|January 2, 2015 || Photo Credit: My Mom |||
"Make me to know Your ways, O LORD; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; for You I wait all the day long...My eyes are ever toward the LORD..." Psalm 25:4-5 & 15a
When I was in college, I had one professor who seemed to be obsessed with the idea that reality was defined by God. He was always bringing everything back around to his belief that it is only possible to live according to reality if you are consciously aware of God and that any other approach to life is basically wandering around in a type of dream state or worse yet, psychosis. I was drawn to his firm belief in this philosophy of life and still find myself challenged by it to this day.
It is crucial that we are always aware of the reality of God. We need to be aware and we need to be enamored with Him. Being aware of God means that we KNOW Him, that we are WATCHING for His hand at work, and that we are TRUSTING Him with every moment of time. My professor was right. Everything in existence was created by God. To walk around for a single second without Him on our minds is insanity. He is reality. We face reality when we face Him and keep our faces turned to Him.
We all know that this is HARD. It's hard to go along in constant communion with God. It's hard to see a child suffering at the hands of irresponsible parents. It's hard to want desperately to conceive a child of your own and realize that another month has gone by and your womb is still empty. It's hard to watch the news. It's hard to go through the easy times and still cling to God the way we do on the darkest of days. It's hard to get our minds to reach outside of ourselves and live in light of eternity instead of our current desires. In short, it's HARD to face reality.
As Christians, we have reality Himself working for us so that we WILL see and know and cling and BEHOLD. We can face reality knowing that every single thing that has ever happened has passed through the hands of God and is meant for the good of His people (which is to be made more like Christ) and the glory of His name. This same is true for everything that ever will happen too.
God never tells people to do something without equipping them to do it. Scripture is full of assurances of this. Behind every command is truth and grace and means. The command to live for the glory of God in 1 Corinthians is surrounded by truths that explain exactly what that is, assurances that His grace makes it possible, and reminders of HOW it's even possible in the first place. That's just ONE example.
I believe that the three crucial means by which it is possible for us to face reality and live in light of it (again this is the fact that God IS and that He upholds everything). There may be more, but over the years these are the ones I've found to be indispensable: purposeful prayer, consistent Bible reading, and regular communion with other Christians. All three of these means are KEYS in the life of Christ - the one who faced reality, was enamored with God, depended on Him for everything, and remained in trusting communion with him. When these resolves are ours are met with God's grace, things begin to make sense and I might even say, a little bit easier.
My word for 2016 is BEHOLD. Beholding God is the great joy of my life and I want 2016 to be about developing a real habit of it. I want to see the sun rise and have this thought welling up in my soul, "behold your God!". I want to hear a tree fall and see that it completely missed our house and fence and the bushes and say to those around me, "behold our God!". I want to see an accident on the side of the road and remind my soul to remain confident, "behold our God!" I want to face anxiety head on by preaching to myself, "Why are you downcast, my soul? Hope in God. Behold your God!"
My professor was right, when God offers you His hand and commits Himself to being YOUR God, ANYTHING short of committing yourself to Him IS insane. May 2016 be a year of BEHOLDING Him in a way that I've never quite beheld Him before. May habits be formed and the walls of hope shored up.
"It will be said on that day, 'Behold, this is our God; we have waited for Him that He might save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for Him; let us be glad and rejoice in His salvation." Isaiah 25:9
What's your word for 2015?