Far Be It From Me

Who am I to tell God what to do?

Well…

God does say to do that very thing. In Isaiah (45:11), He says to “command” Him concerning the works of His hands. It should be noted that the Hebrew verb translated “command” also connotes “conjoining”. Or, “helping” maybe? Interesting.

When Jesus said to ask what you will and it shall be done by His “Father in Heaven” (Matthew 18:21), look at it through the lens of the verse in Isaiah. If you want God to do something for you–and I hope I’m not being to forward–make sure beforehand that it’s not only in His power, but something that He’d actually do. Does this make sense?

“God, make the trees turn bright lavender during the Fall. You said! You said that I could have whatever I wanted and I want lavender foliage on all the deciduous trees in my neighborhood! Do it.” What, no “please”? I’m surprised, first of all, that someone so childish would be able to use the word ‘deciduous’ in a sentence correctly. And God rubs His chin. Is there something I’m missing here? Of course, John qualifies the whole process of petitioning God with “according to His will” (1 John 5:14). There you go. But this raises an interesting point. Are we using our imaginations to see God do the outrageous in our lifetime? Paltry. Paltry is the word for most people’s expectations of what God is able to do. And, yes, God is able to make the trees turn whatever color you want. Of course, He’d have to work around all of the reasons that leaves turn the colors they do. I think it has something to do with photosynthesis and the color spectrum. I don’t really know. But even if God did something so cool as that, what are we willing to give Him in return?

Consider this more practical request: “God, make me rich. Please and thank-You.” Now that’s something I can believe for. But wait. Again with the qualifiers. In Deuteronomy (8:18), there’s a very incisive caveat. It says that God will give you wealth “to establish His covenant”. In other words, you can’t just accrue wealth then do whatever you want with it. It doesn’t work that way.

Here’s another side of the coin.

Jesus came to this earth to die for man’s sin. His sole mission in life. Actually, with reference to the first side, I would say his sole mission was to please His Father, culminating in His death and resurrection. “I only do those things that please the Father” (John 8:29). And upon dying: “it is finished” (John 19:30).

Think of the feeling of invincibility that the disciples had when they were with Jesus. I’m sure they felt they could do anything. But all that power comes with a price. Jesus paid that ultimate price. And thank God He is risen. But with all that was riding on His sacrifice, Peter asked Him (told Him, really) not to die (see Matthew 16:22). That’s one request He was unwilling to grant.

“That which thou sowest is not quickened (brought to life) except it die:” (1 Corinthians 15:36)

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6 thoughts on “Far Be It From Me

  1. According to prevailing air quality meteorologists sometimes put numbers to the range of miles that one can see with relative clarity on a given day. Whether with the eye’s fleshy orb, or with the mind’s eyes the things that we can see with relative clarity has a range. What we perceive to be possible or impossible is overwhelmingly colored by the prevailing conditions of our human limitations; general understanding being, we see with man’s eyes that are different from God’s eyes. There is a subtle overtone in your line of query that suggests sentient activities at two distinct points in real time and space; one being God and the other man. By this what is appreciated for granted, is God on one side of a fence, and man on the other side is asking or directing God to do something.

    What if you changed things up a little; place them both on the same side of that fence, then go a little further….have them not even be separate, but united as one sentient being having two aspects; they share the same mind now, that govern the avatar of a human body. The shared mind is where our new identity grows out of the word…not the letters but the person who is the Word. This recalls Isaiah’s mention of looking to the rock from which we were chipped (chip off the old rock). What if in Christ that chip were restored seamless to the rock as at the first, before there was any severance; so it were one solid rock, no longer chipped. We are the visible image of the invisible God.

    In Christ we are subsumed into God’s vast immeasurable entity, gaining access to his measureless reach so that all things become possible with us in him. Now when we look, we see out of God’s eyes with unlimited visibility. Isaiah 46:1—To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be like: (as he is, so are we). Isaiah 40:18— 18 To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him? (He is to be compared to his image…that’s why we have mirrors, we want to see what we are like: we are God’s mirror “image” as his word is our mirror for comparison). We often think of what God is going to do in terms of we being separate from him. If we can overcome that crisis of identity via transformation we would see where as with Adam when God brought what he had created to Adam to see what he would called them, and received Adam’s council, because in Christ we have a shared mind, God seeks our council, and would have no problem with it.

  2. This is my exact problem with the church and most Christians (including myself now, although earlier this year, I saw God as able to accomplish anything. I know he still can, but my faith has waned). Why are we not out doing greater things than Jesus, as he has said? A lot of Christians don’t believe that miracles happen anymore or that one can be raised from the dead. Yeah right! Jesus is still out there and working today, this moment. Are we willing to take up his cross and follow him? Perhaps then we’ll see some sights.

    1. Dylan I wish you’d remain encouraged and hopeful. Jesus exhorted us to be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect, and Paul added that those that are perfect are not actually perfect but they have an unwavering desire to be perfect. They have the mind to be perfect and press toward that mark. God is more concerned about our leaning than what you did. What we did is past, so forget it; the direction of your leaning, is the subject for tomorrow, and your future is much more important than your past. Look to the pit whence you were digged, but also look to the rock that is higher than we, from where we were chipped (a chip off the old rock of ages to which we are restored in Christ).

      Because of what you said, I know you are not thinking about this so be reminded just how amazing you are: not many fold look at themselves and admit the faults that they find. This is the mark of a great person. Your honesty is simply disarming, and there is greatness about you because you aspire magnify Gods presence among men widely. God said the person who speaks the truth in his heart, he shall stand before me, and he shall ascend into the hill of the Lord. In Christ there is no condemnation so stay in him and you’ll be fine; it rains but then the sun comes out again.

    1. DC, much respect and love goes out to you. Keep pressing forward. A three fold cord is not easily broken. Jesus said if you keep my word, it provides access for me, my Father and the Holy Spirit who is alredy with you to join in fellowship with you; and then who can be against you.

      I really love your spirit

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