Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘heaven’

How Great is God

I like praying at night.

When I stand out on my porch and look up at the heavens, it just seems like God is so much closer.  I know that isn’t really true, but it sure feels that way.  There’s no noise, no distractions, no lights – just me and God.  It’s not that He can hear me better with the lights turned down low, or that there’s a lot less things going on that He has to pay attention to.  I think it has more to do with me being able to hear my own heart.

Looking up into the night sky, you can see all these stars!  Zillions of them!  How come there are so many stars? And why is the Universe so big?  Is just for us?  It sure seems like God went to a whole lot of trouble just for decoration.

But then I remember the Psalm that says, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork”.  He created them so we could see His glory.

Well, I’ll tell you, I, for one, am impressed.  That’s a lot of stars up there.  And to think God is bigger than all that.

I know from Physics that the energy released when you break chemical bonds is the same amount of energy it takes to put them together.   And if just splitting some of the atoms in a couple of rocks can blow up a whole city, think about how much power it took to create the Earth … and then look up at the sky.

When God says that He is All-Powerful, that just puts my little pea-brain into tilt.  I just can’t get a grip around that.  All Powerful.  Not this powerful, or that powerful – ALL Powerful.

How small is our faith!  Don’t we understand that He promises us that whatsoever we ask for in faith believing He will do for us?  Not only is it promise, but Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, died and shed blood to establish those promises.  Why is it we just can’t seem to get it?  If we did, we be standing out there with long grocery lists in our hand, rattling off everything we could think of.  But we don’t, do we?

Faith is a funny thing.  You can’t catch it in a bottle, you can’t put it in a box, you can’t study it in a textbook, and it’s not something you turn on like a light switch.  We have to seek for it with our hearts.  We have to pull ourselves out of the husk of this carnal flesh, and reach forth into the Spirit of God to grasp that substance of things hoped for.

The world does not understand that.  But our hearts do.  When we reach through that Door that He has provided for us and touch the hem of His garment, in our grasp we feel the evidence of things not seen.

How great is God!

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Hope

Oh God, where are you? Can you see me? Are you watching? Or are you busy paying attention to 7 billion other people who need you just as much, or actually much more, than I do?

Have you chosen to set yourself apart from us,  just far enough back so that we can almost touch you, but not so close that it would dissolve faith? Sometimes there are miracles; sometimes all the crying in the world cannot get you to move. Sometimes I can feel the Spirit so strong I feel like dancing; sometimes it feels like the heavens are brass and the door to your presence is slammed shut.  Sometimes you feel so close that I feel enveloped in you; sometimes you are so far away that I wonder if you are really there or not.

Belief in God has never been natural for me. The whole concept of God watching over us seemed so foreign to me that it was much easier to believe in the postulates of science than in the hopes of Heaven. Why would God do things this way? How come He doesn’t show Himself in the sky so we can all settle this debate once and for all?  He does, after all, want everybody to go to Heaven, right?  So where exactly is He?

And really, where is Heaven? Is it some far out place way out in the cosmos or buried in some other dimension?  How come it is way out there and we are down here?

We are immersed in the reality of this tangible world and it therefore captures our attention.  Sometimes it’s a lot easier to not believe than to believe, especially when you’re praying your guts out and it seems like God is deaf.   Heaven can only be hoped for, not seen.

But then there are those times when God reaches down and touches you.  Or heals some blind person. Or answers some prayer of yours that was just impossible.  Or reaches out and touches you in a place way down in your heart that even you didn’t know was there.

Sometimes He just acts like God, and it is unmistakably Him.  And then you know.

Read Full Post »

I read a chapter of Proverbs every day. Whatever today’s date is, that’s the chapter I read, and there’s always something in there for me that day. The one that stopped me today was Proverbs 16:4 –
The Lord hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.” 

Wow. What is that supposed to mean? There’s another scripture in Isaiah 45:7 that says, I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.”  There are some other Scriptures in the Bible that can really scramble your theologies about the nature of God if you stop and think about them.

