Where resides your God?
So often when you talk to people you wonder where their god resides, so often, like Israel past, their god lives only in their past. Once upon a time, long time ago, far far away, God parted the Red Sea to rescue us from slavery and death, once upon a time god went into battle before us and our enemies fell at our feet, once upon a time, and so it goes on, their god is a god active only in their past. In the Old Testament there is a wonderful story about a man who went out to the forest and cut down a tree, took it home, from a portion he carved out an image and that became his god, from some more he made a lovely fire and warmed himself, and then he gathered some more of the tree and made a fire and cooked a lovely meal, then he praised his new god for keeping him warm and for providing a lovely warm nourishing meal. From Isaiah 44:9-20.
How often do you meet people who can tell you time, date and place that they were saved, past tense, and then talk long about the god of their past, is your god only a god consigned to the past? In Israel past, so often God was confined to their past, but there was always a burning hope of “God in the Future.” One day God will take us out of captivity and return us to the Promised Land, one day God will restore, one day God will, and so the list goes on, one day in the future. God is so often consigned to the Future, and sometimes it is more as a Fantasy than a reality, Where Resides your God?
God of the Current? Oh No, God once did, God will in the Future do, why not the “God of the Present,” God active right now, well that is a scary thought. Actually are you more comfortable with a god that is consigned to the past and consigned to the future, with God kept at a comfortable distance, why does that make us more comfortable keeping God far away from us, keeping him far away from us so that he does not impact or interfere with our daily lives.
The God of the Bible is “Past – Present – and Future” so why the problem. Psalm 139:7-12 “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou [art] there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou [art there]. [If] I take the wings of the morning, [and] dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light [are] both alike [to thee].” Back to the critical sentence, “Or whither shall I flee from thy presence?”
Romans 8:35-39 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? [Shall] tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, for thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Here Paul is admonishing us that his God, “Our God” is the God of the Present as well as the God of the Future. God is always in the Past, he has done amazing and miraculous things in the lives of men, and is well able to continue to do these wonderful acts right now.
John 14:12-15 “Verily, verily, I [Jesus] say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater [works] than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do [it]. If ye love me, keep my commandments.” The disciples very first missionary journey is recorded for us in Mark 6:12 “And they went out, and preached that men should repent. And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed [them].” To the Disciples, God was current, present, active, real.
Exodus 25:8 “And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.” Here God is asking Israel, as they journey from Slavery to Freedom, to build him a tent, similar to theirs, so that he might live among them, and so many missed the point. Isaiah 66:23 “And it shall come to pass, [that] from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.” Here Isaiah is prophesying that some-day, future and present we’ll meet on a weekly basis, as all flesh will come weekly and present themselves before God, meet, greet, fellowship, and Sabbath Rest and Worship God, every week.
The God of the Bible is Past, he has done; The God of the Bible is Present, he can do; The God of the Bible is Future, he will do, so “Where resides your God?”