Tuesday, April 19, 2005 AD Conference Lecture Notes: Super-Condensed Version There was, of course, much more good stuff taught at this conference, but these were the two-by-fours that hit me most squarely upside the head...and/or or other parts of the anatomy:
We are the Lord's gold. He refines us because we are precious to him.
Job 36:15 (ESV): "He delivers the afflicted by their affliction and opens their ear by adversity." (Pesky pronouns. None of the others has those bys. I hate it when translations are so radically different and it's impossible to discern what's the right one, but I think this is true even if it's not what's intended by the verse.)
Fear of God = faith = believing God
We don't deserve sanctification. It's a gift of grace. And God decides, not us, how quickly and in what ways we will mature.
Growing in grace is growing in the ability to see Jesus.
RC talked about praying, "Lord, whatever it takes," regarding his and his family's sanctification, and enumerated some of the trials that have since come Sproulward. I realized that though I've prayed similarly for at least 15 years, it's usually been, "Lord, whatever it takes. Oh, and here's a list of what it'll take." Now it's not wrong to pray specifically, but it is wrong to presumptuously assume I know better than God how to do His job, and it is wrong to rail against Him when He does things His way and not mine. I realized that I've spent a whole lot of time rebelling against His chosen means and often flat out refusing to obey in this area or that because He hasn't met my list of demands.
I was also listening today to one of my favorite recorded RC lectures (the third in this series). There were several points in the lecture that dovetailed nicely with the conference:
The Father loves us just as much as He loves the Son. When David opened the door to let Bathsheba in, when he gave the order to have Uriah killed, God loved him as much then as He loves His Son. I think I especially needed to hear this to keep from being overwhelmed by guilt regarding my previously mentioned newly unburied rebelliousness.
A husband and father who does not love his wife and children as Christ loves the Church is telling lies about Him. Considering that I was lied to consistently and egregiously in this way, it is a marvel to me that I know any truth at all about the Lord.* God can manage, without even the means He usually ordains, to make me see even a little of who He is, and I'm trying to give Him orders about how to accomplish my sanctification? Puh. Leeze!
I am so very grateful for my Lord's sovereignty, which makes naught of my resistance, and His mercy, which makes naught of my guilt!