Sunday, September 21, 2008

Power and Goodness

One of the things I have harped on for the past year is what I consider to be the two most important things to know about God. The first thing to know is that God is powerful. That may seem a little trite but it is actually critical. We would not want to put our faith in a God who is not powerful. And if God is who He says that He is then He must be all powerful and more powerful than anything else in the universe. Furthermore, since He is all powerful then we can trust Him to do what He has promised to do.

The second thing to know about God is that he is good. Again it may seem that that is obvious and not much else to say. But it is the goodness of God which is so important. An all powerful God could be dangerous if He is not good or if His temperment is arbitrary and people would tend to shy away from Him. But because we know He is good always, we can run to Him with our problems, our hurts and our pains. We can run toward Him with our joys and triumphs. Now within the concept of goodness lies His love and grace and mercy and forgiveness, but it is essential that we really take this to heart. This is not a head thing, or a cute little diddie. It is the gospel - it is the goodness of God that was embodied in Jesus and resulted in the cross.

Oh and one more thing. It is in grace that these two things come together. Grace is the favor and blessing poured out on an undeserving people which is the goodness of God. But grace also is the power of God in us to do the will of God. In other words, He does not reserve His power for Himself but freely gives it to us. The key now is how we respond to that power and goodness.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sustaining Power

Over the past week I have been in a little bit of a funk. I think that part of it is coming off of the high from Uganda, then our family reunion and lastly the trip to New York. We were not made to live on mountaintops. There has been nothing really bad that has happened, and I have not been in any gross sin. I continue to do all of the things I usually do, but there is no spark there. I was listening to a pastor talking about miracles and how wonderful they are, but how they can never be truly sustaining. It does not take much of a review of the Bible to confirm this. Just look at the Israelites who witnessed the amazing events of the Passover and then the parting of the Red Sea, and within a month they were bowing down to a golden calf. Are we much different than them? So I asked myself, What does it take to sustain our faith? I am just beginning to explore this and here are my early thoughts. If any of you have thoughts, please let me know.

Since God is a person and not a thing or force, a sustaining relationship with Him involves the usual things that relationships need. The first is spending time with God - good quiet times and prayer. Secondly is spending time in the Word, not just leasurely reading but quality time of exploring this truth. Thirdly we must be obedient to the truth we have. Jesus said that he who loves me will obey my commands. But all of this I have been doing and still the well is dry. Why?

As I have been thinking about this and praying about it, I felt the Lord saying two things. The key to sustaining power of God in our lives first lies in the ability to hear God on a regular basis. This is something I am not very good at but am really trying to learn how to listen well and to distinguish His voice. The second key to this involves our purpose here on earth which is to worship God. If we are active in worshipping Him throughout the day then the power of God will infuse into our life. There is probably more but that is all I have right now.