Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sovereignty Series - Reality Check


I hope you enjoyed that. For some reason I can't size it properly, but I think you got the picture...

As I begin this new series, I have to start here. There is a truth about God that if we don't get it, then we will not have the solid foundation that is necessary to study a theology as deep as sovereignty and election. So here it is:

God is not human.

Let me put it another way:

He's different from us.

How about I quote some scripture?

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," declares the Lord. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8,9

There has to be an understanding between God and man that God has a greater mind than the mind of man. I posted this video as a visual of how high the heavens are...indescribable, really. And the fact that God uses the height of the heavens as a comparison of the difference between His mind and ours is pretty humbling, to say the least. When these words were penned, there was no Hubble telescope either, but I think His readers got the point.

To quote Steven Curtis Chapman, "God is God and I am not."

This has to be our foundation, because there are things in God's Word that we simply cannot fully wrap our minds around. For example, God is One but He exists in three Persons. How exactly does that work? I know, I know, the egg illustration - but for some reason, that illustration is still lacking a bit.

We have to accept the fact that there are going to be things in God's Word that reveal to us the character of a Holy God - things that He wants us to know about Him - that are contrary to what we see around us. For example, the world says Big Bang and evolution, and the Bible says the very Word of God. The world says divorce is the solution and God says divorce is the last option. The world says some men are just born that way and the Bible says men will leave their intended creation as an act of rebellion, not nature. The world says everything exists as it always has and the Bible says that with 40 days of deluge, God destroyed the world.

And then there are things that will disturb our sense of justice - like when God instructed Joshua to enter the land and kill all the inhabitants - women and children included. Or when God declares that the sins of the unfaithful father will be visited on the children to the third and fourth generation. Or when God looks at people who claim to have cast demons out in His name, and says, Depart from Me - I never knew you. Or when God commanded a humble prophet to marry a prostitute who had no concept of the word "faithfulness" and expected him to be a father to her customer's children, let alone repeatedly buy her back for himself. Or when God warns that whoever follows Him will be hated and persecuted. Or when God calls Lot "righteous." Or when David commits murder but God calls him a "man after God's own heart." Or when...

Well, you get the picture.

There are things that are very, very difficult for us to understand. But He is God. He is Holy and we are not. So, by faith, we are called to accept what is difficult, knowing that "...for now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known..." (I Corinthians 13:12)

As we prepare to enter the deeply emotional discussion of sovereignty, let's start with the agreement that God is so much greater than our minds can possibly grasp, that it is our duty to walk by faith. Some things we may not like, but it is not our choice because we do not bear the title of "God." Because He alone is God, He is given the rule and authority to do as He pleases.

With that said, we must remember one more thing:

God is good.

Goodness, righteousness, and holiness come naturally to Him - so naturally, that He can do none other. So when we see things that God has done, we can have the confidence that His actions flow from His holy character. He is not a devious, spiteful god, who gets His kicks out of torturing innocent humans. No, He is loving, patient and merciful.

And just.

All these things must be held in account as we move forward, searching the scriptures for truth. Let's take what we read at face value, letting the context of the scripture validate our findings. And let us commit to accepting the answer to our question, what does the Bible say about that?

In closing, those of you who have created with the very words of your mouth any of the objects seen in the video are excused from this series. If not, however, then you need to stick around and see what comes next...


  1. Oh Kristen, I don't think we have any idea how much greater the difference is between us and God, but this sure helped to start to put it into perspective. Such a timely series as we began Ephesians yesterday and began looking at election... We don't have class on Father's Day so we pick it up again in two weeks, plenty of time for you to keep me inspired and pass along great things to my kids!

  2. Great intro, Kristen. Someone has been looking over my shoulder lately as I read your blogs. Seems the pictures you use are captivating. A challenge was given regarding salvation being all of God. The confusion revolves around man's response. Meaning man must do the work of reaching out to accept salvation. My understanding is that man doesn't even do any reaching unless God draws him. Am I missing something? Maybe Kathy can give her two cents worth with that opening in Ephesians, also.

  3. We're going to talk about that very thing in this series, me a favor, be patient and in a while, if I don't address it directly, remind me and I'll do it then...I understand the confusion, that's why I laid down this foundation and we'll see what scripture has to say about it...

  4. The wait will be worth it Laurie. I did post a couple of introductory thoughts on Ephesians at my blog...but I don't want to get ahead of Kristen.