Life from the rear-view mirror

Lessons from a dummy…. Vol 38

DummyStarting over at 58 has been an experience. New marriage, new job, new budget, new demands….more bills.

Adversity doesn’t play favorites. God walks with all of us down paths he allows…(maybe even chooses for us) to help us learn lessons and grow more like Him. Sometimes those lessons are hard and not easily learned and we find ourselves in patterns of adversity. (Nothing theological here…just my thoughts.) Kind of like in the movie Groundhog Day. We get to keep repeating the same dumb things until the light goes on.

Bill Murray finally got it….but sometimes we NEVER learn. Sometimes we never get out of the quicksand or we get out momentarily, and step right back into it. Do you ever feel that way? Are you like me at all? You know you’re in adversity. Maybe it’s a consequence of a bad decision. You make a course correction…you get out. All is well for a little while…then you choose to make a bad decision again and you’re right back in the quicksand.

The sad thing is when you know it’s happening, you can see the quicksand right ahead of you, and you step in it anyway.

The Bible talks about the person who suffers unjustly…I Peter 2:1 – 2:25. These people are commended…theirs is a good consequence. Conversely, when we choose to make poor or even bad decisions (which may even be sin) the consequences are not so good…even disasterous.

The scary thought for me is what is going to have to happen to break the pattern. How do I move from wanting to make decisions that provide instant gratification but continue a destructive pattern. I’m convinced that there is no other way but denial of self and intake of the Word to replace the unhealthy desires for things that can get in the way of my relationship with God first…and perhaps diminish the painful lessons of poor decision-making.

I’ll make you a promise…you pray for me…and I’ll pray for you!

Job 42:10 ESV /

And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.

Ephesians 6:18 ESV /

Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,

1 Timothy 2:1 ESV /

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,

James 5:16 ESV /

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

Concrete and steel… Vol 37

378273_10200570900728692_299940381_nI like talking about roads. I ride a motorcycle so the type of road and its location holds great interest. Twisties, sweepers…roads can be really cool.

The subject of roads can be a great metaphor too. An obvious metaphor perhaps… but a metaphor nonetheless. Mix an application in there with the metaphore and sometimes the application can get lost…even on the most seasoned traveler.

Roads can help our friends and loved ones find their way to us. But other roads lead the people we love and care about away from us…sometimes far away. You can drive very fast on some roads (or if you are like my buddy…you drive fast on ALL roads…)but barely crawl on others. Danger awaits around the corners on some roads while others offer amazing vistas.

Do you need to get from point A to B? There are roads that will get you there. Or…they can drop you off at a thousand points in between.  We like to name our roads. Some names bespeak the geography like Blue Ridge Mountain Parkway…while others like Farfrompoopen Rd (the only road to Constipation Ridge) is just..well… silly.

I usually associate roads with some kind of movement…like driving…or walking. But when you talk roads there is almost always a destination involved.

I remember hearing about a man who was talking to an evangelist after a revival meeting one night. The evangelist had been talking about Heaven and warning people about Hell. He said in his most convincing orator voice, “Listen friends… Jesus is THEE way THEE truth and THEE life (empahsis added) and NOOO man comes to the Father except by him.” Well… this man standing in front of the old evangelist took offense at that statement. He said “What do you mean Jesus is the only way” “Listen…If you’re going to Chicago you can get there a LOT of ways.” “You can take Interstate 90 or RT 55…maybe go along the lake on RT 14…heck there are lots of ways to get there…” he said with a smug expression on his face…feeling that he’d made his point. The old evangelist just smiled and said…”Friend…I’m not talking about how to get to Chicago”

Do you know where you are going?

Waah! Vol 36

I turned 58 on St Patrick’s day last month. I really expected to be in better shape than this. Truth be known I expected to be farther ahead in just about every area of my life. I wanted to be a better husband, better father, better son, better brother…I wanted to be better off financially…I wanted to be healthier and most of all…I wanted to be a better believer.

