Monday, July 25, 2011

Worship Who God Is, Not What God Does

“Then he was afraid, and he arose and ran for his life . . . he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, 'It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life.'" (1 Kings 19:3-4)

Excerpt from “Walking the Deserts of Life” – 2011-07-24
We must not put our trust in the wonders (miracles) of God more than we do God Himself. The Bible tells us that purpose of the miracles of God is to reveal the power of God. The miracles Jesus did while he was on earth were done to reveal that he was God. Jesus said: "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise” (John 5:19). While miracles are of God, they are not God. But there are times we worship miracles more than we worship God. Jesus knew that; that’s why he said to the crowd: "Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe" (John 4:48); “For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect” (Mark 13:22).

We worship wonders/miracles of God more than we worship God when we put our trust in what God can do for us more than simply who He is. We worship wonders/miracles when we get angry for God for not answering our prayers; when we expect He will bless us in spite of our disobedience or our lukewarm commitment to Him; when we complain ungratefully about our circumstances and situations in life; when we crave and love the blessings and gifts of God more than we crave and love God Himself. We must never forget that wonders/miracles are not God – God is God.

God does not always come through the way we would expect. God does not always work the same way. Joshua and God’s people discovered that as they entered and fought for the Promised Land. They took each city in a different way, and if they didn’t obey God’s instructions to “t” is cost them dearly. By the time Jericho rolled around, marching circles around the city, shouting and blowing horns didn’t seem so strange anymore. They were used to God doing new things in different ways. In Isaiah 55:8-9 God says: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither 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.” Jesus said: "Behold, I am making all things new" (Revelation 21:5). He also had his own mountaintop to valley experience. In Mark 1:11-13 we read that when Jesus was baptized God proclaimed: "’You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.’ The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan.” Driven into the wilderness to face temptation, Jesus was victorious not because of a miracle - but because God was with him. God did not tell Elijah to put his faith in the brook, the ravens, the flour, the oil, the altar, the stones, the fire, or in the thunderstorm. Like Elijah we are to trust in God alone.