God…Powerful, Perfect, and Purposeful

For the past several months I have been marveling at God’s beauty and nature that are reflected in His creation, specifically sunsets, sunrises, and the moon.  I can’t explain this new found fascination, but every time I saw one of these events I would praise God and thank Him for giving me such great delight in something He created.  It was more than just praise to God for that moment in time, but I began to contemplate God’s attributes and character in His creation. Without knowing it, the Spirit was working on my heart and was bringing Romans 1:19-20 & Psalm 19 to life.  I began seeing His power in the sunrise as it peaked over the mountains to the east of me, verses like Hebrews 12:29(our God is a consuming fire), and Hebrews 4:13(nothing is hidden from His sight, but all are naked and exposed), came to mind and became tangible words in the desert-scape, where coverage from the consuming mid-day rays is hard to come by.  And in the same beautifully created sun, I began seeing His peace and order (1 Cor 14:33), as this flaming ball of fire, was methodically and beautifully swaddled in frosted orange and purple velvet clouds and peaceably came to rest behind the mountains to the west.dessert sunrise

Such majestic power, magnificently displayed and restrained each and everyday, it reminded me of the words C.S. Lewis penned in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, in reference to Aslan, the lion who was King:

“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

The infinite power of God that exists is so unimaginably great that only He can restrain it, and He must restrain it, lest we all be consumed immediately, thus our thoughts can’t possibly dwell on the heights of His power with out being drawn into the depths of His love.  This must be true and understood inversely, if we are to maintain a high view of, and worship the one and only, Yahweh, with repented minds and obedient lives, we can’t begin to frolic in the abyss of His love and forgiveness until we, like Moses atop a mountain, have trembled in full realization of Whose we are, and not just who we are, which is incredibly dependent sinners.

Just so it’s clear, I am not suggesting going on a spiritual quest in search of the tangible experience that Moses had.  Unless of course, that quest is a journey, led by the Holy Spirit, through God’s incredible and infallible Word, searching Scripture diligently to know the one and only Elohim.   The journey to know God more clearly as described in His Word, is a journey that does not have an end in our biological life, but we certainly know where it starts for us.  Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning GOD created….”, our journey to know GOD must start here, and for many it does, but for many more, a simple mental assent to this verse, is really just a denial that our origin was  from a spontaneous space soup.  Have you really thought about and contemplated that God the eternal Creator of heaven and earth, has created you?  This seems almost to basic to even write about, much less dwell on and prayerfully considered the weight of the implications of this simple and fundamental starting point, but I truly believe that until you come to terms with God as your Creator, and what that implies, that you will be misled with your view and consequent worship of Him.

I can tell you for years, the depth of my thoughts of God, were more shallow than baths I took as a kid, but by God’s grace and patience, He has been growing me. This growth, (in a peculiar way), has taken me back over some fundamental truths of God, and this time my mind is being set correctly, on who God is…. which is GOD.  It’s keeping God at the center of everything, and me along with all of creation on the outside. Instead of what the world preaches, which is, you are the center of your universe and God, Jesus, and anything else you want to add to your life, revolves around and caters to you and your needs.  To see it in writing is a ridiculous notion to suggest that some people really believe that way, but this is no time for finger pointing.  I don’t have to go very far to see that ridiculous ideology being lived out, from time to time in my own life, any moment of pride or entitlement, is a moment that autonomy is trying to be established in my own life.   With God at the center of the Universe, it puts all of His creation, in a position to point toward Him and thus glorify Him, bringing honor to His Name, which according to Psalm 138:2, is exalted by God, along with His Word above all else.

Whether it is mankind, “What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory” — {Romans 9:22-23}.  Or it is creation “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge” – {Psalm 19:1-2}, it all points to Him.

Finding joy and awe in God’s creation, was more than just admiring the beauty.  I was now for the first time in my life seeing our Creators invisible attributes expressed in His creation.  This was no “warming-soft-glow-tickle-my-ear-lobe” experience.  It was the Holy Spirit taking the scales of my eyes and bringing the objective truths of Scripture to life, allowing me to see God’s greatness in the “mundane” (hardly mundane, but most of us live our lives in such a hustle and bustle, that we are blind to God’s amazing work in our lives on a daily basis, which can create, in my opinion, an unhealthy desire to seek God’s presence, in a super-natural way).