Tonight I’m discouraged…and my feet hurt…and I want one of Leah’s chocolate chip cookies, or maybe the rest of them. Circumstances have ganged up on me and I’m down in my office (or what’s left of it) sulking and writing or maybe writing and sulking. I can list about 30 things i need to do right now and I don’t want to do any of ’em. I’m stuck in neutral. I don’t feel like praying and there is so much to pray about. I just want to complain for a while and then go to bed….maybe tomorrow will be better.

Waah! 🙁

I seriously need to kick my butt.

Yeah go ahead…make fun of me…I bet you’ve been here too.

Will somebody read these verses to me in a voice that sounds like God?

Psalm 34:18 ESV / 2,163 helpful votes

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV / 1,657 helpful votes

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Psalm 147:3 ESV / 1,311 helpful votes

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Psalm 73:26 ESV / 1,094 helpful votes

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Revelation 21:4 ESV / 1,028 helpful votes

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

Isaiah 41:10 ESV / 809 helpful votes

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

1 Corinthians 13:7 ESV / 679 helpful votes

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

John 14:27 ESV / 589 helpful votes

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

Psalm 55:22 ESV / 550 helpful votes

Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.

2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV / 530 helpful votes

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

2 Corinthians 5:7 ESV / 504 helpful votes

For we walk by faith, not by sight.

Matthew 11:28-30 ESV / 426 helpful votes

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Hebrews 13:8 ESV / 425 helpful votes

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

John 14:13 ESV / 394 helpful votes

Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

Mark 11:23 ESV / 393 helpful votes

Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.

Hebrews 11:1 ESV / 372 helpful votes

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Proverbs 4:20-22 ESV / 368 helpful votes

My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh.

Romans 12:2 ESV / 366 helpful votes

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

1 Peter 2:24 ESV / 364 helpful votes

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

Philippians 4:13 ESV / 345 helpful votes

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Psalm 107:20 ESV / 343 helpful votes

He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction.

Psalm 41:4 ESV / 341 helpful votes

As for me, I said, “O Lord, be gracious to me; heal me, for I have sinned against you!”

Matthew 17:20 ESV / 330 helpful votes

He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”

Psalm 23:1-6 ESV / 320 helpful votes

A Psalm of David. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. …

Psalm 103:3 ESV / 313 helpful votes

Who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,

Romans 10:17 ESV / 305 helpful votes

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV / 303 helpful votes

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

 

dugz4 April 23, 2013 2 Comments Permalink

Where have the Preachers gone? Vol 35

We had a guest speaker at church today…someone I didn’t know…but at the same time…did know. Our church  is “tuned” to be culturally relevant. We are the “less is more” model…or are becoming that way. I get it, and for the most part support it. We don’t water down the gospel and are not apologetic of our theology. David’s sermons or “talks” as he calls them now are brilliantly communicated and very applicable. Yet this morning I enjoyed the “preaching.” Preaching is not a word that is thought well of these days.Kind of like being “Baptist.” In fact it would probably test negative in a focus group. Nonetheless, I do sometimes miss it.

This generation has some great communicators…but few great preachers. Few with the passion, depth and fire of a Dwight Moody, a Charles Spurgeon, or Billy Graham. These men were not only great communicators but great orators, preachers, men of God with a passion for souls that ignored cultural norms and simply did what God called them to do. They preached. I’m not saying they were any more or less effective than anyone else. It is not the man…he is only the vessel. It is and always will be God at work in the man, speaking as the Holy Spirit empowers him to proclaim the word of God.

Preaching in my mind is less complicated than trying to communicate. Preaching by definition is really just proclaiming. “Ow!…you stepped on my toe!” is a proclamation. It’s just plain truth. It doesn’t have to be tuned to an audience…if you heard that statement you’d know exactly what was being said without a story, a cute turn of a phrase, a supporting book, tee-shirt or a class on the anatomy of a toe and what makes it hurt when it’s stepped on. When we say “Jesus is Lord!” we are proclaiming a truth from Scripture. Scripture says that the Word will not come back void or without result. Sometimes I miss the simple preaching of the Word.  Line upon line…truth upon truth. Let it say what it says…proclaim it!

