This adulterous heart is breaking
And it’s foundation is shaking
I’ve been here before
I despise the person I am
For my conscience is on the lam
Only it’s worse this time
The match of the present way
Ignites the fuel of yesterday
My determination has left
Sorrow attempts an opening to pry
But I haven’t the strength to cry
I keep seeking a sign
Maybe someday the sun will shine
But for now, darkness is mine
Oh for the sign of Jonah
This adulterous heart is breaking
I was reading in the book of Job today (for those who you who know, I am reading the chronological Bible in a year). The passage that struck me as very important was 1:20-22…
“At [finding out his children had all just died], Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.’ In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.” (NIV)
For those of you who don’t know, me and Jessica broke up…So in some ways I may identify with Job. I’ve had things drastically changed in my life. Now, for people who have based themselves on things…when those things are removed, their viewpoint is really changed. But not Job. No. His viewpoint was based on God the whole time. So when stuff happened, HE STILL PRAISED GOD. He acknowledged God’s sovereignty, power, and praised Him. And note this very important part: “In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.”
How many of us, when bad things happen, blame it on God, or fall into old bad habits, or take it out on those around us? Is that how we are to show God’s love in our lives to others? Or is it rather by living out in our lives acknowledgment for His sovereignty? It doesn’t matter if God made it happen, let it happen, or what…Can’t you trust God to bring you through it, even if all that happens is that you die and go to heaven? “‘Though he slay me, yet will I hope in Him.'” (Job 13:15, NIV)
What our viewpoint is based on…Is it based on our circumstances or feelings or relationships? If so, when those things change (and they will), then our foundation, the basis for our whole outlook on life, will be completely different. But that’s not what God wants: He wants us to be founded on Him, and to rely on Him for everything. Including how we look at life. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will. For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.” (Romans 12:2-3, NIV) In other words, focus on God and His precepts and principles and character. Because God never changes (Heb. 13:8), so our foundation will never change. Everything else we can base ourselves on is from the world. And this world will be shaken: “[In the times of old] His voice shook the earth, but now He has promised, ‘Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.’ The words ‘once more’ indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.'”
Here’s my question to you (and to myself)…Are you blaming God for anything in your life? Even deeper…Have you based your viewpoint…your very self and soul on God or something else?
Will you be shaken?
I’ve started reading the Bible In A Year in the Chronological Order. Meaning, I’ll be reading the books/chapters of the Bible in the order that the events took place. This morning I read Gen. 8-11, and came across two things that struck me about God’s intelligence and wisdom and also about our own ingenuity…
Genesis 9:20 (NIV) says: “Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard.”
Out of all the professions in the world, a farmer, indeed, the son of a farmer (see Gen. 5:29), is pretty much the best you could do. In a few generations, with the bits and pieces of knowledge that Noah and his sons and all their wives had, they could put back together the human knowledge bank on medicine, building (after all, Noah had built the ark), and anything else they needed…But a farmer in cultures back then were the foundation of the society. If food wasn’t grown, it had to be foraged, which means you all became wanderers. Noah’s knowledge allowed him and his sons (who he doubtlessly taught his skills to) to choose where to settle. Pretty neat of God, eh?
Genesis 11:6 (NIV) says: “The LORD said, ‘If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.'”
Interesting how God says anything we put our minds to we could do. The study notes in my Bible say, “If the whole human race remained united in the proud attempt to take its destiny into its own hands and, by its man-centered efforts, to seize the reins of history, there would be no limit to its unrestrained rebellion against God. The kingdom of man would displace and exclude the kingdom of God.” The thought that struck me here was…Even though we do not at this point in time have a one world language, we do have global communication…The internet, online chat translator programs, and all sorts of things that make it easier and easier for us to “speak the same language” and to approach again the point where “nothing we plan will be impossible for us.” Scary huh? Makes me wonder if one of the requirements or signs of the end time is when we really start having a global language…
Anyways, those are just some of the thoughts I walked away from this morning’s Bible study with. Thoughts, ideas, questions?
If you haven’t yet, read this blog entry before continuing. It will explain a little.
“He who pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.” (Proverbs 21:21, NIV)
It’s been a bit hectic, as I have to change most of my habits and day routine to just read the Bible. And it has yet to happen at regular times, or in large amounts; but I think that it’s OK to start small.
Of all the things that I’ve read the last three days, the verse above, and the passage below are what stick out most to me.
