Categories
GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: part 59 God’s Grief

Can we put ourselves in GOD’’s shoes?

For one moment, imagine you are the Creator of the Universe. You have created perfection. The pinnacle of your Creation is Man, created in your image. He is your son. But lacking trust or seeking personal gain… or more likely preferring his own company to yours (ie Adam prefers relationship with Eve to you), he turns his back on you. You must send him away but you will not linger far from him. 

But then he has offspring and generation after generation, they become more and more evil. 

Can we look at GOD for a moment and recognise GOD’s grief?

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective.

Genesis 6:5-6

“Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intentof the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.”

For me it is impossible to imagine the grief of GOD. He has everything in His hand for us, His children. But we choose to do “our own thing”. We choose to reject His wisdom, love and relationship and determine our own destiny. 

Imagine as a parent, loving our children and wanting what is best for them, but watching them choose what is second best, or worse, degenerating from what is good to what is just plain bad for them. How painful to see our children living in the consequences of their poor choices rather than in the joy of salvation, grace, love and peace of GOD which passes all understanding.

It is so sad.

Next time someone judges GOD

Most reading this will have a personal relationship with GOD, borne out of our own journey to come to the knowledge of His passionate love, grace and wisdom toward us. Some will not yet know GOD’s love, mercy and goodness.

For those who know GOD through Jesus, when someone says, “If there is a God, how can he let people starve, or kill themselves through war, or die from a horrible disease…?” Can you reply with some version of this:

“GOD allows us to choose. He loves us so much that He’s given us the freedom to choose. And just like a parent who loves his child knows the child must make his won choices to mature, GOD sees the bad choices we make and it causes Him no end of grieving.”

I cannot imagine GOD’s grief

I cannot put myself completely in GOD’s shoes, but it must have torn Him apart to watch mankind make such a mess of Creation that it drove Him to “be sorry that He had made man on the earth…” He wasn’t sorry He made earth. But He was sorry He put man into His wonderful creation. 

How sad. How absolutely devastatingly sad. 

…… Let’s love and worship GOD, showing Him our gratitude for His loving us.

Categories
GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: part 38 The Tree (pt1)

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective. 

Eden and the forbidden tree

Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:15-17)

What did Adam have to do to tend the perfect garden? There was no rainfall so presumably the garden, like man, soaked up moisture. And there was no death, so would there be any clear out of the garden? What did “tending” entail?

And in the garden, why did he put in a tree that was for looking only, and not for eating? It must have been a beauty to look at! And there must have been fruit on it or else what would be available to eat from that tree?

My thoughts on the Garden

It must have been enchanting to walk in the Garden of Eden, with the Creator of the Universe. Adam would have experienced peace, perfect weather conditions, no concept of anxiety or conflict or tension. Wonderful! Tending a garden was perhaps simply enjoying it, ensuring the flora and fauna were content. I can imagine the fragrance and the beauty to the eye, but surely my imagination cannot do this true justice: “Breathtaking!”

The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil

The thought I have with regard to this tree, the key insight I have to offer, is that the tree is the focal point in the war between the Creator and the fallen Lucifer — ie Satan, with GOD’s command to Adam putting him smack into the centre of that  other relationship.

Adam… and Job

Did GOD allow Satan access to Adam in a similar way to the access he would later give to Job?

“Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. And the Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?”

So Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”

Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”

So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.”

So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.” (Genesis 1:6-12)

If the antagonism between GOD and Satan is about where the power lies in character, then Job demonstrates a character dedicated to faith in GOD no matter the circumstance. He knew evil v goodness, as he was part of fallen man. Did this help him to understand the vital part his faith had in his own life? Was the knowledge of good and evil fundamental in his overcoming?

What then of Adam? Adam “did eat” and fell from GOD’s grace. Was that simply because he was innocent of evil and didn’t recognise what he was up against? And if so, why would it be necessary for him to recognise it at all? Why did he “need to be tempted?”

Certainly, I learn the hard way, which is certainly what happened to Adam… Is that what Adam was up against? And if so, why did he need “to learn” at all?

Hold that thought and I’ll come back to it momentarily…

Satan’s scheme

After the conversation between GOD and Satan, when Satan went from GOD’s presence, what occurred next? Did he begin to scheme? In the case of Adam, at what point did Satan begin his manoeuvres? 

After the creation of Eve, at some point Satan was waiting, lurking to deceive her. And was Adam standing by, ready to be drawn in? How badly did Adam want to taste that fruit? Or did he simply want to ensure he walked in full relationship with Eve, even if it meant disobeying GOD. Didn’t realise this would mean he was also abandoning GOD?

