Friday, May 27, 2016

Behold Your God: When God is Big, I am Small

Did you know that what you think about God influences what you think about yourself? And what you think of God and yourself determines how you view sin and therefore salvation.  If we want to think rightly, Biblically, about each of these four areas, we have to start by thinking correctly about God.  If I see God as knowable, but limitless; approachable but Eternal and Infinite; full of love and mercy and grace, yet holy and just and righteous, where does that leave me?  If I search for God in the Scriptures and investigate all of his characteristics, how do I begin to see myself compared to Him?

A correct response would be to see myself as insignificant compared to God.  I am far from being like Him. I am frail. Sinful. Filled with darkness. Trapped by blindness. An enemy of God.

I begin to ponder my sin. If God is Holy--completely pure, without sin or flaw or darkness (and He is)--then what must He think of me in my sin? My sin is a thief of the glory I owe to God.  I am unable to approach him, to worship him, until my sin is dealt with. I need an earth shattering life change!  I need to be rescued because I am helpless here.

"Oh, the depth of the riches and the wisdom of God! How vast beyond all measure!" What Grace it is to be rescued from this life of sin and misery.  I have nothing to offer, nothing of substance. To realize that God's love extends towards me, His enemy, and offers to call me His Child? What a gift! Not a cheap gift either.  The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.  He became sin, who knew no sin that we might become His righteousness.  Jesus took on God's wrath, atoned for my sins, bearing my sins in His death.  Look what it took to get rid of this sin nastiness living in me!  Grace! Grace! God's Grace! Grace that is greater than all my sins!

So now? Hallelujah, praise be to God! I made my choice over 30 years ago to follow Christ, but it's taking me a lifetime to begin to get a grip on what really took place in my soul. Because He rescued me from darkness, I want to walk as far away as possible from sinful lifestyles.  Because He delivered me, I am full of gratitude.  Because I am now in God's light, I want to do what is acceptable to Him.  Genuine love now flows from this rescued girl.  How precious to me is Jesus, knowing who He is! Knowing what He did for me when I was a wretch! How could I choose to live any other way? The only kind of Christian I know how to be is the one who desires to know and obey God.

Modern day churches don't always get this right.  I don't always get this right!  We are so prone to focus in on ourselves, our needs, our wants, our way.  We fall prey to looking at the Bible for what we can get out of it, for what it says about me, when it is primarily a book about God!  We define God according to our own imagination, making Him into something so much lesser than He really is. When we start to elevate ourselves, God automatically becomes smaller, and our sins start to look like no big deal.  So what's the big deal about salvation if we don't think we're all that bad off?  Do you see how the spin takes off in the wrong direction?

How much greater our praise and worship will be when we acknowledge God in all His glory!  How much greater our adoration of our Savior when we humble ourselves low! As much as I love the singing time of worship, I am a Word girl. It's preaching that really stirs me up!  How much richer the music and more ready my soul to respond to God if the majority of our singing were after a Word from the Lord!  Some of the hymns of old got it right, such as this one by Isaac Watts:

Alas! and did my Savior bleed
And did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For sinners such as I?
[originally, For such a worm as I?]

At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!

Thy body slain, sweet Jesus, Thine—
And bathed in its own blood—
While the firm mark of wrath divine,
His Soul in anguish stood.

Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!

Well might the sun in darkness hide
And shut his glories in,
When Christ, the mighty Maker died,
For man the creature’s sin.

Thus might I hide my blushing face
While His dear cross appears,
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
And melt my eyes to tears.

But drops of grief can ne’er repay
The debt of love I owe:
Here, Lord, I give my self away
’Tis all that I can do.


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