We had an evangelist speak at church yesterday whose ministry we have supported for some time. Since we are very near our nations capital, a number of civil war battle fields, and other historic sites, he takes groups on different tours to show them the faith heritage of our nation. We hear so much about the “separation of church and state”, and the government not endorsing religion, that we have gone to extremes. While not all of our founders were Christians they all acknowledged the Creator and our accountability to Him. It was never their intent to remove prayer, or the dependence upon God’s grace, from government sponsored functions. Maybe we need to pay a little more attention to our history than to modern secular trends.
Statistics still show that a very high percentage of people believe in God even in today’s secular world. It strikes me, then, that a question must be asked. So what? What real difference does that make? Do they do anything different because of it? Are their lives any different beyond some vague hope that …. well, all things happen for a reason, and will finally turn out for good? There is one verse in Psalm 100 that says, “Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.”(vs.3) God made us. We are His creation. Does that mean that the Creator has some right over the creation? And if so, are we accountable to Him? And if we have some accountability to God, should we not be seeking to learn more about who He is, and what He desires for us? I’m afraid, just to claim a belief in God is very shallow indeed. If we dare to look into our God and what He has done for mankind, then we are confronted by something even deeper, God’s claim upon us. “You are not your own; you were bought at a price.”(I Corinthians 6:19-20) Now I wonder what that means?
My wife has a small plaque by her desk that reads, “You were made by God and for God. Until you understand this life will make no sense.” It is a powerful statement, worthy of much thought. If God made us He had a good reason and purpose. We realize that we often get in the way of that purpose by our self-centered will, but He continues to work out His plan. And if He is working in life, then all of the unexplained events that we struggle over so much, are also used to work toward His purpose. This calls for turning our eyes toward Him, and learning to trust Him more completely. Our God is not absent, having created than gone His way. He is intimately involved with life, with all of our lives, working for His purpose and our best good. The more we understand this, the more life makes sense.
The cleanup has begun in the aftermath of hurricane Irene this past weekend. There were many preparations before the storm, and mass evacuations from coastal areas. Because of all the warnings there was a small loss of life. Yet, a few of the deaths were due to the foolishness of ignoring the warnings and trying to defy the storm. This is sad, but points again to the stubborn and foolish nature of some people. But this really is a characteristic in all of us to one degree or another. It is part of our sinful nature. There are warnings, or we might rather say guidance, throughout Holy Scripture of the best way for us to live. When we choose to ignore the plan of our Creator we find pain, heartache, and death. We may feel that some of the storm warnings were over reactions and unnecessary, but they were not. They were intended for our safety and well being. How much more should we heed the warnings of the one true God who made us.
Sometimes people play with the question, which came first the chicken or the egg? But there is another posed by Isaiah, can the pot say to the potter, he knows nothing?(29:16) The verse begins with the statement, “You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘He did not make me.'” Unfortunately, many really do throw this question up to the Lord. What right does God have to say I shouldn’t do this or that? Why should He tell me how I’m supposed to live? How dare He say that He is supposed to be first in my life? We go our merry way as if we made ourselves, and have to answer to no one. But God is our Father. He created us, and we are His. Because we are His creation He, alone, knows what is the best way for us to live, and in His love, He does want the best for us. So He gives us the commandments, and the Scriptures as our guide. And, by golly! the more we are willing to yield to His will, the more we find that He is right after all.