Friday, June 26, 2009

IDK, my BFF Lord.

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name;
Bring an offering, and come before Him;
Worship the Lord in holy array.
-1 Chronicles 16:29

Have you ever sat and wondered at the amazement that God thought you worthy to die for? I don’t think I do often enough. This amazing sacrifice allows us to have such an intimate relationship that we can talk to Him, walk with Him, and spend every minute in His presence. He is my best friend and I love the fact that we can have that kind of relationship with Him. But then it hits me: My best friend is the Creator and Lord of the entire universe! I speak with Him, sing with Him, read with the King of Kings on a daily basis! Talk about wondrous love! This verse reminds me, however, that He is just that: Lord of Lords. Flipping through my prayer journal, I realized just how often I write “Lord” as a comfortable name for my savior. And while I am so grateful for the intimate relationship He made the way for, I don’t want “Lord” to become just another name. I want to remember that He is Lord and give Him the worship and honor and glory worth to Him just for being who He is. Before I even consider the fact that He is my savior and creator of everything, He is God and deserves more praise than I could ever possibly give Him. I don’t want to ever forget to “ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name” alone.

This Far

Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house that You have brought me this far?
-1 Chronicles 17:16b

Tonight as I was reading, I came across this passage in 1 Chronicles. David is King over Israel and has just brought the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. He erects a tent to house the ark and realizes that while he resides in a grand house built of wood, the house of the Lord is merely a tent, a collection of curtains. David declares that he will build a temple for the Lord. That night, however, the prophet Nathan hears a message from God that he is to deliver to King David: God does not want David to build the temple, but rather intends for David’s son, the next king, to do so. The following morning, Nathan delivers the news and the first thing David responds with is verse 16.
Although this story is also found a few chapters earlier in 2 Samuel 7 and I had read it a few months ago, it struck me in a very different way. Being the nostalgic that I am, I was thinking back on where I was a year ago. Getting ready to move away from home and go to college, I was excited to begin the next chapter of my life and start what I assumed was God’s perfect plan for my life. The summer before my junior year of high school I had felt called to ministry as a worship leader, so I declared myself a music major and was preparing myself for college life. I could not have even begun to image all the amazing things I was going to encounter over the next year, however.
If I could sum up my walk with God over the last year, it would simply be that He has showed me over and over again that His plan is infinitely better than my own. Like David, I was so excited to do the work I thought God intended for me. And like David, I was surprised to find that He had something different in mind. Although my plan was filled with the best intentions of serving Him, it had never even crossed my mind that God might have something entirely different. Although I still feel that full-time ministry is something God is calling me into after college, I really can’t say where he is going to lead me. I am only beginning to see Him shaping me and my life into what He intends me to be. I only hope I can be humbled like David when He does show me His plans and responds to them with the praise and worship he deserves. Like David, I sometimes can’t even believe that He would chose me to be his servant.

“This was a small thing in Your eyes, O God; but You have spoken of Your servant’s house for a great while to come, and have regarded me according to the standard of man of high degree, O Lord God.
What more can David still say to you concerning the honor bestowed on Your servant? For You know your servant”
-verse 17-18

I Once Was Blind

John 9 tells the story of Jesus returning the sight of a man who had been blind from birth. After briefly speaking with the man, Jesus covers his eyes with mud and instructs him to go wash it off in a nearby river. The man follows His instruction and soon realizes the wonder of what has happened to him. News travels fast in the village he calls home and it isn’t long before the Pharisees hear of the miracle and they are certain that Jesus is responsible for the miracle. They immediately, however become concerned with the fact that this healing has occurred on the Sabbath, when no work should be done. Thinking they can defame Jesus because He has broken the Law of Moses, they immediately find the man and bring him into the temple, pressing him with questions about his healer. Nonetheless, the man admits that he doesn’t know the identity of the man who healed them. Frustrated, the Pharisees discuss this, searching for answers from the man, sending him out of their presence, and even questioning his parents before calling him back into the temple a second time.

So a second time they called the man who had been blind, and said to him, “Give glory to God; we know that this man is a sinner.”
He then answered, “Whether He is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I do know, that though I was blind, how I see.”
-John 9:24-25

Wow! What an amazing picture of faith! This man knew nothing about Jesus before his remarkable encounter with Him. The saving power and grace was all he needed to know. He had been healed and Jesus was the one who had healed him. That Jesus was capable of bringing him the healing he so desperately desired was all he needed to know.

The man answered and said to them, “Well here is an amazing thing, that you do not know where He is from, and yet He opened my eyes.
We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does his will, He hears him.
Since the beginning of time it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind.
If this man were not from God, He could do nothing.”
-verses 30-33

For this man, it seems simple enough logic that Jesus must be the Son of God because of the miraculous work He has performed in him that day. But the Pharisees are so caught up in the little rules they are letting it get in the way of the amazing picture standing right before them. God is in their presence, and performing miracles no less! Despite their direct encounters with the Almighty Lord of Lords, they are not capable of seeing over their law books.
God, don’t let me get so caught up in the little details that don’t really matter and miss seeing the amazing work you are performing right before my eyes!