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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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Monday, July 11, 2011
Whole Hearted.
My pastor preached an edifying sermon this past Sunday, and whatever else he may have said in the sermon, or whatever the point of it may have been, it was his mention of serving the Lord with one's whole heart that provoked a sudden stirring of Christ's Spirit within me.

In particular, I was considering my own inconsistent obedience. I have known profound victory over sin in several areas of my life - and not the false victory that some claim when they have finally, through their own effort, finally formed a lasting habit whereby they are able to (most of the time) automatically suppress some particular temptation, rather than entertain it. No, the victory I am talking about is the removal of the thing as a genuine temptation, where once I desired a thing, and where now that desire is a memory that has never stirred again.

When I think of inconsistent obedience, I am really thinking of those things in my life where I do not want to apply Christ's rule. We might call such things strongholds, because we are unwilling to surrender them to Christ. This is the very picture of double-mindedness. On the one hand we surrender to Christ on several levels and in many ways, and on the other we retain for ourselves the "right" to draw a line - this far into my heart you are, and remain my Lord, but beyond this line, I will not have you rule over me.

No one wants to paint their own inconsistencies in hues of rebellion, and in the language that scripture reserves for rebellion. Instead we dress it up with language like "struggles" and "inconsistencies" and whatnot. But if we are willing to drag it under, and expose it to the light, we will see it for what it is: something less than the whole hearted devotion we are called to.

Even though I know that no victory has ever come to me except through travailing prayer where I, with the Lord, plumb the depth of my depravity, and cry out from the well of my being to be set free from -who--I--am-, and always will be.

Said another way, I know that until my heart is actually -set- on Christ, I am only half-heartedly pursuing the Lord; and I know, as well as you do, that one does not "find" the Lord until one seeks for Him with one's "whole" heart.

So it is an exercise in utter madness when a believer refuses to sit down, and talk straight with God concerning some besetting sin that destroys his or her peace. When that believer chooses instead to offer up to God sacrifices of ministry, and praise, and every other religious thing - while witholding from God his or her whole heart.

Why do we do that?

May I suggest that we do that because we are inclined, in and of ourselves, to flee from, rather than cling to, the Lord. Except that Lord draws me to Himself, every effort to approach him is superficial, self serving, and ultimately illegitimate. Yet when I recognize this within myself, when the Spirit of Christ within me begins to provoke my soul so that I find no rest in the status quo, it is only then that I begin to feel the weight of my sin, and only then that I begin in earnest to seek that deliverance from sin's power that is already mine in Christ.

I have yet to be able to set my heart on Christ in some whimsical, off the cuff way. It has always required a deep travailing in prayer, not unlike labor pains that must be endured until finally I come to the end of myself seeing myself for what I am, and throwing my hope and my life entirely and without reservation, upon the Lord. It is then, when I have seen my sin for what it is, and my Lord for who He is, that I am able to, by faith, turn away from some sin in earnest.

I don't know how it is for others, but I know how it has been for me. My relationship with Christ has been fraught with all manner of false religion that would take my eyes of the simplicity of Christ - but always, like a loving Shepherd, the Lord draws me back to Himself by grace through faith, so that I can take no credit for the love, faith, and devotion He Himself imparts - whatever crown I may possess on that day of Judgment that is coming; it will be one that I cannot claim to have earned, but must be laid down at the feet of Him who placed it on my head by His own merciful hand.

Jesus is not a far away God, but a very near one. Not looking down from on high, but working intimately from within. His love is more profound than can be known, His mercies more tender than can be measured, His grace more sufficient, His wisdom more sound, His rule more fitting than any heart can fathom.

Do not be afraid little Christian, for the Lord loves His own, and is not willing that any of His should perish.

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posted by Daniel @ 9:45 AM  
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