God’s a gentleman. He won’t force himself upon you. He will not do what you do not ask Him to. So, you have to ask. It’s your choice. It’s your decision. God won’t make it for you.
I’ve heard those types of phrases numerous times. This may surprise you, coming from a Calvinist like myself, but theologically I agree with those statements when it comes to the point of repentance and faith. God doesn’t believe for us. God doesn’t repent for us. And He’s not going to take you kicking and screaming into heaven.
So, yeah I guess in some respects I agree with those statements.
Problem is, I honestly don’t know why they are necessary words to say. Is it so that the sinner knows that she has to respond to God’s grace? If so, why not just say what the Bible does and urge her to repent and believe in the Lord Jesus today? Why is it necessary to give Jesus a top-hat and a monocle and turn him into a namby-pamby gentleman that’ll never do anything that we don’t ask him to?
Not a Gentleman But a Warrior
I’ve been dealing with quite a bit lately. The Lord has chosen this season in my life to open up old wounds and to go into deep dark places in my soul that I never wanted light to shine. Yet he’s doing that. He’s tearing me to pieces and making me feel things and think about things and remember things that I never wanted to. He’s…dare I say it…forcing me to be authentic and honest.
And so in the spirit of honesty, I have to say, that if Jesus is such a gentleman I’m in deep trouble. I say that because as He is opening up these dark recesses in my heart there are times when I’m shaking my fist at God and screaming at Him to leave me alone!
And I guess a gentleman would do just that. He’d let me deal with things on my terms and not his. When I scream out “leave me alone” He would listen and just wait for me to heal and wait until I am ready for this barrage of somewhat unwanted emotions. He’d allow me to keep things in the dark and never actually address them.
But Jesus isn’t merely a gentleman. He’s a devoted lover. He’s a faithful friend. He’s the Lord of the universe and He’s staking claim on my soul. I don’t need a gentleman, I need a warrior. I need a warrior that will break my rebellion and will refuse not to have my heart. I need love. I need a God that will overcome my stubborn rebellion with His relentless love.
Yeah, I understand telling unbelievers that they need to respond in repentance and faith and the work of God. And I firmly believe that the Lord is powerful and wise and holy and good and He works in such a way that He changes our desire to be what they ought to be. He woos us in such a way that we do really substantially turn to Him.
I believe whole-heartedly that what God is doing in my own heart is a dedicated and unstopping work of changing my desires to fit what is holy. He’s bringing light where there is darkness.
Just as the Spirit took Jesus into the wilderness I feel that the Lord is leading me into the darkest parts of my being. And what I’m finding there isn’t only death. It’s life. It’s light. It’s not a gentleman Jesus that’s asking my permission before opening every door. It’s a warrior that is the Lord whose saying, “Mike, we’re going to deal with this stuff”. And he’s ripping and tearing. He’s healing and comforting. He’s proving Himself to be both Lord and Savior.
I’m glad Jesus is so much more than gentleman.