December 27: Day Three

Go back to Day Two

A calling, a vocation, comes from inside and outside, an internal anchor point tied to an external. Are we free? Do we have a choice? Can we overcome our limitations? Or is life a predetermined sequence, like steam that rises when heat is applied to water? Like vocation, the answer is both; volition has a dual nature. 

Prohairesis is the term Epictetus used for the choice of how we respond to impressions from our senses. Epictetus’ stoicism is simple; you can’t always control what happens to you, but you can control how you respond. You are doomed, but embrace that with abandon and joy rather than dread. 

Augustus Toplady, author of the hymn Rock of Ages, was a bitter opponent of John Wesley. Wesley’s soteriology is like “accepting Jesus as your personal savior.” Billy Graham was a 20th century Wesley, accept Jesus’ offer of salvation and you are saved.

“If you are WILLING . . . then He will give you a new heart.”

Toplady found this preposterous. Jesus died on the cross to atone for sin and you can reject his sacrifice?

 “Shall he knock at the door of the human heart, and leave it at the option of free-will to insult him from the window, and bid him go whence he came? Surely, men’s eyes must be blinded indeed . . . to declare . . . God is vanquishable by man”

We are saved or not saved no matter what we do, rejecting it is impossible; God’s grace is irresistible

Remember Frank Galvin on faith. If I can’t control my calling — or anything — I can control how I act toward my vocation. Grace is the alignment of God’s plan, our fate, with the fulfillment of that plan using our free will. We may not have free will in His choice for us, but we choose how to respond and fulfill it. 

Go to Day Four