March 5, 2013
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11: 6)
The truth is when I first came to faith and to the ministry I was struggling to know God. Providentially I had several spiritual heavyweights who mentored me to God. They shook things down for me into three basic and absolute propositions that made sense to me then and still do today.
Their first proposition was that God is there. I have not struggled with that proposition. I began by reflecting on the many, many ways God responds to the very many prayers I pray to Him there.
Their second proposition was that God is real. I found that when I related myself to God He responded by relating Himself to me. That inspired me to believe that He was not only there, He was very real when I related to Him and made personal contact with His divine presence.
When I found myself sharing with God the intimate dimensions of my personal, private and even secret life He responded to those prayers. I realized that I had come to believe in a personal God. That was the third proposition of my mentors: God is personal.
They wanted me to believe in and come to know a God who knew the numbers of hairs on my head. By the grace and providence of God I have come to know that personal God. I can believe Him when He tells me He has a plan for my life which when followed will make me a unique person distinct from every other living person.
Will you believe in the God who is there, real and personal?
October 28, 2012
“By faith Moses… esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt… looked to the reward.” (Hebrews 11: 23, 26)
No man has ever made a greater contribution to the work of God than Moses. He gave the people of God their freedom when they were not free. He gave them the one thing newly emancipated people need more than anything else: law and government. Spiritually, he gave them the Word of God and worship.
A famous spiritual heavyweight named Dwight L. Moody summarized the life of Moses this way: “He lived 120 years in three periods of 40 years. In the first 40 years he learned that he was nobody. In the second 40 years he learned that he was somebody. In the last 40 years of his life Moses and the whole world learned what God can do with somebody who has learned that he is nobody!”
Moses faced his greatest challenge when God called him to deliver God’s people from their awful slavery in Egypt. Moses had tried to do this on his own and failed, but God told him as He appeared in the burning bush: “You are not the deliverer. I am. You can’t deliver them but I can.” When the greatest miracle in the Old Testament happened God did not need to tell Moses: ”You didn’t do that. I did!”
Have you ever tried to be the conduit of God’s deliverance from the slavery of addiction or sin in the life of another person? When you do you simply must learn this definition of humility: you are not the deliverer. God is. You can’t deliver them but God can. And if deliverance happens God is the Deliverer.
July 26, 2012
“The LORD our God has secrets known to no one. We are not accountable for them, but we and our children are accountable forever for all that He has revealed to us that we may obey…” (Deuteronomy 29:29 NLT)
According to Moses, there are secrets God has determined to keep secret. (Perhaps these secrets are on a need to know basis.) However, the things God wants us to do, He has made very plain through His Word, especially the Living Word, His beloved Son. But, if God has willed to remain silent about His secrets, it would be pompous arrogance for us to say we can answer all the “why” questions regarding our suffering.
Where did we ever get the idea that we should expect to understand everything that happens to us? Where did we ever get the absurd notion that God owes us an explanation for everything He has done and is doing in our world and in our lives? If God gave us an explanation for everything and the answers to all of our “why” questions, the very essence of faith and the need for faith would be eliminated.
Almighty God has willed that without faith we cannot please Him, or come to Him (Hebrews 11:6). God is pleased when we echo these words of Job: “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” (Job 13:15 NKJV). In my own words, God is pleased when we come to Him in our crucibles of suffering and cry, “If you heal me, that’s all right. But, if you don’t heal me, that’s all right, too, because You are all right!”
Can you say you are all right because He is all right? Can you leave the secret things with Him?