Was GOD creating a set-up for the greatest showdown to expose Satan to his own failure. Was this the ultimate way to humble Satan? If so, there certainly was a huge cost: so much tragedy from that time to this, and still the combat continues. Is this all to put Satan in His place, because otherwise Satan would rule and destroy the world? 

Is the entire history of mankind about revealing to Satan the ultimate victor?

Forbidden Fruit a choice

GOD told His children not to have knowledge of Good and Evil because of the pain it would cause. When Adam and Eve ate of the fruit that was forbidden they immediately lost innocence, felt shame, and became separated from their Creator. GOD did not want shame for us. He did not want pain. But perhaps it was necessary to give the choice. It is the human experience to grow through adversity. Perhaps GOD did not want that we would be innocent out of ignorance but rather innocent by choice, which is what become “like a child” and being born again is all about.

By offering a choice, man would inevitably choose knowledge, and pain, yet would also learn the difference between what is good and what is evil. We are all born with this knowledge (Romans 1). What do we do with it is the making (or breaking) of our lives.

This knowledge has enabled the battle and ultimate demonstration that good will overcome evil (as best personified in Jesus Christ) and that GOD’s love was and is and always will be more powerful than Satan in his pride.

A lesson for Satan

Perhaps quite simply, GOD sought to reveal to Satan his failure before he would be eternally damned. In his interest to put himself higher than GOD, Satan pursued Eve to draw division between the union of Adam and Eve, and the unity between Man and GOD was torn… and yet this would be the pathway to Satan’s ultimate defeat.

GOD knows everything, new everything. In creating mankind, He must have known He’d created the means through which Satan would be humbled and by offering the choice of the tree of knowledge, knowing man would choose knowledge, GOD made a way for perfect relationship with mankind, superior even to that which He had with Adam. 

Our frame of reference

Today we tend to look from our own perspective — as though we are at the centre of the universe. 

GOD loves us! But even though He loves us, I reckon there are higher aspects to the universe than GOD’s love for mankind. It isn’t only the earth and mankind which is on GOD’s heart, but the entire universe, with His angels and the demons who fell from His grace included.

Perhaps we need to be reminded that man is not the centre of the universe but GOD is. We are given a choice through our forefather, Adam: to choose GOD and the everlasting life which He promises through Yeshua/Jesus 

or to choose or live by the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

The Glory

All the glory is in and from GOD, not with mankind, not even with His creation. Ultimately, all glory goes to GOD and Satan must see this.

Next time I’ll explore what GOD meant by “you shall surely die” and draw attention to our human growth through adversity.

Every blessing,

Sarah

Categories
GOD'S STORY

GOD’s STORY part 9 God has given us free will… Really?

Here at Preparing the Bride, I’m telling GOD’S STORY. Presumptuous?! Not when simply looking at scripture, because scripture is the unfolding of God’s story to us who read it.

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? We learn GOD’s Story. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. 

GOD’S STORY Part 9 Has GOD given us Free Will really?

Free Will

Each person makes his/her own choices. But does anyone have free will without the LORD? 

This is what I totally and whole heartedly believe Father Yehovhah GOD, Adonai Elohim wants me to write about this week…. It is a part of His Story which He wants us to understand…

Those who are in rebellion are under the control of the Evil One and make their choices in the dark. 

Those who are in the light of the love of GOD are free to choose which direction to take, fully in the light, fully able to see which is conditional on if we take the time and attention to look. Those who walk with Him make choices, have freedom to engage with Him, freedom to take or reject His guidance… free to take the blessings or consequences of our choices.

Recently, I had an invitation to speak but I had a conflict with the timing of that invitation, and so I had a choice to make. 

I waited on the LORD. I knew I could do either: speak or focus on my original arrangement, but I thought perhaps that He preferred I speak. But how could I reject the other pre-planned situation? Should I help 1 or the many? Then I thought of the 1 sheep and the 99 from Matthew 18. I chose to take care of the 1 even though the 99 might have benefitted.

Following the Word of GOD

I followed GOD’s Word, not because I had no choice, but because I made my choice. I had the peace of GOD then, though I believe that if I’d made a different choice it would not have been wrong. I’d have had different scripture to stand on. GOD gives us choices. 

