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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
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Daniel's posts are almost always pastoral and God centered. I appreciate and am challenged by them frequently. He has a great sense of humor as well.
- Marc Heinrich

His posts are either funny or challenging. He is very friendly and nice.
- Rose Cole

[He has] good posts, both the serious like this one, and the humorous like yesterday. [He is] the reason that I have restrained myself from making Canadian jokes in my posts.
- C-Train

This post contains nothing that is of any use to me. What were you thinking? Anyway, it's probably the best I've read all day.
- David Kjos

Daniel, nicely done and much more original than Frank the Turk.
- Jonathan Moorhead

There are some people who are smart, deep, or funny. There are not very many people that are all 3. Daniel is one of those people. His opinion, insight and humor have kept me coming back to his blog since I first visited earlier this year.
- Carla Rolfe
 
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Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Seminary or Feminary?
Just kidding. I like provocative titles.

Really, today I would rather talk about how we often try to do what God wants us to do, rather than (or instead of) trying to be with God.

Guilt and fear make me want to try to do what every good Christian ought to do; to obey God. I think in terms of doing what is right, and that usually ends up being a matter of habit rather than conscious thought. More than this, it ends up being driven by sin rather than love, as I am not drawing near to God in love, rather I am trying not to sin in order to avoid making myself God's enemy. In this mindset I am driven whenever temptation comes upon me to act according to what I know is right, and it makes my walk with the Lord reactionary; that is, it becomes a passive thing. I react to temptation, because I want to avoid real or imagined consequences.

Love however, causes me to want to be with someone. I mean, that is what love produces isn't it? Remember when you first fell in love? You "moment by moment" day wasn't consumed by trying to avoid doing things he or she hated, and making sure you did a few things he or she liked. No, all you wanted was to phone that person up, and talk for hours, or to hang out, or anything - you just wanted to be with that person. Likewise with your children, siblings, parents or even just close friends - you just want to be with them don't you? I mean, that's the point of it all isn't it? To be with the ones you love and to enjoy their company?

God wants to be with us and enjoy our company, and we, when love is motivating us, want to be with God and in His company - and not just for a daily visit here and there when we are tempted or whatnot - but throughout the whole day. Love is like that.

The Christian, rightly motivated, is driven to seek God because love demands it of him or her. They want to be with God. They hate their sin because it mars their fellowship with God; and they obey and seek to obey because God cannot fellowship with disobedient children. They don't simply try and do good, they try and stay in fellowship, and there is a world of difference, motivationally speaking, between doing something to avoid or pacify God's wrath, and doing something because one doesn't want to be away from (in the sense of broken fellowship) their God.

Which sounds a little like a dichotomy, do one or the other. The truth is that if one seeks God for any other reason than love, that seeking will consist only of trying to do the right thing - and doing so will never satisfy the one who does it for long, because the joy of the Lord is our strength, and operating from a position of duty rather than joy offers no strength to anyone except what they can muster up from the well of their own resolution - which isn't much. But that isn't to say that one ought not to form good habits or deal with sin and temptation as it comes up - it will come up, and that part of our walk has to be reactionary to some extent - but it was never meant to be by itself, representative of that walk we are called to.

I think we are supposed to seek the Lord for our own joy, and when we do our disciplined habits work with our desire to be or remain in fellowship with God, rather than stand in the place of fellowship as though these things were by themselves the purpose of our walk. The purpose of our walk is joy in daily and living fellowship with our God.

I still liked the provocative title though.

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posted by Daniel @ 9:12 AM  
2 Comments:
  • At 12:10 PM, September 24, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I really like what you have to say here, but could you comment on the state called 'infatuation'? It is easy for me to say that the description of love that you put forth could be characterized as infatuation, which is, by definition, short-lived. I don't always have that sort of 'feel' toward God (have had in the past), which indicates I don't love him fully.

    I guess my question is - is that sort of description of active pursuit of God really *the* gauge of love for God?

    Again, I don't disagree with what you've said, but I don't see how it can happen like that, always.

    Thanks.

     
  • At 12:27 PM, September 24, 2008, Blogger Daniel said…

    Anonymous,

    Infatuation is love in silhouette - lacking any detail, we project perfection into that silhouette, and until we are shown otherwise, we interact with the silhouette as though it were the perfect image of our deepest hope.

    If a person ends up being the exact image of everything we projected into them when we met them, the "infatuation" would not end as quickly, though it would end - not because we realize the person isn't who we wanted them to be, but rather who we want other people to be changes as we do - so while it would take longer, infatuation would end even if the person was once the very picture of perfection.

    God is more perfect than anything we can picture - and the reality is that unlike human infatuation, which wanes, as we get to know God, he becomes more perfect, and more desirable, and not less so.

    Consider that, and then ask the question again - is this description of active pursuit flawed. Then let me know what you came up with. ;)

     
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