Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Who is like our God?

Who is like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high,
Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth! -- Psalm 113:5-6.

I picked up Skillet's Ardent Worship album, put out in the last millennium, but something I never got my hands on until today.  Most of the songs I heard through the world's universal jukebox, but it was good to have the whole thing to myself.  Yes, I did download it and yes, i did pay for it.  The first song is based on verse 5 above, and that chorus resonated in my head as I sat down and considered what to write.

I've been reading out of Joel lately.  Joel speaks about the Day of the Lord as a great and dreadful thing.  He speaks of armies of locusts coming and destroying and destroying and destroying.  Something funny has happened to the Old Testament: we think it no longer applies wholesale.  As a friend of mine, a missionary to Germany, repeated from his college students, "We like the New Testament better, once God became a Christian."  Anything we don't like out of the OT, that's automatically under the old covenant and no longer applicable. 

Then I read Revelation.  God has the scroll with seven seals which lead to seven trumpets which lead to seven plagues of wrath.  "And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God," (Rev 15:1).  Note that last phrase, "in them is filled up the wrath of God."  That means God is not in Heaven sending lightning bolts at us because He gets a kick out of it.  Just like in Joel, He sends the devourers into the world because He has to.  He has to consume everything that is not like Him in the earth.  In many cases, that means people will be completely consumed; in others, they may personally be saved, but enter into the Kingdom with nothing else in their possession.  They trusted the Lord for salvation, but had nothing else to give Him throughout their lives. 

If I'm going to be sold out for the Kingdom, that means I've got to rid myself of everything that's not like Him.  That's how I'll be most effective for the Lord, to be unhindered by the weight of the world, by besetting sins (Hebrews 12:1), by everything unlike my God.  Who is like unto our God?  He who has laid everything down.  Don't get me wrong: salvation is a free gift, and nothing we could ever do could repay it; a man who enters the Kingdom with salvation only is infinitely better than the best many in Hell.  That being said, everything else you want from the Lord comes at a price.  Jesus paid the price to win your freedom, but the only reason you have areas in your life that are unlike God is because you have to get rid of them in order to replace it with a part that is like God.  Habits and strongholds don't come into your life overnight, so they're not going to go away quite so quickly, either.  They're only going to leave as quickly as you surrender them to Jesus.

Who is like our God?  Those who have surrendered to the Potter to be reformed into His image.

2 comments:

  1. Thankful that he is still in the transformation business and that my destiny is to be conformed into the likeness of Christ (Romas 8:29).

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  2. Zechariah,

    I have been taught that
    "In the Old, the New is concealed and in the New the Old is revealed."

    I really liked your friend's line:
    "We like the New Testament better, once God became a Christian." That was pretty brilliant, actually. I fear that as New Testament Christians we assume that Jesus somehow changed God and made Him less 'Old Testament wrathy and mean'. But He doesn't change, so how can this be?

    First time visitor. I followed you here from Matt Cannon's blog.

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