Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Pursuit

I have an acquaintance who claims to be an Atheist so last week a friend of mine gave me a book to read. The name of the book is I Don't Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist. In the first chapter the author says something that really got me thinking about the love of God. Take a look at this:

God has provided enough evidence in this life to convince anyone willing to believe, yet He has also left some ambiguity so as not to compel the unwilling. In this way, God gives us the opportunity to either love Him or to reject Him without violating our freedom. In fact, the purpose of this life is is to make that choice freely and without coercion. For love, by definition, must be freely given. It cannot be coerced. That's why C.S. Lewis wrote, "the Irresistible and the Indisputable are the two weapons which the very nature of God's scheme forbids Him to use. Merely to override a human will (as His felt presence in any but the faintest and most mitigated degree would certainly do) would be for Him useless. He cannot ravish, He can only woo."
Read that again. I read it over and over. God loves us so much that He does not force Himself on us. He has been pursuing us since the beginning of creation. He has provided a way for us to stand before Him blameless. How many times do we try to give ourselves credit for things that God Himself deserves the credit for. How many times do we talk about how we came to faith in Christ with the emphasis being on we and not He. It was God through His Holy Spirit that drew us to Himself, in a sense we had nothing to do with the process other than responding to His wooing, as C.S. Lewis put it.

Going all the way back to when Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, it was God who came looking for Adam and it was God who provided the animal hide to cover his and Eve's nakedness. Neither Adam nor Eve said "Oh no, we blew it, lets go talk to God and see what we can do to fix this." Look what transpired:

Genesis 3: 6-9 - 6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. 8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?"
According to verse 9 it was God who pursued them and said, "Where are you?" it was not Adam or Eve. God knew they blew it and He made a provision for them. God has done this throughout history and the culmination of His love took place on the cross over 2000 years ago. Man was not running around saying "Oh my, oh my, what are we going to do about this sin issue we have on our hands!?!" It was God in His foreknowledge who said I will make a way for them to escape the penalty of their sins. I will provide the ultimate blood sacrifice that will provide a way for man to have a right standing before Me.

I Peter 1: 18, 19 - 18For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers,19but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.

Verse 20 says Christ was chosen before the world was ever created. The book of Revelation reiterates this:

Revelation 13: 7 - 7He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation.8All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.

God did not wait for us to cry out to Him and say please provide a way for us to deal with sin. He set His plan in motion in eternity past. The Apostle John wrote:

John 3:16, 17 - "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
I John 3: 1 - How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!

Our current set of circumstances do not diminish who God is. If your marriage is falling apart, if you have been unemployed for some time, if your kids are rebellious or someone in your family is dying of cancer, God still loves you, our feelings about God do not lessen who He is. God is still good regardless of what we might think of Him. He never has and never will have an identity crisis. I hope you will take some time to reflect on this as life comes at you head on.

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