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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

That's Who God Is

Psalm 103:1-18 (ESV)
1 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 iniquity, who heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, 5 who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. 6 The Lord works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed. 7 He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel. 8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. 9 He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. 10 He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. 13 As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. 14 For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. 15 As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; 16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. 17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, 18 to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments.

Let's say I was a waiter in a medium priced restaurant. I take an order from a very rich man and serve him. He leave me a $100 tip. What can I say of this man if I don't know him? Actually, nothing. Unless he does this consistently or I have heard this of this man universally I can't say whether or not he is generous. A one time act does not create a characteristic.

This would be true if a person acts negatively as well. Each of us has known someone to act uncharacteristically of themselves. We said something like: "That's just not like him. I wonder what's wrong." We assume that something negatively has happened outside of his or her life to cause this reaction.

But this is never true of God. He doesn't act because of circumstances. He acts because that is who He is. He never acts uncharacteristically. He is what He does. He does what He is.

Sometimes we want God to act. We ask Him to provide for us or heal us or tell us what to do. We acts as if we have to tell Him to perform like we need Him to. Instead we should see ourselves as getting in tune with Him in our needs. In other words, we need to be where we need to be in order to meet Him where He is. We will always find Him to be forgiving, loving, providing, directing and just when we come to where He is.

Instead we are so often telling Him to come over to where we are. We don't expect any change in our lives to meet Him. We believe that our need is enough for God to meet us. We presume that He should act regardless of our requests are within His will. We think He should respond to what we see as our need without us ever confessing or obeying or seeking Him apart from whatever our need is.

Thus, we ask God to be all the things that David has mentioned in Psalm 103 but fail to understand Him as doing these things because we have not gone to where He is. This is much worse than asking the President of the United States to come to our homes to hear our requests rather than going to meet him at his convenience in the White House. Suppose you wrote a letter to the President requesting such a meeting. Then, you used the lack of response to conclude that he either couldn't hear you, couldn't meet your request or didn't care anything about his people. Obviously, you know that isn't necessarily the case for the President. Why would you assume as much for God?

David has gone to God. He has known Him as characteristically these things.He has received them because of his adjustment to who God is. These attributes are not simply what God has done. They are who He is. And they are known to those who come to Him and walk in His ways.

3 comments:

Anthony Chia said...

Yes, it is right to hold to "we need to be where we need to be in order to meet Him where He is". Where is this place where we need to be in order to meet Him where He is?

NOT here:

1. In evil.
God is holy, there is no evil in Him, and He cannot do evil. So, if we go that way or there, we won't meet Him where He is. God is light; we need to be in the light to be where God is. The light here is holiness.

2. In disagreement with Him.
My simple definition of being righteous, is, in agreement with God as to what He wants done and at the time He wants done. If we are NOT righteous, we are NOT meeting Him where He is.

3. In NOT loving Him.
God loves us, and we should love Him back. When we love Him NOT, we are rejecting Him. If we love Him NOT, we are NOT meeting Him where He is.

4. In NOT obeying Him and His commands.
Loving God and obeying Him and His commands are bounded together (John 14:15 and John 14:21) When we are obeying Him NOT, we are NOT loving Him. Jesus showed us the example: He loved the Father in Heaven, and He obeyed the Father and His directives. Jesus said (and lived it out) He came to do the will of the Father, nothing but the will of the Father. In other words, what the Father God wanted Him to do, He obeyed, even to die crucified.

5. In NOT knowing Him.
On-going love of us for God must necessary accompanied by wanting to and grow in knowing Him. You and I can make a decision to love God. To grow in that love, we have to get to know Him, and that is a ginosko-know. It is mutual, in on-going love, there is, and is sustained by ginosko-knowing from both side. God said in His scriptures, He ginosko-knows you, and 1 Cor 8:3 we read "He who loves Him, is ginosko-known by God". In one sentence, ginosko-knowing is knowing from personal experiences in a relation. The very definition of ginosko (one of the Greek word for knowing) implies you are with Him. In other words, you must desire, and strongly desire to ginosko-know Him, to meet Him where He is.