In the end, if it is to be effective, all the communication and all the preaching of the Word of God comes down to an offense. If we love people and believe that God wants us to accomplish the great commission in Matthew 28, then we must be willing to offend, Not because of our manner or style (we should never bore people…) but because the gospel IS offensive to people both far from God and parked close to the truth. The ultimate victory for the unbeliever is to be offended to the point that he or she realizes that we all are sinners…and that without a God authored change in our lives through Jesus Christ, we will go to an eternity without Christ in a place the Bible calls Hell when we die. “Really?” Yes…really. (John 3:16)

We have to make a conscious decision to trust the saving work Jesus Christ did on the cross, dying for the sin of the world and raising again the third day…defeating death and delivering hope to every person who would believe in Him.

Jesus said I am THE way, THE truth, THE life, No man comes to the Father except by me. That one statement crosses all cultural norms and boundaries. It is offensive to those who hold other beliefs that they think will get them their virgins or to Nirvana, Valhalla or some other afterlife . It is about as narrow thinking as one can get. It leaves no room for “but…” or “what about…” It is a statement that offers all the opportunity to come and be offended as I was some 43 years ago when I invited Jesus into my heart by prayer, to be my Savior, and my Lord. I have rarely been the Christian I could be…should be. But my life was changed in that offense. My eternal destination changed…,my life’s purpose changed. Jesus said behold I stand at the door and knock. If any man will open the door and let me in, I will come in and have fellowship (relationship) with him.

Knowing how big a sinner I am…one of the things I’m going to ask the Lord one day is why he loved me that much. I don’t understand it…but by faith I believe it. And it has changed me forever.

dugz4 April 22, 2013 1 Comment Permalink

In honor preferring one another… really? Vol 34

In honor preferring one another. I’ve heard that applied a lot to marriage and the way that a husband should treat his wife…but it’s a very narrow definition. I believe Paul meant this as a global admonition to put others before ourselves.

I don’t know about your family…but the concept has been falling on deaf ears in mine. If somebody didn’t leave a dirty dish out…far be it from them to pick it up and help the brother or sister who left it there. It is difficult enough to train them to pick up after themselves without a LOT of asking, pleading leaving notes, threatening and raw discipline. I was no better when I was a kid. I could not see the point. You want me to pick up something I didn’t leave out? How is that fair? How is that right? Why doesn’t Brian have to pick it up…he doesn’t pick up my stuff (and he didn’t either)

Sometimes “in honor loving one another” must go beyond reason and what we might consider to be fair because that’s what love does. It sacrifices for the good of another on purpose. I’m convinced that you can’t teach the “preferring one another” part. That is God instilled… and for the believer. You can show it action, demonstrate it…but it’s difficult to get it instilled because it’s counter-culture. The world continues to tell us that we’re the reason…everything revolves around us. But God shows us that the way up is down…that we should desire to be servants and let him raise us up if he chooses. That’s a mature concept. And one that not even mature believers do well with sometimes. But it’s the way to joy and contentment. It allows us to be in a position to be blessed..to be used…to show off God and his character. It is good for us to “in honor love one another” and like all things good for us, it is often a difficult pill to swallow…but the antidote to pride, selfishness and discontent.

So let’s happily swallow that pill and let God work on us and in us…even in our families today.

 

Philippians 2:13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what
pleases him.

Romans 12:10 Show family affection to one another with brotherly love. Outdo one another in showing honor.

 

You don’t like me? Vol 33

broken dougThere are people who don’t like me. I know that’s hard to believe, but it’s true. They may not like me for a variety of reasons. Maybe they don’t like my looks, maybe it’s my attitude, my jokes, maybe I kicked their cat one time….who knows?

