Our DRASTIC God
This morning as I gathered my equipment for my quiet time, (pen, notepad, Bible, devotional book), I suddenly realized that there are only two things that are essential for an effective time with the Lord. Two things.
1. ME (YOU)
The astounding thing about this simple realization is that there is never an excuse for anyone not to spend time with the Lord, at His feet, like Mary. We have ourselves (for better or worse); and God is always with us. No matter how busy we are, we can stop at any time and spend at least a few moments with the Savior. This is not an ideal way to expect change in your life, for that requires intention, purposeful listening, studying the Word. But, at its essence, you have yourself, and you can put yourself in a position to seek God. (ie., on your knees, or butt in chair.) Silence around you helps (immensely).
The thing is, some people seem to think that if God is real, (and worth my time) then He'll have to do something to prove it to me. Send a lightning bolt. Invade my mind forcibly, or do SOMETHING really drastic because they are just not convinced He is there, ready to hear them.
Let's review the facts: God has already DRASTICALLY, ONCE FOR ALL TIME, taken these steps:
1. He CREATED this huge, amazing, intricate, beautiful, unfathomable world. The earth and all that is in it is a drastic proof of His existence.
2. He ENTERED His creation in the most vulnerable way possible to experience it as we do--"in every way tempted"--He was born through a VIRGIN (how's that for drastic?), became a wriggling, wrinkled, squalling infant: Very man and very God! I mean, that's drastic, folks! [All you software developers and game creators, it's like you turning yourself into pages of code, a piece of software, so that you could enter the cyberworld as a genuine part of it--putting yourself in the midst of the rest of that code--smack dab in the middle of it--(sort of; there's no perfect analogy to this single, drastic action that God took, because it was SO singular, SO unprecendented, SO compassionate--SO gosh darn DRASTIC--that nothing can fully compare to it in all the world!]
3. This next drastic action requires a small story: The gospels tell of a rich man who daily walked past a poor beggar, paying him little heed. He was too busy with his successful business, thinking of ways to manage his wealth (think: investments, new bank accounts). (Luke 16:20-25)
When he dies suddenly and unexpectedly, and finds himself in a terrible, torturous place, he begs for the poor beggar (named Lazarus) who he sees (surprise!) in the "bosom of Abraham," a euphemism for heaven--to give him a drop of water to help his terrible thirst in that dry and hot place he is in; (thinks of his own needs first). Then, he begs Lazarus-- who is now the one in the enviable position--to return from the dead, go back to earth and to his brothers so that they won't end up in the same horrible place as he has.
This is perfectly understandable; having discovered that his whole life was wasted on erroneous principles of gain and pleasure, he doesn't want his brothers (who he KNOWS are doing the same thing) to end up with the same result. So again he calls to Lazarus the beggar to go and warn his brothers. If one returns from the dead, he says, they will listen! He thinks that returning from the dead would be so drastic that it will get the attention of his hedonist family.
But what does Lazarus tell him? For one thing, it's impossible for him to go back; he's receiving his reward, and there is no way to return to earth. Secondly, and this is the most interesting part, he points out that even if someone were to return from the dead, his family still wouldn't listen. Hmmm.
How does he know this?
He knows this because Jesus has already raised two people from the dead. The other Lazarus, from Bethany (a twist of irony, that this man, who WAS raised from the dead, DID go back, had the same name); And He raised the young man whose mother was weeping for him, an only child, and restored him to life. Did these resurrections make people listen? Some, but not most.
IF YOU RETURN FROM THE DEAD, the rich man says, THEY WILL BELIEVE.
Jesus returned from the dead. He is alive today. Millions of people all over the world attest to this, and I am one of them. He changed my life, and continues to change me as I submit to Him.
You want a God who does DRASTIC things to show you He is real?
You got it!
The question is what are you gonna do about it?
Jesus entered the world of his creation by becoming like you, and then dying for you (through the drastically cruel method of crucifixion) and was raised from the dead. He lives again. These facts, my friend, are drastic.
Now, what will you do with this man/God named Jesus?