Cont...

Anthony Chia said...

Cont. From above

6. In fruitless life.
Scripture talked about tree without fruit would be axed. If we want NOT to bear fruit at all, we are NOT meeting Him where He is.

The secret!
In my blog, I said the secret to a believer's well-being is loving God.
For when we love God, we obey Him, and we want to be with Him.

Because we want to love God, we would want to obey Him, and when we want to obey, we would want to be righteous or in agreement with Him, with His will and desires. How can we come into all of these, if we desire NOT, strongly to know God in a personal kind of way (ginosko-know)! Scripture said where our treasure is, there our heart is. Well, that means there is where you desires is. What or who do you treasure most? And when we get to know Him, we will know His will is that we be sanctified, and in the process, we grow in righteousness, holiness, godliness, and fruitfulness.

And when we love Him, we want to be with Him, and so, we be holy (grow in holiness, get away from evil and think no evil and do no evil) because God is holy; the only way to be with the Holy God is to be holy also, ourselves. And so, the only way to love Him and to be with Him is to go along with Him, or we say as abiding in Him, in His sanctification for you. If we want to with Him, now or eventually (in Heaven with Him), we have to want His sanctification for us. If you don't want to be sanctified, grow in holiness and fruitfulness, you are NOT meeting Him where He is.

I really cannot appreciate people saying they love God but they are nonchalant about going to Heaven to be with God. If you truly love God, you would want to be Him, and you would NOT want to break His heart, that you want NOT, to go to Him.

Ps 91:14-16 shows us that God is with those who love Him, most assuredly.

14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. 15 He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” Ps 91:14-16.

Ps 91:1 said, "Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty." How beautiful, but where is this? How do you get there? We get there in loving God - verse 14, "because he love Me, ......"

Some may say, "bro Anthony, why do you keep saying, "you, you, you (or we) to do this and do that"". Well, I prefer to be instructive. What is the point of telling people there is a pot of blessing at the end of the rainbow, if we tell NOT at all, how to get there.

Anthony Chia, high.expressions

Anthony Chia said...

Cont. From above

6. In fruitless life.
Scripture talked about tree without fruit would be axed. If we want NOT to bear fruit at all, we are NOT meeting Him where He is.

The secret!
In my blog, I said the secret to a believer's well-being is loving God.
For when we love God, we obey Him, and we want to be with Him.

Because we want to love God, we would want to obey Him, and when we want to obey, we would want to be righteous or in agreement with Him, with His will and desires. How can we come into all of these, if we desire NOT, strongly to know God in a personal kind of way (ginosko-know)! Scripture said where our treasure is, there our heart is. Well, that means there is where you desires is. What or who do you treasure most? And when we get to know Him, we will know His will is that we be sanctified, and in the process, we grow in righteousness, holiness, godliness, and fruitfulness.

And when we love Him, we want to be with Him, and so, we be holy (grow in holiness, get away from evil and think no evil and do no evil) because God is holy; the only way to be with the Holy God is to be holy also, ourselves. And so, the only way to love Him and to be with Him is to go along with Him, or we say as abiding in Him, in His sanctification for you. If we want to with Him, now or eventually (in Heaven with Him), we have to want His sanctification for us. If you don't want to be sanctified, grow in holiness and fruitfulness, you are NOT meeting Him where He is.

I really cannot appreciate people saying they love God but they are nonchalant about going to Heaven to be with God. If you truly love God, you would want to be Him, and you would NOT want to break His heart, that you want NOT, to go to Him.

Ps 91:14-16 shows us that God is with those who love Him, most assuredly.

14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. 15 He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” Ps 91:14-16.

Ps 91:1 said, "Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty." How beautiful, but where is this? How do you get there? We get there in loving God - verse 14, "because he love Me, ......"

Some may say, "bro Anthony, why do you keep saying, "you, you, you (or we) to do this and do that"". Well, I prefer to be instructive. What is the point of telling people there is a pot of blessing at the end of the rainbow, if we tell NOT at all, how to get there.

Anthony Chia, high.expressions