Do you ever feel overwhelmed? …..Or maybe just whelmed…..You can be whelmed by health issues – or – money problems – relationship stuff – grief – Time pressure – psychological issues. Isaiah 40:6-8 – “The voice said, ‘Cry out!’ And he said, ‘What shall I cry?’ ‘All flesh is grass, And all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, Because the breath of the Lord blows upon it; Surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.’”
The word of our God stands forever!!…Stands forever….How big is your God? Is He enough for you….Is He sufficient for you …..in your time of being overwhelmed? Does your God ever seem too little….Like big enough for the BIG STUFF….But not gonna bother with the little stuff in your life….Even if it’s big stuff in your life?
But what do we see in that passage?…We see the temporary nature of our existence. Jesus used that same imagery. Matthew 6 – The grass that’s burned…the flower that fades. We see our powerlessness. We see the greatness of God….We see the promise of His word. It will stand forever. If we understand its meaning….deep down in the innermost chambers of our being….It will lead us to one place….It will lead us to worship. But here’s the thing. That understanding is a choice….It’s our choice.
Worship comes when we understand transcendence. Transcendence, what does it even mean? It refers to something that goes beyond the physical. Its’ synonyms include; predominance, preeminence, matchlessness, magnificence, paramountcy. God / Jesus – is all of those things and more. Colossians 1:15-16 – “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.” The Bigness of our God…Our God is Greater….
We see it in His creation – in the heavens and the make-up of the human body, in the existence of love and self-sacrifice.
But the modern world would deny those things. The ‘Religion of Science’ would marginalize them by explanation. This False Religion of Science….I love science ….not to study it….But I love learning about God’s world….But what was once all about God’s world has become something else. This False Religion of Science would claim that the ability to explain, to remove the mystery of something renders it ordinary.
We see it in the quest to build up Artificial Intelligence….a machine smarter than man. Machines that can ‘teach’ themselves – that can learn. Humans that can be enhanced – or artificially ‘evolved’ through DNA manipulation. You see, if something can be explained, or re-created – in the image of the scientist – the image of man – it is no longer transcendent. If they can explain what used to be considered the Realm of the Divine…It is somehow no longer Divine!
Ever hear of CERN? It’s the French acronym for the European Organization for Nuclear Research. It operates the Large Hadron Collider or LHC. “The LHC consists of a 27-kilometre ring of superconducting magnets with a number of accelerating structures to boost the energy of the particles along the way. Inside the accelerator, two high-energy particle beams travel at close to the speed of light before they are made to collide.” And what they’re working on is creating – on a small scale, the conditions that were present just seconds after the Big Bang. They’re trying to explain God. Re-create, on a miniature scale, the creation event. If they can explain it…recreate it….well, you see where this is going….
Satan’s playbook never changes. ‘You can be as gods….Defining good and evil and the universe. That is what is essentially behind this line of inquiry. Shiva, god of destruction…just hagin’ out at CERN…That seems normal, doesn’t it ? Out front of the CERN facility sits a statue of the god Shiva – the god of transformation and destruction. A gift from India….but an interesting choice nonetheless.
And whether it’s scientists or regular folk, it all comes down to the same series of choices. Every Human Culture …..Every Human Being …..Macro or Personal ….we go through the same struggles: Independence v Dependence, Personal Pride v Surrender, Self v God. It’s all centered in pride, the root of all sin – and the seed of our own destruction.
Isaiah 14:13-14 “For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’”
That road leads only to destruction. Jump back to verse 12, same chapter. “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations!” Then to verse 15. “Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit.” There is only one end to those that would challenge the God of the Universe. Yet they do challenge Him. I’ve read talk of reenacting the Big Bang itself. They truly would be as gods. From there we can circle back around to the genesis of true worship. When we understand the reality of our place in the universe and our relationship with God. The FLOW of WORSHIP comes from realizing the TRUTH of our Relationship to the GOD of the Universe
- Our Inability….compared to….God’s total Provision
- Our Selfishness ……to ….. the Lavishness of His Love
Getting to that Point of Worship takes Understanding just Who We Aren’t
JOB 38 – Job thought he was pretty smart….challenging God….
“Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said: ‘Who is this who darkens counsel By words without knowledge? Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me. Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it?To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone, When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy? Or who shut in the sea with doors, When it burst forth and issued from the womb; When I made the clouds its garment, And thick darkness its swaddling band; 10 When I fixed My limit for it, And set bars and doors, Have you commanded the morning since your days began,
And caused the dawn to know its place, 17 Have the gates of death been revealed to you? Or have you seen the doors of the shadow of death? 18 Have you comprehended the breadth of the earth? Tell Me, if you know all this. “Where is the way to the dwelling of light? And darkness, where is its place, 20 That you may take it to its territory, That you may know the paths to its home? 21 Do you know it, because you were born then, Or because the number of your days is great?”
How big is Job’s God? Big enough to speak the cosmos into being….out of nothing….something no scientist can ever hope to aspire to….and to fill it with stars and atoms and quarks….and life in all its myriad forms. That’s how big Job’s God is. How big is your God? In times we’re feeling overwhelmed, how big is the God we serve…or claim to serve?
Job 12:23-24: “He makes nations great, and destroys them; He enlarges nations, and guides them. He takes away the understanding of the chiefs of the people of the earth, And makes them wander in a pathless wilderness.” So when the world is a tire fire….God is in control.
- GOD IS EXACTLY WHO HE SAYS HE IS
- That’s the Lesson Job had to learn….the Lesson we have to learn
- Isaiah 40:28-29 – “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength.”
- HE IS A GOD BIG ENOUGH TO FORGIVE THE GREATEST SIN
- Psalm 103
- V 1-4 “Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! 2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: 3 Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, 4 Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies.”
- V 11-13 “For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children, So the Lord pities those who fear Him.”
- HE is a God of Mercy ….But also a God of Strength …& Sovereignty….& His Will will NOT be Denied….
- V 17-19 “But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting On those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children’s children, To such as keep His covenant, And to those who remember His commandments to do them. The Lord has established His throne in heaven, And His kingdom rules over all.”
Overwhelmed ? ….Lost in some attack? Remember this …..
Romans 8:28-39 (NLT)
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. 29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory. What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. 34 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us. Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, ‘For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.’) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Knowing that……How can we NOT Worship….
How big is our God….He is more than we can ever imagine…the express image of the invisible God…Jesus….who is coming for His bride….and we, the Church are His bride….This is a call to worship….born of REALITY ….. Born of our lostness…Born of His Majesty ….His Holiness….His Love for us….we His chosen….His children…..It’s crazy, isn’t it….Take stock of yourself and tell me it isn’t crazy…. Let’s begin to Live Lives of Worship ….Expressed in the Totality of All We Are …..& Everything We Do.