So…do I get to not like them back? Maybe be unloving? Do I get to un-friend them and block them from my online social world with a “There…that’ll teach ’em!” Well…I guess that’s an option. But sheesh!

I’m living this out in my world right now and what I’m finding is that I seem to be more interested in righting a perceived wrong than I am in loving despite it. On my own I just want to “fix it.” I want to explain myself. I want to make this awkwardness go away. Surely if I’m allowed to pack enough words into a conversation…I can overwhelm them with reason that I’m worth liking. That this misunderstanding was a mistake. That I’m worth re-friending. C’mon!

Wow…as I process this whole thing I surprise myself yet again at how fragile I am sometimes…even as a believer. I’m surprised at just how thin my skin has become and how important it is to me for people to “like” me. I have tortured myself about “what I could have done for this to happen” and really set out to do the research to try and fix it. It didn’t work…it probably won’t work.

Here’s where I am today. I’ve decided that as much as it depends on me I’m going to live at peace with all men. That means that I apologize when I’ve offended someone. I let stuff go if I’ve been offended.  I freely forgive as I have been forgiven. I love even if I’m not loved back. And I enjoy and celebrate the relationships I have with all people. Those who do love and like me as well as those who don’t.

Live in love my friends. Don’t be easily offended. Forgive easily. Quit holding grudges. Don’t sweat the small stuff…cause it’s almost all small stuff in light of what Christ endured for us.

Luke 6:27
“But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you.” (KJV)

1 Peter 3:9
“Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it.”  (NLT)

1 Thessalonians 5:15 “See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.” (KJV)

2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” (ESV)

What we know… Vol 32

Kathy and I had a date night last night. When we walked in to the movie, the final suspect in the Boston bombings was still at large. By the time we finished the movie and had ordered our coffee…he was in custody. Justice.

A couple of days after the terrorist attack in Boston, my pastor updated his blog. As it turns out, there was a family in our church very near one of the blasts. They were badly injured. Massive leg injuries requiring multiple surgeries and a little boy who had to be totally sedated because of an apparent brain injury. It was shocking…it was very close to home for us at Northridge.

David’s post was in two parts. The first was “what we want to feel” when these things happen and the second, “what we know as believers.”

Initially I was offended. My response was “This is too soon. Give us some time to process this”…and… “Of course I know that stuff,  I’m a believer. I’ve walked with the Lord for over 40 years! C’mon man!  Most of us will get back to loving and forgiving and right thinking…but right now we’re tipping over the money changers tables. We’re scared, we’re angry and we just want to gather our families and loved ones.”

Yes, we know that this world belongs to Satan for now…and that bad things happen. Heck, bad things happen without terrorist bombs. (Bad things could happen if I spend too much money at Sears :))

I was a little surprised at my reaction to the blog. I ranted a little to my wife and a couple of close friends. But I began to think about what I would have told people I ministered to. How would I have comforted them through a senseless act like this. Where does the wisdom come from to deal with this kind of tragedy. Well …it comes from the Word. From God’s promise of revenge against the wicked one day. It comes from the bedrock of the faith that we cling to… that we say we’ve based our lives on.  Here is where our faith is tested..smack dab in the hard times.

Vince Lombardi used to begin each football season by holding up a football and proclaiming “Gentlemen…this is a football!” It wasn’t so much to make sure they could identify it on sight..but rather to instill with one sentence what that leather ball represented to that group of men.

My pastor was simply holding up God’s word and reminding us that we are believers and that as bad as this act was…God is still running things and we can trust Him with our feelings of rage, pain, anguish, disgust, despair , sorrow, bitterness, revenge. And maybe that what we know of God and his character that is true in our lives should temper those feelings. We can, and should allow the Holy Spirit to control us even when it’s hard and the acts against us are unimaginable, like Boston. Even when people  we know and love are suffering and dying for nothing they have done.

