Saturday, January 13, 2018

What creation can´t stop saying

The heavens are telling the glory of God (see Psalm 19:1). So, sunrises. Or what did the disciples mean at the beginning of John? “We beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten of the Father” (John 1:14). And my answer to both of those is the same. The sun points to the glory of God. The sunrise points to the glory of God. The sunrise, when it comes up in this town, is a parable of the glory of God, which you see with the spiritual eyes. And if you are a believer, you see it immediately.

The sun rises and your heart bursts with praise to God. You don’t say, “Praise the sun.” Your eyes go right up the ray into heaven to the Maker. And you know that in the age to come it says there will be no sun there, because the glory of God will be their sun and the Lamb will be the lamp (Revelation 21:23). You won’t need physical light anymore, because there will be another reality that makes these lamps and that sun look like a candle against the physical sun today — only ten million times more. So just know that there are complex issues in how our bodies, our ears, our eyes, all of our senses, relate to spiritual joy, and I have got a whole chapter called “How to Wield the World in the Fight for Joy,” — how to wield food, how to wield exercise, how to wield sunrises, how to wield poetry, how to wield music.

Those are all physical and not spiritual realities. But they all are used by God to mediate spiritual realities. And making that distinction and learning to see spiritual reality in and through God’s good creation, which can so easily become idols, is crucial. Music can become an idol in worship. The book of Scripture can become an idol rather than the meaning of Scripture, so that you put it on a nice shelf and dust it off, but its meaning means nothing to you. Anything can become an idol but God.

And so, we must learn to see spiritually. We are blind, and God has to come and give us light.


Waiting for God to Text Back

Impatience. It is easy to feel, especially on the Internet. Click a link, skim an article, and get to the point. Crawling Internet speeds, lagging download times, and long-form writing frustrate our efforts to speed-read and move on.
Our cravings for fast easily creep into our faith and into our churches. We pray and wait, pray and wait, wondering why God hasn’t texted back yet. We celebrate quick victories, immediate healings, and fast-answered prayers. True enough, the Spirit can move quickly. In a single, dramatic moment, the Spirit can intervene in an obvious conversion. In an instant, he can free someone from a besetting sin. In the book of Acts, the Spirit inspired the spontaneous sermons of Stephen and Peter.
But because the Holy Spirit is sovereign and free, his activity cannot be reduced to a single description. Though our fast-paced hearts celebrate God’s fast-moving deliverances, God does not value the things our world values. In fact, sometimes he displays his glory by moving slowly.
The same Spirit who inspired spontaneous sermons also inspired the crafted acrostic poems of the book of Lamentations. He has moved like rapids — quickly and vivaciously — and startling to see. But the Spirit also moves like a glacier — subtly and cumulatively — and sometimes so imperceptibly that the believer might be unaware of his work.
In fact, God has a particular glory that he displays by moving slowly.
God Questions the Come-Lately Idols
In Isaiah 41, God challenges idols to a contest. He dares them to “tell us what is to happen” in the future and “tell us the former things” (Isaiah 41:21–23). Why this emphasis on both former and future things?
Because the idols were not present at the beginning and they cannot determine what will happen in the end. Their idols are “less than nothing,” and foolish people who choose them over the living God are “an abomination” (Isaiah 41:24). These false gods can’t possibly have the same kind of perspective as our eternal, patient God.
God’s Slow-Motion Glory
By contrast, God was there from the beginning, and he was active. God declares that he had stirred Cyrus (Isaiah 44:28–45:1) to “trample on rulers as on mortar, as the potter treads clay” (Isaiah 41:25). And, unlike the come-lately idols, God “declared it from the beginning, that we might know, and beforehand, that we might say, ‘He is right’” (Isaiah 41:26).
By moving slowly, God demonstrates that he alone is God. Since no human being was alive for this entire arc of action, only God can receive the credit and glory. In other words, if the timeline for God’s activity were contained within our lifetime, we might be tempted to confuse God’s glorious accomplishments with our activity. Similarly, if God’s activity was contained within the boundaries or era of our country, we might confuse God’s glory with our national identity.
God protects his glory from human glory-thieves by revealing his purposes over several human lifetimes — beyond the rise and fall of individuals and countries.
Trust the Big Picture
We need to recognize that God has often used unpredictable ways to bring about his purposes in the world. He takes hundreds (and thousands!) of years to accomplish things. Why would he do anything different in our generation?
If we look at the immediate flurry of activity around us, we can become anxious. Things seem to be going terribly wrong. It is in these times that we must trust in God’s character and labor for his kingdom without seeing ourselves as indispensable. This will drive us to prayer, seeing ourselves as dependent on God rather than depending on ourselves for quick fixes. We must be steadfast and immovable — not frittering or frantic, but gentle, peaceful, and purposeful.
We need to develop eyes that can see God’s slow-motion activity, an appreciation for the ways that he works over generations. If we don’t, we will be unaware of his work in our lives and become easily discouraged. Even ungrateful.

Instead of chasing immediate, fast-moving, emotionally powerful experiences, consider the God who gloriously moves slowly. We are more likely to underestimate what God can do in a lifetime if we overestimate what he will do today. The impatient world thinks God is wasting his time, and so our time with him is wasted — and they could not be more wrong.


Happy new year

Bildergebnis für happy new year

An other move to success and growth in our lives, God willing!!!!!!!!!!!