Wednesday, January 30, 2013

No, He isn't.

People often ask, "Pastor, I feel God is calling me to do…" Or, "I feel God has put it on my heart to…" Or, "I think God is speaking to me to tell me that I should…" Then comes the question, "How do I know if this is really what God wants for my life or if it's just me?" Simple. It's just you. The Holy Spirit works through a preacher, speaking His particular Word through "the office of Gospel preaching and administering the sacraments." Anything you feel in you is just you wishing it was God stirring up those feelings. We call this "enthusiasm," or, "God-within-ism." It's been around since Adam fell. It's the basest rebellion against God and His Word for you. 
--Rev. Donavan Riley

Here's another thing about Enthusiasm: if you have OCD, it will eat you for lunch. God is not the Author of confusion. If He is calling you to do something or to be something, He will have no trouble making it clear to you.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Just to clear up some OCD-induced confusion on this point....

We don't repent, we are repented. Repentance is passive, worked by the Spirit of God through His Word. The new man in Christ trusts this repenting in faith, which is also worked by the Spirit of God in us.
The old man in Adam loathes this work, because by it he is put to death. Not content with sitting passive while he is killed, the old man in Adam tries to find choices- always, he thinks, under the protection of the law. More law means more choices, he thinks- but not God's law. Not content with waiting for God to work when and where He chooses, the old man in Adam goes to work adding his own laws on to God's law.
Thus we see again and again the old man in Adam call for more law, less forgiveness. More doing, less waiting. The law solves everything, he says, that is why our church and the world are going to hell. We need to repent, we need to have faith, and we need to build up the barricades that hold back the incursion of this old, evil world, or God will forsake us, he says. We must make a choice, he says. Are we for the kingdom or against it, he says.
We must decide now! Our livelihoods depend on it, he says.
--The Rev. Donovan Riley.

He (the Old Adam) is, as Pr. Riley suggests, wrong. It isn't about us. It's about Jesus. Anything He doesn't do doesn't need doing.