Divine Sovereignty - October Journaling Plan
Working my way through the September plan on contentment was hard. Was it hard for you too? Seeing our sin is never easy and although conviction often leads to growth, it’s certainly not fun to feel God’s hand heavy on your heart when He points out an area of disobedience. And yet, if you’ve been walking with God for a while, you know that heavy hand is also a loving hand. The pressure or discomfort you are feeling is for your good and comes from a Father who loves you. But, even though we might know that, sometimes we need to be reminded that the God who disciplines is also the God who loves us and has our best interest in mind and heart.
One of the dangers of conviction is that it can lead to condemnation if we aren’t well versed in the Word. The enemy is very skilled at convincing us that God doesn’t want to hear from us until we’ve cleaned ourselves up a bit. Nothing could be further from the truth, but the lie keeps working, even if only briefly. So considering all of this, I kept wondering what would be a good follow up to a plan so full of conviction, and then one morning I came across a video I had saved from Instagram, if you have the time, watch it here.
When I finished watching, I felt a familiar hope return. A familiar peace and serenity settled in me. The hope and peace born out of the fact that my salvation is secure and does not now, nor ever has rested on me and my goodness. My salvation rests on the promise of a God who never leaves or forsakes his own.
One verse that I return to over and over again is Philippians 1:6, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Why does this verse comfort me? Because it’s rooted in the very character of God, and his character is the most reliable thing there is. Think about a person you consider to be reliable. You never doubt that they will do what they said. You never worry about them not showing up, or forgetting something important. Their reliability brings comfort to you because you know that whatever you’ve entrusted to them is in good hands. And yet, they’re human and through no fault of their own they can, in fact, let you down.
But not so with God. Because one of the aspects of his character is His immutability, His inability to change. He is unable to go back on his word. What this means for us is that if he says he will finish what he began, that means that the salvation you have that is being sanctified day by day will be brought to completion “at the day of Jesus Christ.” God won’t, he can’t, leave you incomplete. You will not arrive to heaven half done.
I love how Jen Wilkin puts it in her fabulous book, “None Like Him, 10 Ways God Is Different From Us (and why that’s a good thing)." In her chapter on the Immutability of God she says, “The rock of our salvation endures…his character remains fixed. His plans remain steady. His promises remain firm…He is immutable, not just unchanging, but incapable of change of any kind.”
Maybe that sounds more intimidating than comforting, like God is rigid and perhaps unreasonable, but that’s not it at all. Because God is also infinitely good, his unchanging nature can, and is, a great comfort to us. Consider this: “None of his attributes can increase or decrease because each is unchangingly infinite. His knowledge cannot increase or decrease. His faithfulness cannot increase or decrease. Our actions, good or bad, can neither add to nor diminish his glory. He cannot become more holy or less steadfast. He simply is these things to the utmost— forever.”
And here’s the best part, here’s where the comfort comes from: “Because he does not change, we can rely on the unchanging truth of Scripture. What he pronounces as sin will always be sin. What he pronounces as good will always be good. All that he has promised to do must come to pass. The gospel itself is bound up in the idea of God’s immutability. We fervently need God to stay the same—our great hope of salvation lies in his remaining exactly as who he says he is, doing exactly what he has said he will do. As long as his infinite sameness endures, he will not change his mind about setting his love on us. We cannot commit a future sin that will change his verdict, because his verdict was passed with every sin past, present, and future fixed in view. Whom God pronounces righteous will always be righteous. Nothing we could do can remove from us the seal of his promised redemption.”
So what does all of this have to do with last months plan, and the heaviness and conviction you may have felt as you journaled all of those verses on contentment? No matter what you may have seen, he did not, he will not change his mind about setting his love on you! His love for you is as unchanging on your best day as it is on your worst. I have 31 scriptures that are meant to assure you that your salvation is secure, that what he’s promised in his word is as good as done in your life, whether you can see it or not. The theological term for this is the perseverance of the saints, which is another way of describing our eternal security, or to put it even more plainly, once saved, always saved. All of the passages in this plan are meant to assure you of your righteous standing before our heavenly Father. To make known to you the truth that, “God, by his own power through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, keeps or preserves the believer forever…In order for us to lose our salvation after receiving the promised Holy Spirit, God would have to break His promise or renege on His ‘guarantee,’ which He cannot do (because of his immutability). Therefore, the believer is eternally secure because God is eternally faithful.” (Got Questions)
We daily nail our sin to the cross but we do so knowing that our salvation is eternally secure and that our foe is defeated, oh what comfort there is in that!