“God is God, and you are not.” This classic quotation should seem obvious to us all. Yet, in our modern context as Post-Christian-man tends to take up a larger and larger view of his own life’s lens, the reality that we often would like to see ourselves as our own personal gods – the determiner of all things under our gaze and with-in our power – becomes more and more the reality. This even comes to the well-meaning Christian in our daily struggle with sin in tiny bouts of idolatry.
Case in point: I was complaining to God not that
long ago. “Shocking! I know.” Things in a particular sector of my life weren’t going exactly the way I wanted, and I was throwing a bit of a pity-party. Most folks would just consider me as being ‘off’, or maybe if I was really doing well, no one even noticed. But I was unhappy because my will and God’s will were at odds. Now we all know the will of God is absolute, good, and wise. We’ve all read Job chapters 38-40 where God puts Job in His place, tells him to man-up, (literally “dress for action like a man) then lays out the might and majesty of His awesome power. Fortunately, God did not do that to me, or did He? I just recounted the Biblical reality; is it any less true for me? Less directly terrifying to be sure, but the Biblical account is there for us to experience and learn from as well.
Or if it is not Job that rings in our ears then maybe you like me hear the ringing words of God through the prophet Isaiah in chapter 55:8 “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor my ways your ways.” Coupled with the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 1:25 about the foolishness of God being wiser than man, this becomes a potent cocktail sitting us right down in our own place, again just like dear old Job. But we need to realize as we continue down this path that God is willing to treat us as a loving parent and not as a tyrant. He allows our prot
ests and our complaints for the very sake of correcting us in them and mercifully and masterfully unfolding His wisdom and His thoughts even in the very midst of our otherwise short-sightedness. So that we are glad to hear Paul’s comments as the good news are, that the foolishness and weakness of God would result in His choosing the “foolish” idea to put on weak human flesh and die for us so that we should become wise unto salvation.
But this leads to the final aspect of this short commentary as one talks about the sovereignty of God: His timing. I can deal with not being all powerful like the commentary with Job. I can admit I’m not all knowing. But if there is a convenience of modern life has ruined me and many of us it is the pace at which we now seem to expect things. “I want it now.” Patience as a virtue to be learned must naturally happen at a slower pace than any of us desire, otherwise it wouldn’t be patience. Yet again the Holy Writ brings us answer and correction in the words of 2 Peter 3:9 “God is not slow to fulfill His promises as some count slowness, but He is patient towards you.” This is similar to the words of Paul in Romans 5:6 which corresponds to the previous paragraph that “at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” If God has ordained something as important as your salvation according to His good timing, and according to His good, gracious and all-powerful will, then of course we who are of more worth than many sparrows can trust that He will work all things together for our good as we have been called according to His purpose.
So how did things work out after my frustration with the Almighty? Pretty good actually. It was necessary for me to go through it. I came out on the other side better for it. God put just the right people in the right places at the right times and humbled me enough that I was able and willing to heed His Word to me. You read some of it above. That’s the point right? There was a lot more that went into it, things not to be divulged, but that’s all of our lives I know for sure. We each find ourselves either being used by God in the lives of others, or others being used by God in our own lives for the sake of “iron sharpening iron,” “the mutual conversation and consolation of the brethren”, for the sake of God being given glory as we love our neighbor as ourselves. I suppose the final word of Law and Gospel in this comes from 1 Peter 5:6 “Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, so that at the proper time He may lift you up.” Because “God is God and I most certainly am not,” and all of the above truths from His eternal Truth are true then these words from Micah 6:8 shall serve as a sort of benediction: “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.”
To God alone be the Glory,