Thought for the Week - 16th JuneMark Rodgers
We live in a society where everywhere we look, the name and the character of God is being defamed. The portrayal of God in society is not an accurate representation of who He is. In the eyes of many, He’s either a monster, or He’s irrelevant. This is a lie. It’s a lie that began in the Garden of Eden and has perpetuated ever since.
In the book of Genesis, we read of a snake that came into the Garden of Eden. This snake was satan himself.
The bible teaches that where we have a misunderstanding of who God is, we misunderstand everything. Satan wants to mischaracterise and misrepresent Christ. He wants to misrepresent who God is to people both outside and inside the church.
If you were to hold a small coin in your hand and hold it up to the sky in front of your eye, you could actually use that small tiny coin to block out the 165,000 diameter sun. This is the very same terrifying illusion that satan uses. He wants us to believe that he is just as powerful as God.
We sometimes think of God fighting against satan, as though it’s on equal terms. But satan is a created being – he was an angel of light who rebelled against God. And anything created is, by its very nature, limited. God Himself made the angel. God is the all knowing, all wise, all powerful creator of the heavens and the earth. Even the highest heavens cannot contain God. He is immense! He cannot be contained.
There is a fight and there is a war against the devil and evil. The bible tells us the ultimate outcome is decided. God has already had the victory, and satan will be cast into the lake of fire forever.
In 2 Corinthians 2: 11 we are told we must not be ignorant of strategies and lies satan seeks to bring. We must be aware of his devices.
Unfortunately, so many believers are ignorant of his strategies and tactics. At the heart of his schemes is to defame and to mischaracterise who God is. If he can get us questioning God’s goodness and power, he has succeeded. If he can reduce who God truly is in our minds, he has succeeded. And if he can bring God down to a level more comfortable to us, he has succeeded.
The bigger view of God, the greater our view of God, the more confident and secure we become in who He is. He is the creator.
None of us can rustle up a mere blade of grass or piece of paper. We read that God spoke in the beginning. And as He spoke, things were created. That is the power of God! He is almighty. From nothing, came everything around us! He is the life giver and the sustainer.
Lift your gaze and begin to see the vastness of God!
I have an app where you can see the surface of the sun live. It burns at its surface at 5,000-6,000 degrees, and at its core 27 million degrees! You could fit more than 1.3 million earths into the sun – that’s how vast it is. If God had only created the earth and that immense ball of fire we call the sun, what an immense and incredible power! And that God is with you!
Imagine there was an angel that accompanied you wherever you went. A great celestial, powerful presence. Imagine that you could occasionally glimpse it. How would you walk into places, knowing that angel was with you? You’d walk into places praising God and superbly confident. Now imagine if two of those angels were with you, or four. Now, imagine you discovered that the creator of those angels was with you… this immense being who is God.
This God, this creator that made you, is with you. What intelligence, mind and wisdom was needed to create that immense sun. That is God. And yet, so often we want to reduce Him.
Sometimes we read the Bible wrong. We fail to grasp that the Bible is not really a book of the heroes of the faith. There is only one hero in the Bible – and that is God. The Bible is the autobiography of God, written as He interacts with human history. The Bible is about who God is and what He’s like. The main theme of the entire Bible is the Glory of God. He has been revealing, bringing forth and manifesting His Glory.
So often, when we read the Bible, we think it’s all about us. That we’re at the centre. Actually, it’s the opposite. God is at the centre. God is showing His magnificence and His Glory. God is Glorious.
At the beginning, why didn’t God simply say “be” and it was. Why is God unfolding and showcasing and displaying to us His magnificence? Because He is magnificent. God, in showcasing and displaying His magnificence, is doing nothing more or nothing less than showing us what He is, which is Glorious.
We need to move our focus from the art to the artist. In creation, God took something empty and fills it. Something formless and forms it. Genesis 1 is a picture of a masterpiece taking place by God. He is showing His Glory.
Why don’t we have just a few colours, handful of smells and one or two sounds? Why are there such beautiful and ornate creatures at the bottom of the ocean that could have never been seen? God’s not doing it for us in the first instant. He’s doing it because whatever He does is glorious. Whatever He does is beautiful. Because He is a beautiful, beautiful God.
When we begin to read the Bible and see His character, God is exactly the same. Sometimes we can can read selectively. We see a particular judgement of God in the Old Testament, but fail to see the backdrop of the grace of God and the mercy of God. The one thing satan tries to do is mischaracterise God. So often I meet people who say that God’s character changes from the Old Testament to the New Testament. The whole reason we’re so utterly secure is because we know He doesn’t change. He is God and He changes not. We can stake our lives on the fact He loves us.
The devil will try to mischaracterise God. The devil will try to reduce God so that He’s not too big, that He’s not almighty. He’ll try to distort what God is like and twist what God is like. He’ll try to paint picture that’s slightly off colour, so that as a Christian, the way you see God will affect how you see yourself.
So many people today are having what I would call an identity crisis. The reason is that, in the beginning, God created us to have fellowship with Him. If I was to tear a branch off a tree, that branch has died in its relationship with the tree. It is dying because it’s not connected to the life of the tree, and unless grafted back in, it’s state of death will be permanent. Our identity was always to be found in our relationship with God.
As we understand more clearly who He is, what He is truly like, all of His goodness, kindness and love. God is good… all the time. If we actually believe that, and get that one character of God in its right place, it means that whatever you go through, you have a God that loves you. He loves you. It’s not static. It’s a persistent, relentless pursuit of God for you! He found you, He rescued you, He loved you, He saved you, and He’s saving you.
There’s a snake in the garden trying to distort who God is and what God is like.
It’s important that we proclaim the truth as it’s in God’s Word. The truth about Jesus. Let’s not be ashamed. It’s the power of God, unto salvation for everyone who believes.
The purpose of humanity is to glorify God. As we glorify Him and lift Him up, we find tremendous enjoyment in our hearts.