Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Moment By Moment

The Bible is clear about the infinite sovereignty of God. God is perfect. He is the measure of all things. He is infinitely good, infinitely wise, infinitely just, infinitely loving, infinitely powerful. Omniscient, Omnipotent and Omnipresent - God's experience of being is completely different from our limited human experience.

Some have suggested that God cannot be such an infinite sovereign because (according to their logic) that would mean 1) our choices are not really free and 2) everything is predetermined - a fatalistic sort of world where our choices make no difference.

But think of Jesus Christ - God in flesh. God became a man. He subjected himself to the limitation of time and space as a human being. He lived a sinless life in time and space. How did He do it? Was Christ an automaton that just followed a predetermined script?

On one hand Jesus said, "Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works." (John 14:10)

On the other hand Jesus agonized in prayer the night before he went to the cross and said, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” (Luke 22:42) The passage goes on to say that He sweat blood as He struggled with what lay before Him in the experience of the crucifixion.

I think that we see in Christ what our understanding and life should be. Christ clearly reinforced the truths about God's absolute sovereignty over all things - including the ultimate salvation of His "sheep." (John 10:26-28) He indicates that God the Father has a perfect will for Him to follow in everything He does and says.

But Jesus also demonstrates that as a human He experiences each new moment as a new challenge to obey God's perfect will and to say what the Father wants Him to say. In other words, Jesus didn't read from a script. He faced each moment with the need to come up with the right response. It was humanly difficult, but He yielded to the Father's will, followed the Spirit's leading. Always. Every action. Every deed. Every moment.

This is how we should be living too. God is sovereign. His will is perfect. He knows the whole story - including my failures and my victories. He will accomplish His purposes, in spite of my failures. I can take comfort in that.

But I have no room to be presumptuous. I am not God. I am a human. My experience comes in moment by moment revelations of reality. Each new moment presents a new opportunity - a new challenge - a new test. God is not surprised by any of these things - but they are all new to me.

As each new moment is unveiled the question is open - what should I do or say that will please my Heavenly Father? Will my thoughts glorify Christ? Will my lips speak His praise? Will my actions serve His will? Will my heart be true and loyal or will I be swayed by pride and serve my own pleasures? Will I courageously fight for Christ's cause or will I seek to take my ease?

God is sovereign - but I am not. God is never surprised - but I am often surprised. My decisions in time and space are real decisions and I am a genuine moral being. Sin is real. Obedience is real. And my relationship with the living God is played out in the decisions that I make - moment by moment.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


I am fighting against a food fantasy - a thick slab of liverwurst on a fresh bread sandwich... a nice touch of Hellmann's real mayonnaise... maybe some lettuce. Yum!

I don't have any liverwurst in the house - haven't for more than a year - but my mouth is watering, my stomach is growling and I swear I can almost smell that sandwich. It would be great with a tall glass of cold milk and some fresh Lay's potato chips.

(I'm about to find out if drooling on my laptop will short out the keyboard or not.)

Jesus said, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled." (Matthew 5:6 NKJV)

I wish that my hunger for God's righteousness was as certain as my physical hunger. In Jesus we find delicious delight for our souls. He is the bread of life - the food that not only provides temporary physical life, but eternal life as well.

Feeding my physical body is always a problem. What food will I eat? Will it be good for me? Can I afford it? Where will I get it? Do I have to prepare it?

But feeding my soul is quite simple. Jesus offers Himself freely. He alone can satisfy.

(Revelation 22:17 NKJV) And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.