It’s not easy. Even though I know this is right, I’m still struggling. I’m not there yet. I may be taking the long way around to get back. I’m still concerned for my family…and now I’m expecting more of the same as we wind down to the end of what we know as life on this planet. We are going to see evil in many forms moving us, propelling us forward unrelentingly to Christ’s coming. But we have the promise of the WIN in the end. We ARE going to be bloodied and bruised. There ARE going to be times of disillusionment when we wonder “where is God in this?” We are going to lose some good people in this fight. But we ARE going to WIN in the end…and evil will be completely defeated forever. So hold on believer. Joy comes in the morning.

Romans 12:19, Psalms 30:5

dugz4 April 20, 2013 1 Comment Permalink

Apology from the author….I’m annoyed too!

I just discovered that WordPress is forcing advertising links into my blog.The blog is free after all and they have to have some way to support the site…but it’s really annoying and I will be changing providers. Just a quick update to all 4 of you who occasionally read this…

Doug Warner

If you don’t have it…you can’t give it away… Vol 31

surfaid-international301149723-jul-24-2012-600x400Someone once said you can’t give away what you don’t have yourself. It’s true…try it sometime. Wait until you’re good and mad…then try to cheer somebody up. Or maybe find a time when some friend has betrayed you and then try to encourage someone else. I guess It can be done…but it comes off as pretty disingenuous. So what? Why would anybody do that? They wouldn’t. And that’s the point.

In order to give away love, joy and peace you have to be loving, joyful and peaceful. Those things are fruit of the spirit. And there are more…forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. While we see these things in friends and family who don’t know the Lord, they are fully fleshed out as believers practice the one-another’s of scripture.There are a lot of them. They all count. They all build unity, they all help us become more like Jesus when they are practiced daily…as we clothe ourselves with the gospel of Christ…as we take on a servant’s heart and life. Honoring our master, our Savior.

How’s your serve?

“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
Colossians 3:17 ESV

“Submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
Ephesians 5:21 ESV


“But made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.”
Philippians 2:7 ESV

“For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves.”
Luke 22:27 ESV

Heaven…can you imagine? Vol 30

601508_466531570064943_532454639_nI don’t read as much as I should…or as much as I intend to. It’s a discipline thing. But JoAnna, my step-daughter, (who I love very much…)  gave me a book for my birthday that I’m plowing through. The book is called Heaven by Randy Alcorn. In the last 5 years, Heaven, the place, has become an important subject as some loved ones are there now. I love thinking about the people I will be reunited with in Heaven, even though my thoughts of heaven itself aren’t well formed.

I’ve perused a lot of the book…read a couple of reviews, but only gotten through the first 5  chapters so far. It’s a really interesting read…I can see why it’s very popular.

Here’s what I have discovered and am rediscovering as I read. It doesn’t matter what I think about heaven. First, it is where Jesus is so that is where I want to be. Second, it’s the place he’s prepared for those who know him. Hey…I know him! So there’s a place for me. I don’t care where that is. I know what my loved ones who are in heaven now, looked like when they were with me. I know we want to be able to picture heaven and Jesus in some way that will give us hope and comfort. I get that. But I’m not sure how we do that and stay true to scripture without opening the door to speculation and risky theology.

I have seen lots of illustrations of heavenly things and heavenly beings by artists. I’ll bet you have too. They have portrayed Christ in every body form, from effeminate to burly. I have seen illustrations of the new Jerusalem that are mostly just glowing and undefined. Jesus and God the Father are often portrayed as faceless light.  These illustrations aren’t necessarily malicious but rather the object someone’s kind thoughts and intentions. So I haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about what heaven will really be like. It’s not that I don’t long to go there… because I do. But i’m just not smart enough to make the jump from the physical to the spiritual in my grey matter.

