Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sovereignty vs. Intimacy

Just a few thoughts have been on my mind lately. I’m reading A.W. Tozer’s book “The Knowledge of the Holy” and it has been challenging me since the moment I started it. I love being uncomfortable about what I believe…it makes me want to know more

But on a slightly separate note, I think about Easter…Good Friday. First let me explain to you my view on that. I feel like this Easter means so much more to me. For whatever reason, the cross feels real to me. Maybe its because I feel like I actually know the man that died for me. Let me put this in perspective. I think of someone like my dad. Some people don’t have good feelings when they think of their fathers, but I do. I think…what if my brothers and I really messed up. We did something really wrong and as a result my Dad had to suffer on a cross right in front of us. That rips me up. Seriously, think about that. Dwell on the thought for minute before you continue reading. Let it sink in. Someone who did nothing to deserve the punishment, yet did it willingly out of his love for me…for you. And to think that Jesus is even more perfect than my dad, loves me even more, and sacrificed even more. He gave it all FOR ME.

In Hebrews 12:2 it says “ Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who FOR THE JOY SET BEFORE HIM endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” My grandma and I were talking about this verse. “the joy set before him” what was the joy? I don’t think it was just the fact that he was returning to the father….I think it was the fact that he knew how many lives would be saved through his act of obedience. He had great anguish going into the crucifixion…but he did it knowing that his loss would be our gain. I think of all the missions trips I ‘ve been on, times when I’ve sacrificed money, or comfort to see others come to know the love of Jesus…and done it with great joy…and how that is NOTHING in comparison to the sacrifice of Jesus…but the joy was that much more. To think of the millions that have been snatched out of the hands of Hell. Jesus made my life worth something. Apart from him, my life has no meaning. He is the only good that is in me. I love being used to spread His name.

In a synopsis, those have been my significant thoughts regarding Easter….but back to my talk about Tozer. I think sometimes its easy to forget how far above us, God is. He is worthy of our worship. I think of how often our faith becomes about US. We want to worship God so we can feel His presence. We want our ministry to be as effective as possible, because we want to make a difference. Sometimes we do something wrong and we feel like we can’t go back into God’s presence right away because we are unworthy, or we’re not feeling it that day….but since when has worship had to do with YOU? We worship God, not because we feel like it…but because he is 100% worthy of every bit of honor we can bestow him. He doesn’t need to give us a thing. We don’t need to feel his presence. But we need to honor him because he is GOD. Not because of what he has or hasn’t done for us. And what an honor it is that God humbles himself to our level and draws us into himself. We are nothing in comparison to everything he IS. Its almost embarrassing to think that God listens to me whine all the time. Yet he loves it! He wants to hear my thoughts. He is so far above me and knows so much more than I can even comprehend, and yet he cares enough to see my thoughts.

How often do we feel like God has to prove something to us? Today I’ve been wrestling with the idea of faith. Is faith blind acceptance of what the Bible says is true? Does it show a lack of faith to question concepts? My grandma read me something from Oswald Chambers that talks about how often we expect those moments of inspiration that we receive from God to be the norm. How we expect that God will tell us exactly what we should do for every decision. How faith is believing even when we don’t hear anything. A commitment that is not dependent on consciousness of God’s active presence in our lives. This kind of makes me question. I believe that God speaks to man. I believe anyone can hear the active living word of God, and we can be conscious of his presence at all times. But why do some seem so content WAITING to know more about God. Trusting that eventually they will understand his nature, and know his thoughts….while some are in a constant pursuit to know NOW. Is one wrong? Is faith a marathon or a high dive? Is it both? What is right faith? I think there is significance in both. I think those that believe without seeing, without knowing, and without needing proof are rewarded. Think of Hebrews 11, and all those listed there. But then I think of the men in Acts who stepped out in faith on a regular basis. Both had faith…but Acts seems more instantaneous than the Old Testament. Did things change when Jesus came?

Where is the balance of knowing that God is absolutely sovereign and worthy of all our praise without any NEED to interact with us, and that desire to know God intimately and tangibly on a day to day basis? Both seem to be right…yet it almost seems like belief in one negates the other. But who am I to know?

I will keep seeking and questioning. I will dig until I find and I will sell all I have to buy that pearl of great price. I want to believe what is right. My heart longs to know more. If my longing is wrong, I will find what I must do. Almost seems like seeking is a lack of faith…but I feel like once I find what I’m looking for, I’ll stick with it…and try to find something else. :] Hmm…just thoughts that go through my head.

I’d love to hear some feedback. What do you wrestle with?

1 comment:

  1. Love your thoughts Rachel! When thinking about those two aspects of God I always think about how the bible says that dark and light are the same to him. Something that are opposites in our world are the same in his because he is that BIG. The same must go for him, what might seem like two opposing views aren't in light of how big he is. Oh to know him in his fullness eh?! Love you friend!