Greatness of God

It’s Beyond Me!

14 June 2017

Book with heartDo you have times when your mind is stretched…and stretched? That’s been my experience these past few days. I’ve been reading a couple of books that are way beyond me—books about topics for which I have no educational background, written by people who are at a whole different level of intelligence than I am. But despite that, they were well worth the effort. To be honest, there was a lot I didn’t get, but I got enough to be totally in awe of God.

The first book was There is a God by Anthony Flew who for many years was a strong voice as an atheist scientist. As more became known about DNA and RNA, Dr. Flew became convinced that the evidence clearly indicated Intelligent Design. His reversal stunned the scientific world.

The second was Signature in the Cell by Stephen Meyer which documents his research into the popular theories held regarding the origin of life. His studies revealed the fallacies (and in many cases the absurdity) of these and convinced him of the valid scientific argument for Intelligent Design.

I didn’t need these books to settle my belief in God as the Creator. For me, you just need to look around (with or without a scientific background) to see evidence everywhere. Without a knowledge of DNA and RNA, David declared that we are, “fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:14) And David was right!

But what these books did for me was to stretch my understanding of the great and unfathomable mind of God. What we see of God’s creation is amazing enough to bring us to our knees in worship, but what is unseen to the natural eye is even greater cause to bow. I find my heart echoing David’s words in Psalm 139:6: “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.”

I recently made this comment when speaking to a women’s group: “We are only impressed with the privilege of walking and talking with God to the degree that we are impressed with God.” These books have made me so much more aware of the privilege of having a personal relationship with God—with the Creator whose mind is beyond my comprehension, but whose love invites me to a personal and close relationship with Him.

I am not necessarily smarter because I read those books (I certainly didn’t feel smart while reading them!), but I am so grateful to know this amazing Creator personally. What a privilege to be His!

Boldly with Fear and Trembling!

14 May 2012

Our Christian life is marked by paradox. We gain our life by losing it. We are made strong through our weakness. We are lifted up by humbling ourselves.

Our access to God is also marked by two opposing responses. In Jeremiah 5:22 God asks, “Should you not fear me?” And then again, “Should you not tremble in my presence?” The obvious response is, “Yes!” And yet Paul urges us to come boldly – reminding us of the joyous access we have to the throne of the Almighty.

Isaiah also reveals this same paradox: “The Lord Almighty is the One you are to regard as holy, He is the One you are to fear, He is the One you are to dread, and He will be a sanctuary.” The very One we are to fear offers Himself as our safe place. A clear image of this is found in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis.* As Lucy is about to meet the magnificent lion Aslan, she asks if he’s safe.  Mr. Beaver sums up the paradox simply by explaining to Lucy that of course Aslan isn’t safe, but he is good. She could meet him boldly, but with fear and trembling.

We must never forget that God is God – trembling is an appropriate response. But the wonderful news is that God’s own Son purchased the right and privilege for us to come into His presence with boldness. It’s the privilege of burying my face in Aslan’s mane while never forgetting that he’s a fierce lion. What a blessed paradox!

 

*For those of you who aren’t familiar with The Chronicles of Narnia, rather than explain I would urge you to read them for yourself.

 

What is Man?

1 February 2012

I would like to introduce my pastor and “guest blogger” – Rev. Wayne Muckel. I am privileged to sit under the preaching of this man of God each Sunday, and the fact that he is also my brother-in-law just adds to the blessing. A couple of weeks ago he shared this in his sermon, and I have asked his permission to pass it on to you.

“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him…” (Psalm 8:3,4)

I too have stood where the Psalmist stood and have been filled with awe on a dark, clear night – so clear I felt like I were looking out into an almost eternal space, where the stars seemed to hang down close to the earth, and the sky was packed full of millions of lights! And in that heavenly sanctuary my heart leaped up to worship the One who made it all possible!  Then too, like the Psalmist, my mind took me to stand on a dirty, noisy street in New York City (where I had stood many times). The noise is deafening, the light breeze swirling pieces of trash along the sidewalk, the stench and sounds jarring my senses, and what’s left of a man stretches himself out against a building, gagging in his own vomit. And I muse, “What is man that you are mindful of him?” And while my mind cannot completely wrap itself around that question, and my heart is torn within, the wonder of wonders is that “God so loved (this kind) of world, and sent His only begotten Son.” This man, like all men, became the supreme focus of the Creator God! As mysterious as the heavens above are, the greater mystery is how the God Who created them could care enough to reach down and rescue all of us in our miserable sinful condition. How could God pick us up and hug us to Himself, and transform our lives, cleaning us up from the inside out, and set us on a straight path toward heaven? Mystery of mysteries, indeed!

Who Needs a GPS?

29 July 2011

 We don’t have a GPS, partly because we don’t seem to go anywhere new, but also because we have seen (and been slightly amused at) the frustration of so many GPS users as they’re directed the wrong way, or the long way, and occasionally to the wrong place. I know of a church that when you put in the address you are consistently sent somewhere else. Each Sunday the pastor wonders how many visitors are sitting in a parking lot across town.

However, we all have times when we need a GPS for our lives – when we’re faced with uncertainty about which direction to take. In those situations, we don’t just want directions, we want right directions.

Psalm 18:1 gives us a wonderful visual of God’s willingness to guide. In the King James it says that God will “enlarge our steps.” I love the picture of large footprints put in front of us that we can’t miss.  In the NIV it says that God will “broaden our path.” Both of these make it clear that God will guide us in a way that is clear and unmistakable.

Yesterday my son went hiking and got lost. He found himself in an area where it became very hard to distinguish the trail. It was a great relief to him when, after a couple of hours of wandering and wondering, the path suddenly broadened. He knew then that he was heading in the right direction.

The Lord makes it clear in Jeremiah 10:23 that it’s not up to us to direct our own steps, but He offers us His GPS – God’s Planned Steps –  which are always clear and always right. Now that’s a GPS worth having!

No Exaggeration!

11 April 2011

Did you know that you can’t exaggerate God? Think of Him in the greatest and most glorious way possible, and He is greater and more glorious. Stretch your mind to its full limit to think of His power, and He is even more powerful. Try to imagine a love that is absolutely pure and perfect, and His love goes deeper still. All of our thoughts about God are just based on glimpses, but even those glimpses bring us to our knees in humble worship.

I love that God is beyond my wildest imagination, my profoundest thoughts, and my deepest longings. He is greater, higher, holier, wiser, and (thankfully) more loving than my mind can conceive. He is all that I need a God for, and He cannot be exaggerated!  And, wonder of wonders, He invites me to build my nest and live in His presence. “Amazing love! How can it be?”