Now, I’m not a genius but I’m smart enough to realize how stupid we are. There are a whole lot of things that I don’t think we will every grasp in their entirety until we get to the other side. As Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13, it is as if we are looking through a glass darkly – we can’t see clearly – but when we die we will see things the way they really are.  Isaiah said it even better when he said, And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations.” (Isaiah 25:7).  There is a veil over our eyes, a covering that keeps us from seeing things the way they really are in the scope of Eternity.

(Sigh) It seems like the more I learn, the less I understand.  But Voltaire once said that to know that you know what you know, and that you don’t know what you don’t know is wisdom.  Yeah, I get it. We really don’t know, do we. We just think we know.

But one thing I do know is that God is really real – not just as a theological idea or a point of belief or doctrine to be argued over, but real, as in more real than real. I’ve had a lot of supernatural experiences with God and I know a lot of other people that have also.  Maybe not everybody gets to hear God speak out of the heavens, but it does happen.  And it is not all that uncommon.  And then there are visions, instant healings, and other sorts of miracles.  I’ve seen this stuff with my own eyes.  And I have heard Him speak to me.  I would never have believed if I hadn’t.

But I get a little reticent when speaking about this stuff because a lot of people have not experienced things like that and I’m always afraid they will start looking at me narrowly if I mention them.  As if to say, “You know, he’s really a nice guy, but he’s just a little nuts.”   Sorry, but why should I be afraid to mention these things?  I mean, I didn’t do them to myself, and by golly, there’s a lot of other people that have had the same experiences, so why, as Paul once said, should it seem a thing incredible?  If God can raise the dead, why can’t He speak?

All I know is that God really is real.  He’s there.  And no, I don’t understand how or why God created evil … but He says He did, and that’s good enough for me.  It says in that same chapter of Proverbs that the highway of the upright is to depart from evil and that he that keeps his way preserves his soul.  I guess that’s all I really need to know.

And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding. (Job 28:28)

 

 

Read Full Post »

Everybody I know is going to Heaven. (Let me think for a minute … yep, everybody). From the Alpha+ personalities that charge ahead in their own self-righteousness to the casual believers who relax in their own languid reassurance that all is cool with the “Man Upstairs”. The only folks I know who say they’re not going to Heaven are the ones who don’t believe in Heaven anyway! Well, I guess that just makes everything convenient then. We can all relax and be raptured.
But somewhere there is a line.
If everybody is right, then nobody is wrong; and if everybody else is wrong, what makes you think you are right? Peter said that he knew and was sure that Jesus was the Christ. That’s all fine, but it’s not God who I am wondering about — I trust God. It’s me I don’t trust.
A guy named Howard Pitman had an experience years ago when he died in an ambulance and went up before God. God showed him the Day of Judgment where he saw billions of people going up before God to be judged. Multitudes were shot down into Hell like showers of sparks. Some souls went up to Heaven, but nowhere near as many as those who went to Hell. But every once in a while there would be one who would come up before God and there would be a pause … and then they would be shot down into Hell. He said that when he asked what that was, God replied that those were the self-righteous who thought they were supposed to go to Heaven and stood there justifying themselves to God.
It’s been years since I listened to that vision, but that one scene has never left me. It lines up with the admonition Jesus gave us of the broad and narrow paths. While we may all have our own perspective of what is required to get to Heaven, only one perspective matters – and that would His.
Let us be careful that we don’t walk so squeaky clean that we become Pharisees or so detached from righteousness that we think that going out and looking at the trees is a religious experience with God. Some will echo the old assertion of “I don’t smoke, and I don’t chew, and I don’t go with them that do”, all the while sitting completely stagnant in their lack of mercy for others. Others will float around in their spiritual effervescence, dispensing feel-good prophesies laced with love and sugar plums so that everyone will know they are loved but be clueless as to the holiness that God demands.
There is a walk in the Spirit that found in neither of these extremes nor anywhere between them. It is a completely different path, a different perspective, and an entirely different goal. It is a place of surrender before God where you no longer matter. It is being as porous as an open window so that the Spirit of God can pass through you to shower the true mercy of God on others. You will never gain that place in God through your own efforts or spirituality – only through surrender.

Read Full Post »