“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.” (Psalm 91:14)
For much of my faith development, I have been a staunch Calvinist in terms of divine sovereignty. We love because God first loved us. Love comes from God for no good reason but that God is love. We can do nothing to earn God’s love in this life or the next.
For a few years, however, I worshipped and studied among conservative Mennonites. While I could not embrace some of their theological assumptions, I did find some of their beliefs to provide a refreshing corrective balance. It is good to sometimes concentrate on what we do for God instead of always looking at what God does for us. Our actions do make an ultimate difference.
I like the term I’ve heard many Mennonite ministers use – it is the “synergy” between what God does for us in Christ and what we do in response that ultimately results in a life-giving, saving relationship – one that begins now and lasts through eternity.
To use a medical analogy, in Christ, God offers us an eternal cure for physical diseases and mental disorders. This does not mean that all who “find Christ” are healed in this life. It does mean that in God’s time all who are “in Christ” will receive new bodies, new spirits and new minds that will be disease-and-disorder-free. Though we don’t see this in our present life, we trust it will happen in the life-to-come.
It is only by God’s free grace that Christ’s saving love comes to any of us. This saving love does not mean we can sit back and get everything we want. It means we now have a relationship – an intimate relationship – with One who will never leave us nor forsake us, who ultimately heals us. Within this relationship, we have a responsibility to love the One Jesus taught us to call Abba, Daddy. Only then will we divinely delight in the midst of the disordered messes we make of our lives.