..."and a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; evil minded people shall not travel on it, but it shall be for those wayfarers who are traveling toward God. (Isaiah 35:8, adapted)

Friday, June 20, 2008

A Grand View of God

Lately I have been thinking about God alot.
This is nothing new, but I've REALLY been
thinking. Pondering about why I believe
in God, and Who Is the God I believe in.
No, asking of Him, "Who are You?"; delving
into the Scriptures so that I might
believe correctly in Him.

Even saying "the God I believe in" reveals
a primal self-focused flaw. For He is far above
any conception I have of Him, far beyond
any current revelation I know of Him,
far beyond what my mind can take in of Him
and yet, amazingly, closer than a brother.

I am back to an ineffable name, a Name
too holy to speak, yet made flesh in
Jesus Christ. This quote by Walter Kaiser
crossed my desk, "great worship occurs
when there is a great view of God.

So I sit in my house, lay on my bed, walk along
the streets, read the scriptures, pray
in the tongues of men and angels, as a kind of
supra-cognitive awe begins to descend upon me.
I come once again to the foot of the Cross to look
at God.

If great worship occurs when there is a
great view of God then that judges our
current level of worship and our current
view of God. Worship starts with
a great view of God. It starts when I see
Him as He is and am struck dumb. It starts
when I see Him and there is so much of
Him that I cannot find myself. It starts with
His purposes in Christ for Israel and finishes with
His purposes in Israel at long last found and brought
home to Christ.

It starts when the wise men bow down before
the great God of the universe who has chosen
to become a baby in the Child Jesus. It starts
when we, in the dark night of our souls, press pass
our questions and confusion and go and
sit, as Job, before a God we know on paper,
but not in reality. It starts when we take
one look at all that is around us and
realize that it could not possibly occur
by chance. Despite the seemingly cruel acts
of life that befuddle and oppose, slinging
their dark arrows of alleged outrageous fortune--
a thunderous grace emerges, a grace so vehement,
and robust, that to see it, even for moment,
would melt our souls.

A great view of God is Jesus' view of God.
Without His aid, we cannot even get into
the cheap bleacher seats of the Kingdom
of heaven.

A great view of God civilizes us. For without
that view, we are mere barbarians, for no
matter how far technology and science can take us,
they cannot teach us how to act as divinely
created children of God, much less give
us the power to do so.

A great view of God lifts us up from
foolishness, illusion, and the folly of
worshipping a god of our own making.

A great view of God brings us to God's
holiness, front to back, side to side, up,
down, and sideways. It brings us to the heavy
glory of who God is, not merely
as felt Presence, but as a creative, fiery
Spirit who comes to bring a holy fire of
purifying transformation within us.

Isaiah sees God's holiness and is undone.
Peter sees Christ's command of the elements
and wants Christ to depart from him--his sense of
sinfulness making him so weak-kneed he has no
strength to flee himself. Can you imagine
if he, or you, or I, saw the whole picture?

Worship of idols dehumanizes the high calling
of man before God. Contrarily, a grand view of
God puts us first in the dust, as mere chaff
blowing in the wind. Yet, by transformational
grace, and a long obedience in a holy
direction, we are raised from the dust as
Sons and Daughters of the Holy and Living
God. God makes Himself into dust, and then
makes dust into a people worthy of Himself.

If worship is only about us, about our feelings,
our hopes and dreams, and even our highest
yearnings, it has failed to give us a grand
enough view of God. Grand worship decreases
us so that He is known and seen as All in All.

Grand worship is "bid me come" (Matthew 14:28).

Grand worship is "be it done to me according
to Your Word" (Luke 1:38).

Grand worship is "I have sinned against heaven
and in thy sight and am no more worthy to be
called thy son" (Luke 15:25).

Grand worship is the fear of the Lord (Luke 12:4,5).

Grand worship is the "things that are impossible
with men are possible with God (Luke 18:26).

Grand worship is "Lord, I am not worthy that
you should come under my roof"(Matthew 8:8,9).

Grand worship is pouring oneself out rather
than pouring one's words out(Matthew 26:7).

Grand worship is he that overcometh shall
inherit all things and I shall be his God
(Rev. 21:7).

Grand worship is "the kingdoms of this world
are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and
of his Christ; and he shall reign forever
and forever and the four and twenty elders,
which sat before God on their seats, fell
upon their faces and worshipped God"
(Rev. 11:16,17).

God, give us a grand view of Yourself. Pull
down everything that does not do You justice.
Show us our idols so that we might pull them
down to see You in Your Grand Glory.

God, give us a grand view of Yourself.

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