Let me start off by saying that I love Reformed theology. I've said it before, and I will say it again, that it is difficult for me to see how anybody reading the Bible could come to any other conclusion. But the purpose of this blog is not to defend the reformed position, it is to refine it. In my opinion there is something greatly lacking within the movement. To say it plainly, the thing that is lacking is an expectancy of God's power. This problem is both theological and experiential. And though this might hurt a little, I will tell you that the root of this problem is unbelief.
There are many dimensions to this problem, and I will not be able to explain it all in one post. But I hope to now give you a general idea of what I am talking about. To do so, I will show you a well known verse that, unfortunately, is rarely discussed in Reformed circles:
"I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." ~Mark 11:24
Why don't we talk about this verse? Is it because we don't understand it? No, that is not the problem, for Jesus is speaking with very plain and straightforward language, and his meaning is quite clear. The reason we don't talk about this verse is because we simply don't believe it. And I should not need to tell you that there are many, many other places in scripture where we see similar language coming from the Lord. Observe the following:
"If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you." ~John 15:7
Whatever you wish!!! Let that sink in for a moment. Jesus did not say "whatever God wishes," he said "whatever you wish." And we see statements like this coming out of the Lord's mouth over, and over again (I've counted it at least six different times the book of John alone!). Why did he repeat this so often? I suspect that the reason he said it so often is because he knew that our unbelieving minds would gloss over it as something that doesn't really apply to us in any meaningful way. But pay attention to what I am about to say:
We need to interpret truth based on what the scriptures say, and not based on what has been our Christian experience. We look at verses like the ones I have quoted above and we think to ourselves that that is not really how prayer works. So the question is who are you going to believe. Are you going to believe your gut, or are you going to believe the Lord? And this is the essence of what I will be discussing in this blog. So I ask you again, are you willing to believe the Lord, even when he says things that seem just too incredible to be true? If you are willing, then let me tell you that your Christian life is about to start looking much more like it did for those in the book of Acts. With God, nothing is impossible.
Stay tuned for more. Because I have a lot more to say on this. I welcome your comments by the way.