Saying NO to God

In sales there is an old saying, “that a NO is just a request for more information.”  I am amazed how many time people say NO to God and that God doesn’t leave the conversation but digs in more in order to close the sale.  The reason for this in my mind is quite simple, more explanation is required between the finite and the infinite.  We are full of misunderstanding, doubt not to mention our own agendas and understanding of God. Imagine how Patient God must be in order that He might explain His ideas and plans to finite humans.  God I am quite sure expects a NO, anyone in an evolving relationship should not be surprised by a NO.

So God is talking to Moses its a big scene burning bush, holy ground. thunder, lighting and the ground shaking.  Moses is respectful but dubious at the same time, the more God talks the less Moses is buying.  Moses says NO I think you have the wrong guy, this is what a person with a shattered self-image would say.  God it appears expects a little more cooperation from Moses and begins to show a little frustration with Moses.

Relationships that last the test of time are all about negotiation not dictation, oh the infinite patience of God.  You have to stick with what you started, and God is “all in” concerning the destiny of Mankind.  Moses gets extras from God a Name never uttered before, a front man to do the talking and a magic stick.  You see it pays to say NO to God if you want to get the pot sweetened a little bit.

What ever you do though don’t be like Jonah, who said NO and ran from the conversation, remember one can’t outrun the “Hound of Heaven.”  If however you stay in the game, God not a bad partner to have in this journey called life.

ANZAHOLYMAN

Wrestling With God

In Paul’s letter to the fellow believers in Rome he ask a rhetorical question,“Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’”  I have seen this verse used time and again to prove God is Sovereign of the evil and the good.  That it’s all planed out from beginning to end including those merely playing the villans role.  Thank God the bible is full of actual stories that contradict this idea of God as puppet master.

Choice it seems is built into the biblical narrative from the very first story told of Adam and Eve.  As Dr. Michael Lodahl put so well in his book (The Story of God) “Scripture Testifies of God not only as the Creator of all things but also the One who has lovingly, compassionately, and freely entered into covenantal relation with the creation.”

Paul’s question rhetorical question is actually taken from the book of Isaiah and not as some might think from the mind of Augustine and Calvin.

Isaiah 29:16

You turn things upside down,

as if the potter were thought to be like the clay!

Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it,

“You did not make me”?

Can the pot say to the potter,

“You know nothing”?

But let us answer Paul’s rhetorical question with one big affirmative Yes!

Wrestle With God just like Job did over Gratuitous Evil.

Wrestle With God  just like Abraham who argued with God over the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Wrestle With God just like Moses did over his Identity at the burning bush, or as Moses defended others in the face of God’s judgment.

Wrestle With God just like Jacob did over the course of your life and refuse to let go.

Wrestle with God in the Garden as Jesus did, until the Leap of Faith is Required.

Wrestle With God

In Faith

and  Doubt

In Victory

and Defeat

In Love

and Fear

In hope

and Despair

Wrestle with God until He touches you

and gives you a New Name,

but know this most of the time the God you are really wrestling with,

is the god of your own understanding.

ANZAHOLYMAN

Abraham + Jesus = Gospel

Abraham + Jesus = Gospel

 

In reading the prophetic statement of Zacharariah, when he is filled of with the Holy Spirit at the birth of his son John. He says in talking about the Messiah “To show mercy to our ancestors and to remember his holy covenant, the oath he swore to our father Abraham:” 

I have a question when we share this Gospel why do we include Moses and the Law.  Paul teaches the The Law is not of faith and yet most evangelism starts with a person’s obligation to have obeyed The Law Perfectly.  This teaching comes about because the church decided to marry the Law and Grace with a side order of Hell. 

So God swore an oath to Abraham, which was an oath that was 100% on God’s side. You will remember that God put Abraham to sleep and then consecrated the oath He made to Abraham.  I will remind you that this was an oath before priest, temple, or scriptures and therefore before the Law of Moses. 

 Also remember that Abraham is a Gentile through which God promises all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.  His decedents will be as the stars of the sky a clear indication of an unlimited number of souls, knowing what we now know about the size the universe.  The Jews are the elect of God the chosen a special Galaxy within a Universe of Galaxies, but by no means the only one.  It was their love of the Law of Moses that gave them the impression all others where less in the sight of God. 

The Gospel starts with a promise made by God to man outside of Law, Bible and Temple. It ends with God’s fulfillment of that promise in His only Son Jesus Christ no middlemen, just God’s faithfulness.

We must return to the truth of God’s promise to Abraham, that is that He was in Christ redeeming the world back to Himself.  No need for any willful act on the part of man for all those ways have failed greatly.  We are all in a great sleep and if you have been awakened bless the name of the Lord, but do not think God is sleeping concerning His promise to Abraham the father of faith.

If you have been elected in this age do not dare think that you and your group are the only Galaxy in God’s Universe, that mistake has been made once before, but have no fear all of Israel shall be saved.

ANZAHOLYMAN