Don't worry...this is not going to be a post about where I stand on the Calvinism vs. Arminian debate. I honestly do not know where I stand on that debate, and I hope I never do. The way I figure it, I should never ally myself to a title, as much as I should ally myself to God and His word. I'll let His word speak for itself and do my best to make sure my beliefs match up to it.
So...as I've mentioned before I grew up in a "quasi-fundamental" Christian home. The reason I say it was "quasi-" is because my Dad called Fundamentalists, "Funny-mentalists." Dad didn't want to ally himself to that camp because he knew about the legalism that was often associated with it. In spite of this fact, however, I still had a lot of "Funny-mentalist"/ legalistic ideas being taught to me, or at least I applied what I was being taught in a legalistic way. I felt like as long as I did my devotions once in a while, prayed once in a while, and went to church for every service, this made me a good Christian and I was entitled to be blessed by God because of the fact that I did all these things.
Most of my years, before going to college, I was taught this. God used Northland to open my eyes to the fact that my heart needed to change if I really wanted to be more like Christ. I could not make myself spiritual by changing my outward actions (because I failed at this every time), but real change comes from the inside out. This change comes only by the sovereign hand of God. This concept was liberating, and I found my walk with God growing by leaps and bounds.
However, God has been teaching me lately that I also have a responsibility. I don't just sit back and "let God" and proceed to not do anything because if God wills it, He will make it happen. The New Testament is filled with commands for a believer to "do" specific things. These cannot be ignored.
As can be seen in most things in life, there's a delicate balance. There is reliance on God's sovereignty, and placing our trust in that, but there is also action. There is the fact that we are called (as Christians) to deny ourselves take up our cross and follow Him!
I'm so thankful that God has been teaching me this. My fear pushes me into inaction far to often...God wants me to step out in faith (with reliance on Him!), and watch what He can accomplish through me.
I think about how this will specifically affect my missions trip this summer. I'm scared...I'm not going to deny that...but is my God not able to help me? I need to step out in faith and rely on Him to help me..."The God of angel armies is always by my side"...so..."Whom shall I fear?"