The fear of God

Acknowledge Your Creator

Lewis, eyes to facts

It’s so funny to me to watch people live like they don’t need God –

It’s like a car refusing its engine, a house refusing its foundation, a big old baked potato without salt and a newborn baby who won’t have anything to do with milk.

It’s so funny to me to hear people rejecting Intelligent Design –

As if we could somehow stuff our food through our ears, and drink through our noses and use our eyes to walk the hallways, you know? When we hold the canvas, we call it a masterpiece. When HE holds our intricate cardiac systems in place–tirelessly assigning a well-ordered rhythmic tempo–supplying oxygen and nourishment to all the cells in our bodies (year-in; year-out) we call it, chance. Deep sigh!

It’s so funny to me to hear people denying the existence of God

It’s like a Corolla denying the existence of Toyota. It’s like Sprite denying the existence of Coca-Cola. It’s like the New England Patriots denying the existence of the NFL. And like the 4,000 diapers you changed and the teen who now denies your own existence.

Yeah! Totally absurd.  Our denying could never change that GOD (is)–any more than a child can diminish his mother’s existence no matter how much he may choose to exhaust himself in thousands of theories that disprove he once lived in a womb and born of a woman.

As the naval architect in charge of the plans for the ocean liner RMS Titanic, Thomas Andrews, Jr. found out–we will all soon find out, that this ship has hit an iceberg. And in only a short while, it is bound for the ocean’s floor. All the mathematical intelligence applied tirelessly to refute useless possibilities proved futile for Andrews–a “brilliant” architect who perished in the Atlantic along with more than fifteen hundred others on April 14th, 1912. He realized as all of us will (if we’re even that fortunate) that he only had one hour to reconcile the sum of his life. We are not masters of anything. We are created beings made in the image and likeness of a God who commands, and the sea obeys. Bow to HIM and you will stand up to anything!

Andrews’ body was never recovered. He was 39yrs old. This ship you should note–had been deemed unsinkable (“not even God could sink it” –they had boasted before the voyage) they were wrong!  Engineering arrogance. Academic haughtiness. Financial pride. Youthful vanity.

This is why so many died. Not enough lifeboats because they really did believe the ship was unsinkable. Remember your creator, in the days of your youth. In your smallness–acknowledge HIM. He desires to direct your path.

If you’re going to deny anyone—deny yourself! (Matthew 16:24-25)

“A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word ‘darkness‘ on the walls of his cell.” C.S. Lewis – The Problem of Paincropped-marlene-maina-signature-black-and-white-jji.png

Legacy

Unblessed

A Fading Glory

 Unblessed

Profound sadness gripped my soul as I read the disheartening account of the story in first Samuel Ch. 13.  The last verse (v22) reads…

So on the day of battle not a soldier with Saul and Jonathan had a sword or spear in hand; only Saul and his son Jonathan had a sword in hand.

Can you imagine how helpless you would feel facing your greatest battle with no defenses at all? And as the king leading a whole nation, can you picture the pressure and anxiety of not being able to protect your own people… their possessions, the children, elderly and most vulnerable? Can you imagine looking at your oldest son (the only other person with a sword in the entire nation; other than you)?  A son who is now looking up to you for military directives, knowing you are outnumbered, overpowered and don’t stand a chance to win the battle set in front of you?

For years and years, Israel had been oppressed, harassed and attacked by the Philistines and this day was no different. The Philistines had assembled to fight against Israel.  Their army consisted of 3,000 chariots, 6,000 charioteers, and soldiers as numerous as the sand on the seashore, while Israel, on the other hand, had 2 armed men and a dwindling army of 600 men whose counterparts had run off in fear to hide in caves, rocks, and thickets—some even crossing the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead.

Saul too was afraid.  His ONLY consolation was that Samuel was on his way.  The only problem, Samuel was late.  Samuel represented something BIGGER to Saul and the whole nation.  Samuel’s presence was as good as God’s presence in Israel.  He was the mouthpiece of God.  A prophet and a judge, a consecrated priest who God had appointed at a very young age to take the place of Eli and his (irreverent sons—Hophni and Phinehas).  If Samuel came, it was 99.9% likely God would deliver Israel with a miracle.  And oh’ how Israel needed a MIRACLE at that very moment.

Unfortunately, however, with more men dropping off the force, and Saul unable to contain his fear—he gives into the pressure and decides to do what Samuel alone was appointed to do.  He offers the sacrifice.  Desperate to seek the LORD’s favor, Saul offers the sacrifice (a sacred role reserved for God’s priests). But just as soon as Saul is finished offering the sacrifice, Samuel arrives. “What is this you have done? You have done a foolish thing” if Saul’s heart could sink any deeper—these were seriously not the words he needed at a time like this, but wait, there was more.

“You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time.  But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people because you have not kept the Lord’s command.”

What a sorrowful day for Saul.  Could things get any worse?

Can you think of a time when things were going so well, and God’s favor seemed to overtake you at every turn? You were thriving, you were flourishing, you were prosperous and secure—but then things began to fall apart.  Samuel leaves Saul and heads to Gilgal.  The Bible never even mentions his input into the current attack and war Saul was facing. I cannot even begin to imagine the despondency.  It’s one thing for a man to forsake you—but can you fathom God withdrawing His precious Spirit and presence from you?! I sure cannot.

Those who have tasted the grace and glory of God know O’ too well what a terrifying glimpse of life without that grace might look like. And like King David, we all shudder and cling to the dust–on our faces, earnestly groaning—Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me (Psalm 51:11).

With the aid of God, we are still at best dependent and unfit for His service.  So without His aid, we are undone, we are unblessed, and we have no chance to stand against the evil that seeks to hound and overwhelm us on every side.

Glory is seldom abruptly stripped from a life, family or nation.  It is usually a slow fade.  To lose sight of the greatness of our sin and wretchedness, the brutality and price of Calvary—the precious blood God shed for our own redemption and the magnitude of the debt of gratitude we owe to a gracious God for such a redemption–is to lose at every front.

Let us examine our ways o’ glorious ones!  If you have known peace, joy, hope, and a blessed flourishing life—then let us keep in step with the Spirit of God who has so richly blessed each one of us, lest our glory fade and we come to know our unblessed nakedness without the Spirit of the LIVING GOD!

That is why Israel is unable to stand against her enemies; they turn their backs and run because they have been made liable to destruction. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction (Joshua 7:12)

cropped-marlene-maina-signature-black-and-white-jji.png Marlene Maina | 9.8.17