Wednesday, July 23, 2014

As Opposed To

See, here's the problem and why it's so easy to believe God only in the destination: we've come to think that God and this world are diametrically opposed to one another.

But that's not truth.

Truth is that while this world may be opposed to God, God is not opposed to this world. For crying out loud, He created it! He created all of this for you, and created you for Him. The Lord doesn't need a heaven and an earth, but man does. The Lord doesn't need the sun and the moon and the stars, but man does. The Lord needs man; He needs a creation that can love Him. The heavens and the earth, the sun, the moon, the stars, even the mountains sing His praises but they cannot love Him. So He created you to love Him...and made this world for you.

And yes, sometimes, it feels like this world is standing in the way. It feels like this place can get between us and God. And it can. Sometimes, it's trying to. But not all the time. Sometimes, this world is just this world, neither malicious nor magnificent but simply as it is. Broken, sure. Burdensome, sometimes. Beautiful, absolutely.

The trouble with the world is that it knows too much. God infused this place with so much of His wisdom, and that's created a bit of a complex in a complex world. (See what I did there?) This world knows how to replicate itself. It knows how to make more flowers, more chickens, more mountains. It knows how its features form and on the tiniest of levels, it understands the intricacies of itself. Or so it seems. It is so drunk on its own knowledge, its understanding of itself, that it has forgotten to ask the question, 'How did I learn to do this?'

Where man cannot stop asking the question of how.

How things happen. How things matter. How we know the things we know. How the things we don't know are even possible. It is our questioning of 'how' that brings us back to God, to creation, to the Creator. The world long ago stopped asking this question, trusting in the wisdom it has been given to understand itself, and so it stands in opposition to God.

God does not, however, stand in opposition to the world. This world aggravates Him sometimes. Other times, it breaks His heart. Some days, I think it still awes Him. And though it never surprises Him, it certainly makes Him shake His head. But God is still using this world. He's using it to make you all that He intended you to be. All that He created in you. Your true nature, your very spirit, His spirit within you....these things come out in response to the world. So as hard as it may be some days, God uses this world. Not because He needs it, but because you do.

That's what the verse in Romans really means. But we know that God is working together all things for the good of those who love him. It is not, as some translations say, that all things work together for good. No, God is working all things together for good. He is taking this world and weaving it into your story like new threads, and as He says elsewhere in His Word, the more strands a cord has, the less likely it is to break. (He only mentions two- versus three-threaded cords, but you get the idea.)

Not only that, but He's taking you and weaving you into the world's story at the same time. Like new threads in creation. A new force of nature. A new sight to behold. Something that's going to mark the landscape, a new terrain. He's using this world for your spirit, but He is also using your spirit for this world.

Which is why when things of this world seem to come between us and God, seem to stand strong in the place between where we are and where He has called us, we can take heart. These are obstacles, maybe, but perhaps they are threads. These are new colors to be woven into our lives so we arrive at the place of God's calling strong and vibrant.

It may look, and even feel, like this world is doing everything it can to keep you from God, but the truth is that God is using this world to bring you to Him.

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