Preparing these devotions has been cathartic in some way. I’m sorry that you were a spectator to my catharsis but also to my wrestling for understanding, my quest to get rid of the bull, face down the real questions and look honestly in the mirror, and walk towards Truth in all its Glory. I remember years ago the statement, “seek significance, not success.” We know so many great slogans and quotes. Oh, how I’ve desired to be more significant and be a better person. To love my wife and love my boys, to model Christ, and to lead with His humility and grace.
This “Rona” has forced me to take stock and look in as well as out. I can count my many blessings. I see His goodness in my life. I see His provision and protection. I see His faithfulness all the days of my life, yet when I look honestly at myself, I cannot lift my head. How do I in the face of such profound Goodness, and Majesty, and Holiness, continue in being the boss of my life ensuring my selfish needs are met. It’s appalling that I regard myself better than those Christians.
When I go back to the beginning and ponder again the specific and purposeful creation of man by God, I marvel, because He knew Adam would choose to ‘dethrone’ his Creator. How is it that this Almighty God could tolerate such unspeakable effrontery, by such a puny human? Then to play hide and seek with the two of them and ask polite questions as if He does not know, and then to hear how they shift the blame so as not to take accountability for their coup d’état (Gen 3). And so, God spells out for them the consequences of their choices. The horror is that the consequences go far beyond just them but to all of the created order. The most devastating consequence is the separation from their Creator. Sometimes we only truly understand a thing’s value when we no longer have it or have broken something through our own selfish wilfulness. Trust is easily lost, yet sorely gained.
I know how I would have reacted to Adam and Eve if I were God. That says a whole lot about me unfortunately. But He is Good. He is Just. He is Righteous. He is Love. In the midst of declaring the consequences he makes a promise to restore (3:15) and meets them in their sin by covering up their nakedness (3:21) and establishing them outside the garden. And so begins the journey of a God, a Father, who pursues His children, at great cost and humiliation, forgiving over and over again, when He could just destroy. It must say something about how highly He regards us. So, in Genesis 3 we have the first declaration by God that He will restore us. Already as early as this God promised to make a way back for us. This promise foreshadows the many actions and promises God makes that He will save us and restore us so that again we may have unfettered access relationally to our Creator.
The Bible, both Old and New Testaments, are such a raw and honest account of man’s life in rebellion to his Creator and the numerous actions taken by God to show Himself their Saviour and Him being worthy of their love and worship; yet man’s record is dismal in all his grandstanding and selfish aggrandising.
In the person of Jesus, we see this same Creator God taking on human form, living our life yet without sinning, and with full knowledge again allows puny man to rise up and ‘conquer’ his Creator, His Messiah. Man, again attempting to stamp his autonomy once and for all on this matter, that he will not bow the heart and the knee to his Creator. And still He says, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” (Lk 23:34).
I am that man. I threw the stones, I shouted crucify Him, I continually seek autonomy from Him. He continues to pursue me because He loves me.
When I consider all my sin I am appalled and ashamed. How can this God want me? How can He still want me? Only His truth brings me hope. Romans 5:8 says that “God demonstrates His love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” This truth is expressed in numerous ways and in that remarkable and mysterious event etched in history, the Justice and Love of God are beautifully met. The debt of my sin is met fulfilling justice and God can now love me as I am covered with the righteousness of His Son Jesus. I am now alive in Him and a new creation with the life forfeited in Eden restored to me. My shame is gone. I lift my head to Him and can enter His presence as a child enters the presence of his father.
This journey back and in has caused me to affirm again the unshakable truth and foundation that is my life in God. I am not what I was nor what I hope to be, but with renewed relationship in the God who is there and is not silent, I will again determine that today I will walk by the Spirit. Thank You, Jesus, for being this God, this Father, this Friend; that you see me and love me knowing my struggle to love You and to be faithful to You; that You will not forget Your promise. You call me son.
Always open for a chat.