You can take it as fact that Thomas Chalmers believed in the Sovereignty of God when it comes to a person’s salvation. That makes this incident from his life all the more salutary.
Chalmers was lodging over night in an inn. The Lord told him to speak to the innkeeper about his soul. Thomas Chalmers reasoned the time was not opportune to do that. The Lord said again that he was to speak to the innkeeper about his soul. Again, Chalmers felt the time was not opportune. Through the night he heard a commotion going on below his room. He got up, looked out his window and saw the innkeeper being carried out in a coffin. Chalmers response was this. “The time was opportune, but I missed it.”
There is always a danger that we push a truth to the point where it becomes an error. When Jesus was asked by his disciples why they could do nothing for a demonised boy, He did not say, “It is just the will of God that we have to accept.” He delivered the boy. He then explained the reason behind the disciples’ inability, presumably in order that should they meet the same situation again, they would know what to do.
The fact that I remain unhealed despite many prayers of many pray-ers does not rob me of hope that I may be healed this side of a coming eternity where of course we shall all be fully healed without question. There may be a reason that I or someone needs to see that has not been seen yet. I say that without meaning to put any pressure upon myself or on anyone who prays for me. I am using myself as an example of the truth I am trying to put over: It is too easy at times to say, “It is the will of God.” There was a “because” as to why the disciples could not help the boy that Jesus could help.
Or let me put it another way. If talk about “the will of God” is sometimes pushed too far by conservative evangelicals to the point it bestows beauty and piety upon laziness and spiritual presumption, the truth of the “Already here but not yet Kingdom of heaven” (a precious truth to charismatics in terms of our theology of signs and wonders happening or not happening), can be pushed in error to the same result: it is easy to push the “not yet” part of that truth to the place where again spiritual laziness takes too much yardage of comfort from the “not yet” and stops seeking for the action of God.
Is it time to seek afresh rather than settle where you may have settled? Is it time to stop hiding behind “the will of God” or “the already here but not yet Kingdom”?
I guess I am saying something very simple as someone who believes in the Sovereignty of God and the presence of the coming Kingdom dawning now: I have this feeling indeed a belief that more people are meant to be saved in Scotland than is happening, though I rejoice in the stream of salvations I hear about. I also think more people are meant to experience healing or deliverance than we are hearing about – I mean real healing not just claimed healing, and real deliverance rather than simply an emotional experience in a hyped up atmosphere.
Is it time to eat humble pie and come together to Jesus who is still our Teacher by His Word and Spirit and ask, “Why could we not…?”
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