Tuesday, December 6, 2011

He knew beforehand

He knew.

It’s as simple as that.  It’s as basic as that.  That idea permeates everything that God has done, is doing, and will do.  If Jesus died on the cross for our sins, he died because he knew that we would sin.  Given the fact that He died thousands of years ago for us, we today obviously hadn’t committed those sins yet.  If knew that we would sin, it wouldn’t be much of a stretch in our physical based minds to state that He also knew who would answer the call and who wouldn’t.  He knew who would turn their backs on His outstretched hand, and who would take up His burden.  How much more assurance do we need then, that when He promises us something, he already knew what we would do from the time that He told us to the time the promise comes to fulfillment.  I have been living for a while now knowing full well what God has promised me and what God has called me to do.  God has told me two things for sure.  These are things I know with the very core of my being that the words came from the lips of the Almighty Himself.  First, I would be reunited with my children in all the ways that my heart desires.  Secondly, that He has called me to be a minister of the Word.  When God calls someone to do something, it isn’t a matter of a polite invitation.  He is flat out telling me, “Dave, you are going to be a minister of my word.”  If He is telling me something that will happen, then it’s not a “If I play my cards right” kind of thing, it’s a “matter of fact” kind of thing.  He knew beforehand when he told me all the things that would come to pass. 

                It’s akin to telling Barack Obama at the age of ten that one day he would be the President of the United States.  If a ten year old Obama heard that, he wouldn’t be able to see or comprehend all the social and cultural events that would have to fall into place before that statement could become a reality.  Yet if I went back in time, knowing the outcome of events, I would be to say with not just confidence but also authority what would happen.  This is exactly what it is like when God tells us what He will give or do for us.  He’s already seen what will happen because He exists in the present, the past, and the future.  He’s already seen who will do what and where it will take place.  Therefore, when He tells us what will happen, when He says, “I promise this will happen”, it’s not a time to cross our fingers and hope for the best that God was right.  It’s a time to say thanks.  Thanks for telling us what the future holds.  Thanks for telling us where you want us and what will happen.  There are times when His voice is silent to us as far as the future is concerned, because it is in these times that He wants us to exercise our faith in His will and plan for our lives.  Time is the truest test of faith, and often times our own impatience is the enemy that threatens to beat down the shoring God has placed up in our souls against the ever present threat of flooding doubt and uncertainty.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The meaning of the title of my blog

My parents have always told me to just hang in there when it comes to all of the struggles that I go through in my life.  I have always joked with them that if I ever in the future write an auto-biography that I would call it "The Skin of My Teeth".  So there you go!

A beginning

                I am a Christian.  I am unapologetic about it.  I am unyielding in my faith in God.  I am unwavering in my trust in God.  I am a believer in the Word of God, every word of it, and I believe that though each person should be given the right to live their lives as they see fit with respect to the common good, I believe that in the end we will all be standing naked and transparent before the Living God of Creation and be forced to answer for our actions, words, thoughts, and intentions.
                I was talking to Dad the other day, and the Lord gave me a thought.  It was a very specific thought, so please bear with me as I struggle to put it into words.  God has two creations:  angels and humans.  He created the angelic realm first, but His most prized creation was Man.  God created the wonders of the physical universe and all the beauty it contains for the sake of Man and ultimately to glorify Himself.  He gave us the keys to this garden and has given us the control of the elements around us.  One of the things that make us so different from the angels is the ability to consciously make our own choice to seek out and follow God and His will.  That is what He prizes the most:  our willingly given love and adoration.  His wisdom is evident if you think about the biggest obstacle He placed in our path to realizing and accepting His love:  the confines of our physical world and the illusion of the vastness of our lives that exists in each and every one of our minds. 
                I think that we have all heard the expression at one time or another, “You have your whole life ahead of you.”  I would say that nine times out of ten that the intent is to relay to the other person that our lives are a large expanse of time, and that the issues that we deal with today are insignificant in comparison with the longevity our lives.  Time has a meaning, and it gives us a sense of permanence.  I believe that this is felt intimately to each of us within our own selves.  When confronted with a choice of servitude over self-gratification or a choice of delay over action, the decision is often very easy when using the perspective of a vast amount of time ahead of you.  I look back the past thirty years that I have been on this planet, and the oxymoron of time is apparent.  Looking back, time seems so fleeting, quick, and sneaky.  However, when I was young, looking forward to the years of my adulthood and untold potentials, everything seemed so vast and unimaginable.  Now compare that to the unfathomable expanse of eternity, and even the life of this earth, from beginning to end, is nothing but a drop in the bucket, a vapor in the wind.
                Our senses tell our minds how behave.  We see a cliff ahead and we stop.  We hear a joke, and we laugh.  We smell fresh cooking and we get hungry.  We feel the touch of our loved ones and we feel conduct ourselves on a daily basis.  All of these inputs are physical.  We feel a block of wood with our hands and determine it’s hard.  If that wood was in our way, our minds would access a lifetime of memories and sensations to arrive at the conclusion of the best way to get it out of our way.  These physical inputs also go into our emotional responses.  If one sees their spouse in a romantic and loving embrace with another person, it triggers an emotion.  These emotions also factor into who we are and how shape our world around us.  If that particular block of wood meant something special to someone we cared about we wouldn’t burn it or chop it up; we would either move it or move around it.  So given all these responses, it’s easy to see why it’s harder to believe in the physical world around us.  That’s why the concept of a universal and eternal world that we cannot see, touch, or hear is difficult for most of us to grasp.  In order to love God, to love and follow Him with all that is in us, we have to see past what we can see and peer into what we cannot. 
                I’ll give two examples.  The first is a man who is married to a woman and everyday lives the life of luxury and ease.  The only other way for him to live his life is alone in a life of poverty and struggle.  The second is the opposite:  a man who is married to a woman in a life of poverty and struggle.  The only other option for the second man is to live alone the life of luxury and ease.  Now I pose this question:  which is the truer testament to true love and adoration?  I believe the answer is the second man, just as I think that most of us would believe.
                I believe that is why God has put us in this physical world with all of the struggles, pain, and obstacles that we as Christians have to deal with every second of every day.  In the end, when I have finished my race on this Earth and I stand before my Creator naked and transparent, He wants me to be able to look Him in the eyes and say without coercion that I love Him with all my heart and I have overcome the obstacle that is the world we live in so I can live with Him in His house for all of eternity.
                Well, I am glad that I was able to put all of that into words.  Funny how thoughts seem so quick but to spell it all out, it takes a bit longer.   

Peace and blessings to all who read this from my Father in Heaven