High Resolution Living (and dying) Pt.3

5 01 2007

Doubt and death are two subjects which confront most Christians at a very deep and personal level – they are also two issues that we seldom talk about publicly or candidly. Edwards’ Resolutions deal with both of these issues in a refreshing and God honouring way, facing up to the brutal realities of being a believer.

As with most of the life experiences he describes in his little book Edwards is keen to submit these issues to the sovereignty and sufficiency of God. Edwards is not so pious that he will not admit the presence of doubt in his life, but in resolution no.26 states that he is ‘resolved to cast away such things as I find do abate my assurance’. Again it is the note of intentionality that marks out Edwards’ treatment of this and other issues. Not content to live as prey to the problem of doubt so easily capitalised on by the Devil, he makes it his aim to identify and neutralise those things which cause his assurance to waver. Which of us would pretend never to have been assailed by doubts about our standing with God, and yet how often do we make an audit of those influences in our lives which add spiritual drag to our experience of God. A friend in England told me once that he doesn’t read secular books as he feels they put distance between him and God. He has successfully identified the unique source of discouragement in his own life and put a stop to its influence.

When it comes to death Edwards is equally philosophical. Not content to live as though death will never come he resolves in no.17 that ‘I will live so as I shall wish I had done when I come to die’. For Edwards there is no place for arrogant complancency nor hopeless morbidity, but rather a concern for mortal reality – a view which looks ahead to death as an impetus to godly living in the here and now.

This post marks the end of this short series on Edwards’ resolutions. Perhaps our own personal resolutions are a little different for 2007, but there can be no doubt that Edwards provides us with food for thought and for godly living in this New Year.

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