Sometimes we can develop a fallacy of theology because of the twisting of single passages of scripture...ie. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Many Christians today believe that there are two things that happen in their life....those totally determined by free-will (their own choosing), and those that God orchestrated by His will. Donald Miller introduced a term to me at his conference that really struck home with my life story and decisions. It's the concept of "Shared Agency."
This basically means that WE have a say in our story/decisions, and so does God. We are both writing a story that impacts the journey of our life. God is writing an epic of human existence, failings and redemption (or not, by our choice). We get to choose to be part of that story by sharing our agency (free-will) with his epic writing. Most churches today present the Gospel as "us inviting God to be part of our life." This is a theological landmine and totally inaccurate. The better salvation presentation phrase is, "God is inviting you to be part of His story."
This morning I was ready Psalm 91....toward the end it says:
If you make the Most High your dwelling -
Even the Lord, who is my refuge -
then no harm will befall you -
no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command His angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike our foot against the stone.
You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
Because he loves me, says the Lord. "I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble.
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life will I satisfy him
and show him my salvation.
Besides this being a huge comfort to me right now in my own journey....I noticed that what God promises is NOT unconditional! There is a shared-agency, where we decide to do something and He responds to us with something. Go back through that section and read each "if" and "because"....those are basically conditions where we CHOOSE shared-agency with God in our journey. This is a great hidden truth in all of teaching as well at churches today. We have taken the "ifs" and "conditions" out of God's promises. A reading of the Gospels and Jesus' red-letter words show that there are expectations of Shared-Agency.....certainly promises for our Father, but those come with submission to His teaching and Words.
But why would we choose anything else but Shared-Agency with the Creator of everything? Wouldn't that create the best possible story for our life and the best impact on others?