I Peter 5:6-11, 1:3-9 (NIV)
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.”
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
I read these to my girlfriend yesterday morning when she was feeling stressed about something. And while it definitely helped her, I think it spoke to me as well. I don’t need to worry so much about things. Especially this committing to read only the Bible thing…If for some reason I miss a reading, I don’t think God would want me to stress out, but rather come to Him and just pray. I am protected by His power. :)
I am committing over the next 40 days to spend more time in the Word and in prayer. I’m choosing the number 40 because it is pretty significant in the Bible, and a lot of people went through periods of 40 in which God grew them.
Now what Bible study am I using to do this? None. I am going to read only the Word. NO extrabiblical works at all. No “Purpose Driven Life” or “My Utmost For His Highest” devotionals. I was looking for one to use and then thought, “That would be too easy. Wouldn’t it be more challenging, and helpful, to read only the Word?” Now, if I read an article on Relevant that’s not a big deal. But books and studies specifically meant to be used “along side” the Bible are out.
I don’t know where I’ll start, but I’ll start tonight. And I’ll try to post my thoughts along the way. Tho, if time constraints get in the way, I’ll obviously choose to read the Word and catch up on WordPress later. So we’ll see how this goes. :)
“Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” (II Peter 1:2, NIV)
What is the purpose of our lives? What is it that we were placed here to do? When I was younger, I was too engrossed in Eccl. 12:13-14 “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” (NIV) And more recently John 14:15, “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” (NIV)
Not that these two passages are wrong. After all, one was spoken by Jesus Himself, and elsewhere in the Bible we are told that God’s Word is never wrong (II Tim. 3:16-17). But that’s not the whole picture. Hardly at all. Rather, these two passages are more the MEANS to the end.
Duty. Obedience. Command. These are some strong words, that people sometimes use to bully or self-oppress, and at other times to legitimately call another out on their wrongs. But when it comes to the issue of “what is our purpose?” I have a feeling there is more to it then this…Like this is a part of it, but not the whole.
A lot of people might say getting into heaven is our goal. Well, a few chapters after Jesus told us to obey Him, He says this: ” ‘Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.’ ” (John 17:3, NIV) Most of the time you hear about eternal life, it’s paired with “asking Christ into your heart.” Now what does that mean? “Hey Jesus, can you come into my heart and crash a while?” What happens when you later decide to “slip up” and do some drinking or swearing? “Hey JC, can you cover your ears/leave the room a moment? You might not like this…” Tolerance. Bad stuff. “JC” doesn’t like that stuff. Remember, He called out people on tolerance. But in this passage, we get an idea of what it practically means to ask Jesus into our lives and how to get into heaven…And dare I say, our purpose?
“What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ…” (Phil. 3:8, NIV)
If we are to know Christ and God…why? Because He is SO much greater than ANYTHING! Nothing compares. Ever. Nor will anything ever compare. Nor has anything ever compared before. HE IS IT! God is the old, present, and new awesome. I AM THAT I AM is Who should rock our world. “This is what the LORD says: ‘Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,’ declares the LORD.” (Jer. 9:23.24, NIV) It’s not our new sneakers, our grades, the internship we just got into, or even our loved one’s accomplishments we should be proclaiming to the world…It’s God.
Back to what I knew when I was younger…Obedience and Duty are part of the means, the expression of this love towards God. But what does loving God mean? It means to know Him. All these passages point towards KNOWING HIM. A relationship. Obedience and Duty without love and a relationship are merely religious structures that fall apart when tested by the fire. No, it is a relationship with us the He desires for our lives, and for which He designed us. By obeying Him you can show Him you love Him…but to just obey Him to get into heaven, that shows you to be motivated wrongly.
“I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer. You are yourself the answer. Before your face questions die away. What other answer would suffice.” (C.S. Lewis, Til We Have Faces)
Knowing Him is the purpose of our lives. Nothing else compares. So, let us continue to get to know the Lord, “…until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” (Eph. 4:13, NIV) Amen.
I’m published! It’s an “Artist Spotlight” I did for The Christian Pulse on the CCM (Christian Contemporary Music) band VOTA. They got dance beats, love songs to God, and a heart for what they do. You should read it. :)
If our faith has cost us nothing…then what is it worth? After all, your faith is only worth as much as it costs you. Salvation is free…but faith is not.