This morning I read through most of the scriptures dealing with heaven, and though I still don’t know a lot…I do know a few things. Not intrinsically, but rather because God has it written down for me. For instance, I know I’m going to heaven because I trusted Christ as my Savior way back when I was 15. Jesus said “I am the way the truth and the life…no man gets to heaven accept by me.”   I also know heaven is going to be amazing because God said in I Corinthians 2:9 “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” I know there are no words in my vocabulary (or anyone elses) to describe heaven, that would do heaven justice. I know I can’t imagine what a spiritual place will be like because I have nothing to compare it to or to fuel my imagination other than…well…maybe Star Trek. Finally, I know there is a lot about heaven we won’t know until we get there. Just read Deuteronomy 29:29.

Judging by the lack of books about Heaven on the shelves, compared to other topics, I think that a lot of authors feel that there isn’t enough written about heaven in scripture to write a credible book. (OK…so I’m not sure that is totally true.) Nonetheless, one would think that if authors felt they could confidently and accurately write about heaven based on the authority of scripture, you’d see more written on the subject. But you don’t. That should tell you something.

Randy Alcorn holds a lot of beliefs that are nice, but risky theologically…maybe even undefensible…but definitely a stretch.  He believes I should be able to use my imagination in my efforts to accurately think about what heaven will be like. In fact, he states that God wants us to know what heaven is like. I’m OK with that statement until it relies on my imagination. When you think that Randy has written a book of 560 pages based on less than a page of scriptural bedrock…you can tell that he has had to excercise his imagination a bit to get that much information out of so little resource. He is either brilliant beyond belief or a gifted imagineer. (if that’s a word) 

I’ve always been a proponent of taking scripture no farther than where God does. When God stops speaking about a topic in scripture…so do I. I think that’s logical, safe..and responsible. God has told us what he wants us to know rather plainly in scripture with the exception of Revelation. Yes there is a component of “study to show yourselves approved unto God” but in that statement it is implied that the study of the Word will lead us to right understanding…not to a place of having to use our imagination to get there. For us as finite beings to have any kind of thought that could come close to describing what an Almighty, Omnipotent, Omnipresent, All-Loving, Eternal God has prepared for us is arrogant at best and delusional at worst…at least in my thinking.

But here’s the real crux of the matter. I believe that God wants us to be absolutely ecstatic to be with Him where He is when we die. The fact that he is in heaven makes heaven an extremely desirable destination… far beyond the amazing details of the place. That’s not well-said, but I hope you understand what I mean.  Even if heaven were floating on clouds with harps and halos as some mistakenly think, I believe that simply being in God’s presence would make that the most amazing eternal existence we could possibly hope for.

We as humans are limited in two ways. (at least by my thinking which is totally flawed at best :)) We are limited by our understanding and, we are limited in our understanding. What do I mean? Our intellect in and of itself is finite, which limits our ability to understand many earthly things (like algebra and trigonometry 🙂 ) …then… the resources that our mind can access about the spiritual realm is limited to us by God and what he has revealed in his word.  Granted, we may be only using a small part of our brain power as some think…(some smaller than others…) but from all I’ve read, and from my own meager understanding… it tells me that on Einstein’s best day..he still couldn’t understand that which God said was not understandable.  One day we won’t have these limitations…like when we’re in heaven!

So…can we only get excited about Heaven if it in some way compares to the best stuff we can think up? I don’t know about you…but my “thinker” stops pretty far short of God’s capabilities to impress…unless you count Star Trek (and please don’t)  If that really is the case, perhaps we need to spend a few more brain cycles exercising our limited understanding as it pertains to the love of God and His work of creation, redemption and salvation… and beyond that…what a life completely dedicated to living for him and enjoying him looks like. But that’s probably just me.

So that leaves me in a position to trust God and let the Holy Spirit guide me through the hard patches of scripture and lofty spiritual mysteries,(knowing I may not be able to understand them)… to a landing pad of his revealed truth. This is not a bad place to be. God has made plain the things he wants us to have clarity about. And the other things? Well… as the old song says…”We’ll understand it better by and by.”  I’m OK with that.

 

 

dugz4 April 12, 2013 1 Comment Permalink