“He knows the way that I take, and when I come forth I shall shine like gold.” (Job 23:10)

GOD is bigger than our choices

If we have free will, how can GOD be sovereign? This is a deep theological question. It believe it is part of GOD’s Story…. I’d like to continue this journey at a deeper level next time.

Summary

But the kernels to hold on today are: GOD gives free will, Satan blocks it for those who walk without the knowledge of Jesus Christ. And we are responsible for our choices but those who walk in Christ can see and have the opportunity to choose!

Shalom and Amen.

Categories
GOD'S STORY

GOD’s Story Pt 8: Sovereignty of GOD

Here at Preparing the Bride, I’m telling GOD’S STORY. Presumptuous?! Not when simply looking at scripture, because scripture is the unfolding of God’s story to us who read it.

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? We learn GOD’s Story. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. 

GOD’S STORY Part 8 Sovereignty of GOD

GOD is Sovereign. Personally, I have no doubt about the Sovereignty of GOD… But how is it, when GOD is sovereign, that sometimes His will does not seem to come to pass? Is it correct to think His will does not always reign? 

Recently in the UK a new prime minister gained the title but after 6 weeks, she was forced to resign. The day she came into office the stained glass window in Westminster Hall, which is tidal, was completely alight. It was extraordinary and a rare — perhaps even a never before — event. To my mind and my prayer partners’ at the time, this was a marker for the LORD’s endorsement to her office. So why then did she not remain in office?

GOD does not interfere

I think the LORD observes and is grieved by some of the choices mankind makes. But He doesn’t interfere. He gave a gift of a particular leader as our Prime Minister in this example, who was then rejected by some powerful forces in media and banking, and she was forced out. 

I believe the LORD will continue to observe us — all of us all over the world — until He cannot allow the corruption of humanity to grow any deeper. Then the Restrainer, the presence of GOD through Holy Spirit, will be removed… and Jesus will return.

GOD’s course of Action is long-term

2 Thessalonians 2:7-12 says, 

“For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 

This is a reflection of Romans 1 as well, which explains that we are born knowing right from wrong and the truth of the Creator.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.”

GOD takes the long view and in doing so, He gives mankind opportunity to discover the Creator and to reconnect with Him. He gives us the opportunity to receive salvation, individually and nationally. He restrains evil. This is His ultimate will. But He gives us the choice to receive or to reject.

The Restrainer — Holy Spirit and His children, Believers who carry Him within —  He holds the enemy and total depravity at bay, giving each persona and each nation the opportunity to embrace the Truth.

Depravity and its reach

We see the evidence of the depraved mind more and more these days in the West, as we ignore common sense and the laws of science, embracing the fancy of individualisation. Evil is not yet fully developed in all its fullness. Even though the world is becoming darker and darker, in GOD’s sovereignty, He holds Satan at bay. 

But when the Restrainer is removed from this earth, what then? I believe this is to be marked by our rapture to Heaven, followed by the earth becoming consumed by depravity…. I shudder! 

Let’s not linger on the thought of a dark world without any goodness, kindness, righteousness whatsoever. 

The LORD’s grief

All the earth’s depravity grieves the LORD! He knows what will come to pass inevitably, but He holds off for as long as possible, for as many as possible to have every opportunity to see the light of Christ, and to receive Him, before His removal of His protection and the ultimate return and judgment of Jesus upon those who have rejected salvation.

What must is be like for the Father who observes?

In my mind’s eye, I can imagine our LORD, Abba Father, who observes our mistakes and waits for us to “knock” (Revelation 3:20) so that He can enter into our lives. 

I can envisage a Father who looks upon His children, wanting to enter into their activities and waiting to be invited. A huge embrace is available to those who call upon Him. 

For those who do not call upon this Father, He prompts them through bringing others into their lives; He gently steers and offers provision, but He does not force anyone to drink the water He offers. 

Eventually, time and opportunity will run out….

The End as we know the Earth

The earth may cease but GOD’s love will never cease. The heavens may fall, but GOD’s power will never decline. The enemy may rise, but GOD will never be defeated. The time may seem short, but His arm extends into infinity.

GOD’s sovereignty may not reveal itself as we would expect, or ask, but it never fails. By faith and through a glance at History, we can trace His eye, His hand, His will. His word reminds us of His promises and on these we can depend, because He is all-powerful.

In Jesus’ name, may we recall and reclaim that which He has already declared in His word.

“No weapon formed against us will prosper and every tongue that rises against us in judgment will fail.” (text) Ultimately, the end from beginning has been ordained and His will will succeed. Amen.

He is sovereign. Let us have no doubt of that.