I will be careful here, not to needlessly cause harm to someone that has experienced God in a unique and personal way.  So to clarify, I think an unhealthy appetite to experience God’s presence super-naturally arises, when we are blind to His miraculous creation everyday.  Just because it is available to us day in, and day out (just like His Word), it doesn’t nullify, the miraculous event of creation that took place thousands of years ago, to allow us to see His invisible attributes, namely His eternal power and divine nature [Romans 1:20].   I don’t have a need to seek out God’s presence in a unique manner, because He allows me to see His power and purpose daily in His creation and in His Word, and there is amazing fulfillment in that, which leads to genuine heartfelt worship, when I see a seemingly untamable ball of fire come to rest in the evening sky .

The other morning going to church was no exception to this. My drive was illuminated by this beautiful, nearly full, moon (it was 6:00 am).  It was relatively low on the horizon and “happened” to be right in my line of drive, so I could spend a little extra time admiring it, as I drove.  It’s not often this “old man” gets to see the moon, seeing how I’m in bed by 8:30 pm (some what joking, but not really).  It was on this drive that I pondered the purpose of the moon, I know there is the tides and stuff like that, but really for years it seemed to me, to be the “appendix” of the universe.  With the scientific stuff aside, on that drive that morning I praised and glorified God for the moon, it was then that I was reminded everything points to God.  It was altogether uncanny, the amazing parallel that was being drawn in my mind, between the relationship of sun/moon and the Son of God/disciple of Christ.

Here is this moon shining so brightly as it hung on the black canvas of the sky, that I could have driven with my lights off .  Being in awe of this I was reminded that the light that was being emitted from the moon, was not its own.  That in its self was an amazing reality, that as bright as that moon was, it was merely reflecting the light whose source is 100 million miles away (according to wikipedia).   Matthew 5:16 tells us to, “let our light shine forth before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven”.  The moon like us (children of God), was merely reflecting the light from the sun/Son, which in turn was giving glory to our Father.  Being created in the image of God [Genesis 1:27] and being transformed from one degree of glory to another [2 Cor 3:18], we are miniature and imperfect reflections of the Son.  In the same sense the moon is a miniature sun, the Bible describes it as the lesser light [Gen 1:16], it certainly stands out in the darkness, but the rare times I have seen it during the day when the sun is shining, it pales in comparison to the power and glory of the sun.

Likewise, as we are sent forth into this dark world, and are reflecting a light (good works), not of our own, but because of our union with Christ, it is His image that is being reflected, not dan’s image, hence being a new creation [2 Cor 5:17].  Imagine for a moment, what the moon would look like, if it tried to shine it’s own light.  You actually don’t have to imagine, next time there is a crescent moon, look at the black void that would have made a full circle, if it was it was in contact with the light from the sun.  I know I am treading on thin ice with this parallel, but before I plunge into the icy waters of ridiculousness, can I at least draw out the vital importance of our union with Christ, or rather abiding in Christ [John 15], verse trying to do things on our own, and that separate from Christ all that we do or say, is as completely futile, as the moon trying to shine its own light on the earth…..it’s a black void, that blends in with the darkness of the sky.crescent-moon-photos

I’m getting off the ice now……

When we go in the flesh we are acting faithlessly, and according to Romans 14:23“what does not proceed from faith is sin”, this is huge as we navigate this life with Christ-abiding, Gospel-driven, Holy Spirit-empowered, faith-fueled effort.  When we try to “muscle” through our sanctification, and obey in our own strength, it is actually showing our lack of faith.  I must be so careful to even word this correctly, this is by no means a pass to be lazy (and not pursue holiness), or to not set sail for the deeper waters that Christ is leading and calling you to.  But we must do so in faith, trusting that God is accomplishing His divine will in and through an imperfect person, fully knowing it is not me but Christ IN me that is accomplishing His good will.  

All over the OT we can read of God’s sovereignty and mans responsibility to act in faith, and they never ever clash.  But a skewed view of God will certainly cause these to ideas to compete against each other instead of act in unity.  Deuteronomy 7:2and when the Lord your God gives them over to you, and you defeat them…   As God gave nation upon nation over to Israel, they acted in faith and went to battle and defeated them.  I don’t want to presume but battle doesn’t sound easy (or fun), and I also assume that if 10,000 Israelis went to war that not all returned in the same health that they initially set out in.  In our sanctification, it will “feel” the same, but don’t let that fool you (either to give up or take the glory).  From below the tapestry, it will “feel” and look like we are on our own, our bodies and minds will be weary from the battle, but this is where we must take heart and stand firm knowing, “the battle belongs to the Lord[ 1 Sam 17:47], not only the battle but the glory! 

God is amazing and His eternal power and divine nature are revealed to us daily.  I pray you take a moment and glorify God as you stand in awe of the purpose and pleasure of which He created all things.  To God be all glory and dominion forever and ever amen!

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