Sunday, August 10, 2014

A couple of weeks ago, my experience at a large writer’s conference made me exclaim with amazement, “God is so much bigger than we give Him credit for!” This week, I’ve been forced to humbly concede that if He is big in the things that bring us to our feet with arms raised, He’s just as big in the things that bring us to our knees.

Big enough to speak through those who have little relationship with Him, who might not even acknowledge Him at all.

Big enough to handle our worries over finances, infertility, our children, or our spouse.

Big enough to handle any drama people might dish out, whether across the ocean or in our own household.

Psalm 50 (NKJV)

The Mighty One, God the Lord,
Has spoken and called the earth
From the rising of the sun to its going down.
Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
God will shine forth.
Our God shall come, and shall not keep silent;
A fire shall devour before Him,
And it shall be very tempestuous all around Him.

We’ve heard it before, “Our God is a consuming fire.” I think we don’t quite grasp that. Or else while we long for Him to come down and do a little consuming, we’re forgetting that our own comfort zone will be severely impinged upon when He does.

He shall call to the heavens from above,
And to the earth, that He may judge His people:
“Gather My saints together to Me,
Those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice.”
Let the heavens declare His righteousness,
For God Himself is Judge. Selah

God is the only righteous Judge. I’ve pleaded that in times when I was at odds with others, knowing I was not without sin in the situation, however hurt or offended I might have felt.

The question is, though, are we sure we’re His saints? Have we made a covenant with Him by sacrifice? Not of bulls or goats (read on, for more about that) but by the perfect blood of His own Son? The word “covenant” denotes something permanent, unchanged by the winds of circumstance or culture ...

“Hear, O My people, and I will speak,
O Israel, and I will testify against you;
I am God, your God!
I will not rebuke you for your sacrifices
Or your burnt offerings,
Which are continually before Me.
I will not take a bull from your house,
Nor goats out of your folds.
10 For every beast of the forest is Mine,
And the cattle on a thousand hills.
11 I know all the birds of the mountains,
And the wild beasts of the field are Mine.

12 “If I were hungry, I would not tell you;
For the world is Mine, and all its fullness.
13 Will I eat the flesh of bulls,
Or drink the blood of goats?
14 Offer to God thanksgiving,
And pay your vows to the Most High.
15 Call upon Me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”

There is nothing in this world that does not exist at His word, that isn’t already His. He cannot be enriched by the things we offer him.

We are His as well, and the sacrifice He desires, here, is for us to be thankful and keep our word. And as Psalm 51 says, “a broken heart and contrite [crushed] spirit. He is after our hearts. The one thing He wants, the one thing He asks for, is for us to offer ourselves.

16 But to the wicked God says:
“What right have you to declare My statutes,
Or take My covenant in your mouth,
17 Seeing you hate instruction
And cast My words behind you?
18 When you saw a thief, you consented with him,
And have been a partaker with adulterers.
19 You give your mouth to evil,
And your tongue frames deceit.
20 You sit and speak against your brother;
You slander your own mother’s son.
21 These things you have done, and I kept silent;
You thought that I was altogether like you;
But I will rebuke you,
And set them in order before your eyes.

The world is filled with those who claim to have the favor of God, to speak for Him, to pass judgment for Him. We see it on the news, on our social media feeds, in our homes. Sometimes—we see it in ourselves. Do we hate instruction? Do we bristle when someone corrects us? Do we disregard Scripture because we think it doesn’t apply to us? We could be as guilty of presumption—of wickedness—as those who slaughter children, who claim that the latest medical crisis is God’s anger at whatever group, who put pleasing themselves above any measure of right or wrong.

22 “Now consider this, you who forget God,
Lest I tear you in pieces,
And there be none to deliver:
23 Whoever offers praise glorifies Me;
And to him who orders his conduct aright
I will show the salvation of God.”

God’s anger is coming, make no mistake. But we still have time to get our lives in order. His mercy and grace are extended to those of us who are willing to offer our fallen, broken selves back to Him.

This is not just a one-time deal. It’s every day.

Sometimes, every moment.


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