Our obedience is God's pleasure when it proves that God is our treasure. This is good news, because it means very simply that the command to obey is the command to be happy in God. The commandments of God are only as hard to obey as the promises of God are hard to believe. The Word of God is only as hard to obey as the beauty of God is hard to cherish.
In all of knowable reality, God is unique. He is knowable not like the multiplication table or the table of elements; he alone is knowable as the one totally in control of being known. He is not at the disposal of the human mind. He is known when he wills to be known. Yet he is known in and through created reality, which is known naturally. Therefore the glory of God is exalted most not when we know God apart from observation and reading and study, but when we know God as a result of his free and gracious self-revelation in and through our earnest observation of and meditation on his work and Word in history.
In reality, mankind is still metaphysically in God’s likeness, butGod’s image in mankind has been altered by sin. We can no longerduplicate or reflect God’s attitudes as we once could do. That is, we canno longer be holy as God is holy. Our morality has been altered and nolonger has the capability to duplicate or reflect God’s image. So what isthe answer? Can this image be repaired or made whole again? The answeris, YES!
We have often done well knowing the mind of God in our churches today. We have not done as well knowing His heart. We have largely become a church that pursues insights, principles, and theological concepts. No other church in history has had sounder theology or has known as much about God as many of our churches do today. However, we seem to know so little about His heart. Maybe this has troubled you, too. With all our insight, all our knowledge, all our information, and all our depth of theology, we seem to have so much difficulty functioning in the most basic Christian things, like personal holiness and loving people more than things. In our churches we are so easily hurt, and we hold on to those hurts for so long. We easily walk away from one another and quickly leave our churches when we experience disappointments and failures. There is often much judging and little compassion. Too many people remain alone in their pain.God desires to reveal His heart to us and to build His heart into us as we seek His face. Insight alone does not transform us; only the things that flow from the heart of God transform the lives of people. As God opens His heart to be known by us and as He builds His heart into us, His love will flow through us to those who are in desperate need of His forgiveness, His compassion, His healing, and His life.
Hunger for God compels us to seek the Lord. At times our desire for God overcomes our physical desires, and the ache for God is palpable. Throughout the Scriptures, God is faithful to reward those who search for him. Written during one of King David's low points, while living on the run in the wilderness, he cries, "Oh God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water." Though David hides in the wilderness, he doesn't stay there physically or spiritually. When we seek God with our whole hearts and souls, he promises to reveal himself to us." -Hungry for God
The God to whom I was introduced as a child was basically a Jewish one: male, fatherly, Anglo-European, bearded, angrily loving, judgmental, righteously indignant,mand frighteningly powerful, not to mention present everywhere and all-knowing. In trying to make sense of this God, man has continued to manufacture and manipulate images of this perceived deity. The images have changed over the centuries, based on the mood of the times. During kind times when harvests were abundant and peace reigned (admittedly rare in the ancient world), God was benevolent. When plpague and famine killed millions, God was portrayed as enraged and vengeful. To this day, this emotionally infantile God remains in power, a fear-based aberration produced by fevered imaginations, promoted by those who understand how such a deity can be used to gain and consolidate power over believers, and protected by flocks of billions who refuse to question their damning God for fear of their own damnation -- or out of an even greater immediate terror of social and cultural isolation. But I argue that it is PRECISELY this image of God -- an infantile, simplistic, ridiculous notion of the sublime power that underlies the world -- that is destroying civil religion, fueling the rage of the "angry atheist" movement, and pitting science against the spiritual at a time when we should be using every tool within reach to discover what it means to be human -- and divinely human at that.
God is not an alternative to science as an explanation, he is not to be understood merely as a God of the gaps, he is the ground of all explanation: it is his existence which gives rise to the very possibility of explanation, scientific or otherwise. It is important to stress this because influential authors such as Richard Dawkins will insist on conceiving of God as an explanatory alternative to science – an idea that is nowhere to be found in theological reflection of any depth. Dawkins is therefore tilting at a windmill - dismissing a concept of God that no serious thinker believes in anyway. Such activity is not necessarily to be regarded as a mark of intellectual sophistication.
The greatest joy is joy in God. This is plain from Psalm 16:11: "You [God] will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever." Fullness of joy and eternal joy cannot be improved. Nothing is fuller than full, and nothing is longer than eternal. And this joy is owing to the presence of God, not the accomplishments of man. Therefore, if God wants to love us infinitely and delight us fully and eternally, he must preserve for us the one thing that will satisfy us totally and eternally; namely, the presence and worth of his own glory. He alone is the source of full and lasting pleasure. Therefore, his commitment to uphold and display his glory is not vain, but virtuous. God is the one being for whom self-exaltation is an infinitely loving act. If he revealed himself to the proud and self-sufficient and not to the humble and dependent, he would belittle the very glory whose worth is the foundation of our joy. Therefore, God's pleasure in hiding this from "the wise and intelligent" and revealing it to "infants" is the pleasure of God in both his glory and our joy.
Whenever God thinks of you, he has your best interests in mind; he has plans to take you further, deeper, and higher than you ever dreamed. This process begins when you seek God and spend time with him. Look for every opportunity to know God. Consider your daily schedule. What does it include? A workout at the gym? A trip to the post office? A lunch hour? A commute? Look for ways to include God in your activities. Invite God to accompany you by talking together. Look for moments- even if it's only ten or twenty seconds- to steal away with him. God will reward your efforts as you reshape your inner life to be focused around him. As you seek God, you will find yourself abiding in him." -Hungry for God
Thank God I am not God! Thank God I am not God!