without God's help, just by our will? Because if we can't', then why would He ask that of us?
But the Bible also puts things the other way, which seems opposite, that we can do these things only by God's Intervention/ Grace, power:
".....The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul"
"Then He[Jesus] opened their minds to understand the Scriptures"
Acts 18:26-40, The case of the Ethiopian Eunuch
Ezekiel 11:19 (cf. Ezekiel 36:26, Hebrews 8:10, Jeremiah 32:33)
"And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh"
In Daniel 4, God humbles Nebuchadnezzar, after which he praises God, for doing so and humbling him.
So, what should we do when we come across such commands in the Bible?
Should we wait for God to do something that we can't or we don't have the ability (will) to unless God intervenes in some way, or,
should we do what we are commanded to (to Repent, be Humble, change our hearts and minds) assuming that have the ability(the will)?
It is said that we have the ability and faculties for dong what we are commanded to do, that if we 'will', we can do it, but that the problem is that we can't Truly 'will' without the work, influence of God in our heart.
Spurgeon says about this :
"The question is, are men ever found naturally willing to submit to the humbling terms of the gospel of Christ? We declare, upon Scriptural authority, that the human will is so desperately set on mischief, so depraved, and so inclined to everything that is evil, and so disinclined to everything that is good, that without the powerful. supernatural, irresistible influence of the Holy Spirit, no human will ever be constrained towards Christ".
If this is True, then,
How should we then carry out our Responsibility ?
1. My Life Before Christ
Before I found my true love, Jesus Christ, I was full of lust and perversion, proud, sadistic, angry, vengeful, argumentative, disrespectful to my family, manipulative, self-hating, apathetic towards life, anxious, God-hating, brute, depressed, black metal loving, Christian hating, evolutionist, Jesus Christ denying Satanist.
To give a quick back story, when I was 11, I had an experience with an entity. At the age of 13, I became obsessed with aliens and UFOs to the point I sought contact. After succeeding, I had several disturbing experiences with what I now know to be demons; I thought they were aliens at the time.
At the age of 14, I learned about Tarot, and got my first deck at 15. It was at that point I got into "New Age", experimenting with channeling, believing I was an indigo child. At the age of 17, I left the "New Age" and ventured into Vampyrism. Half a year later, I delved into Crowley and briefly looked into Satanism.
Near the end of my 17th year, I decided I'd become a LaVeyan Satanist when I was 18; the age I considered myself a legal adult. Six months into my eighteenth year, I became a Theistic Satanist. I stayed in that for a number of years, branching off into generic dark occultism, then to Atheism, and finally as a result of several supernatural experiences to Theistic Luciferianism.
During this time, I experienced numerous nightmarish manifestations. However, I was too blinded by pride, stubbornness, and a lust for power and knowledge to care of the end road.
I knew I was going to Hell, I knew Hell was real, I knew Satan hated me, and I even went so far as to tell God Himself to scrape off my name from the Lamb's Book of Life.
Towards the end, I began building a Luciferian order, gathering members, building doctrine, and so on. It was at this point that I knew I was far beyond the point of no return.
2. How I Came to Jesus Christ
God saw it fit to take the things I was obsessed over, the things I worshiped, and shatter them so completely, I could never pick up the pieces. Everything I believed in, He destroyed. Everything I loved and which I would escape into, He obliterated. Nothing remained.
At the time, I didn't know God was responsible for doing this and ended up lost in a two-week long depression of the likes I had never experienced before. I literally cried when I would look up at the sky, so I kept my eyes to the ground, secluding myself in the darkness of my room as much as I was able.
Once the depression turned into a tolerable numbness, I told Satan I had no interest in lying about things anymore for him. I told him I was simply, "done" with all the deception and didn't care that I was breaking my oath and my contract, nor of the consequences of doing so; I was fully prepared to lose everything.
With that, I walked away from Luciferianism, deciding that while I was still going to Hell, I could at least do some good in the world. I felt so hopeless, so confused, and so lost, though I knew not to expect forgiveness from God, though I apologized to Him anyways, leaving it at that.
I took everything occult I owned, shoved it in a bag, and to the landfill it went. I deleted all my files, destroyed my organization, renounced everything from my past, and moved on.
One week later, despite how unworthy and disgusting I felt about who I was and what I had done, I repented fully to God. Two weeks from that point, when I was still 33 years old, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I prayed that I would come to know and love Him.
3. My Life With Christ
The lord has transformed me. Where I was full of lust and perversion, The Lord has caused disgust and nausea to well in me at the very thought of my prior perversions. Where I once championed pride, The Lord has brought me down to show me humility. Where I was once sadistic, The Lord has shown me mercy and compassion. Where I was angry, The Lord has shown me joy. Where I was vengeful, The Lord has made me detest vengeance. Where I was argumentative, The Lord has been teaching me patience and longsuffering.
Where I was disrespectful to my family and elders, The Lord has blessed me, healing the wounds I caused, teaching me respect and patience. Where I was manipulative, The Lord has shown me service. Where I was self-hating, The Lord has shown me that I'm made in His Mighty Image. Where I was apathetic towards life and nature, The Lord has shown me the beauty of both, for He made it all. Where I was God-hating and unloving, The Lord has planted and watered a seed which is growing into love.
Where I was brute, The Lord has shown me grace. Where I was depressed, The Lord has showered me with peace. Where I was confused, The Lord has shown me knowledge and has lit my way. Where I loved chaotic music, The Lord has turned me to harmony. Where I hated Christians and sought to divide them, The Lord has converted my heart, blessing me with a need to bring unity. Where I was an evolutionist, The Lord showed me the truth of Creation. Where I denied Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ has redeemed me. Where I was a Satanist, destined for Hell, Jesus Christ brought me to the wonderful and precious knowledge of His saving Grace.
Praise His Mighty Name! Thank you, Jesus, for showing me that even as far as I fell, You were there, always, and you never stopped loving me.
For the unbelievers reading this, know that Jesus Christ is real and so is His Power and Authority. Know that He can save you as He saved me if only you ask Him. Know that He can transform your life and give you real purpose, real love, and real knowledge if only you will turn to Him.
By Lauren Lehman
Here is a link to my music that I hope will bring peace and healing to people. www.laurenlehman.com or you can listen on Spotify, Itunes, etc.
Below is a link to my song, "Peace Be Still" from my new album, "Peace Be Still."
"Peace Be Still, and know that He is God... Come on into His place to seek His face, Peace, Peace, Be Still."
Peace Be Still - on Youtube
Creator of Mankind Podcast
Episode 5: Eternal Life Through Christ Part 1
I never heard these talked about in the churches or the pulpit. But this is very important for a Christian.
Please comment and share. I need your opinions and reactions.