Seeing in 3D

27 “Now my soul is deeply troubled. Should I pray, ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But this is the very reason I came! 28 Father, bring glory to your name.”

Then a voice spoke from heaven, saying, “I have already brought glory to my name, and I will do so again.” 29 When the crowd heard the voice, some thought it was thunder, while others declared an angel had spoken to him.

John 12:17-29

Like anyone else, when I read the bible I try to put myself into it. Like what kind of Israelite would I have been? One of the ones that were screaming at Moses to take them back to Egypt? Or the kind that trusted in the God that had just delivered them from slavery with ten awesome plagues? And like anyone else I usually put myself in the good guys camp. I could never doubt God after seeing the angel of death come through Egypt, or the red sea parted, or water come from a stone, or you name it. Likewise in the scripture above. How could these idiots hear a voice from heaven and dismiss it so easily as thunder?

Then Tozer in his book, The Pursuit of God, says this:

Our thought habits are those of the scientist, not those of the worshiper. We are more likely to explain than to adore. “It thundered,” we exclaim, and go our earthly way. But still the Voice sounds and searches. The order and life of the world depend upon that Voice, but men are mostly too busy or too stubborn to give attention.

A. W. Tozer – The Pursuit of God

I’ve loved science since I was little. And that’s not a bad thing. Science in general isn’t bad. I believe my love of science and technology is a something God has placed in me that makes me who I am. The problem doesn’t lie in the fact that I see with the eyes of scientist it’s that my worshiping eyes are so dim. A loud voice from heaven may certainly sound like thunder, but if that’s all we hear then we’re missing something. Like listening to music in stereo but only the left side is working properly. Or watching an old 3D movie but with only blue colored lenses.

The natural man is one way to view the world, but what’s the other way? The bible says a lot about worship, but this is the key to me. Jesus outlined the proper way to worship God.

For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.

John 4:24

The right side of our stereo, the red lenses of our 3D glasses is our spirit. This is the aspect of ourselves (us modern day scientist) that we must exercise. We must look beyond the thunder and find the voice that caused it.

The facts are that God is not silent, has never been silent. It is the nature of God to speak. The second person of the Holy Trinity is called the Word.

A. W. Tozer – The Pursuit of God

I think we have enough kings

Read this today in Luke 22:

25 Jesus told them, “In this world the kings and great men lord it over their people, yet they are called ‘friends of the people.’ 26 But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant.

“Friends of the people” really struck me. It’s hard not think of our current political cycle after reading that. I felt like God was saying that today we have too many kings and not enough servants. And while politics is the easy target here, I can’t help but wonder if it’s not the same in the church.

Into the Holy of Holies

We sang this song yesterday and I just love the words.

Take me past the outer courts
Into the Holy Place
Past the brazen altar
Lord I want to see your face
Pass me by the crowds of people
And the Priests who sing your praise
I hunger and thirst for your righteousness
But it’s only found in one place

[Chorus:]
Take me into the holy of holies
Take me in by the blood of the lamb
Take me into the holy of holies
Take the coal, touch my lips, here I am

Kutless – Take Me In

Come to me…

“…and I will give you rest”— that is, “I will sustain you, causing you to stand firm.” He is not saying, “I will put you to bed, hold your hand, and sing you to sleep.” But, in essence, He is saying, “I will get you out of bed— out of your listlessness and exhaustion, and out of your condition of being half dead while you are still alive. I will penetrate you with the spirit of life, and you will be sustained by the perfection of vital activity.” Yet we become so weak and pitiful and talk about “suffering” the will of the Lord! Where is the majestic vitality and the power of the Son of God in that?

– Oswald Chambers – Getting There

Blood flows

Torrents of blood fill our streets
We cry out in pain and sorrow
Our hearts torn and tattered

Yet we continue to worship violence
And elect hate to lead us
Living in fear of our fellow man

Years ago blood flowed down the side of a hill
Shed in love and passion
For the lost and the broken

But we must worship the Prince of
Peace
Only then will His blood heal our broken places
And His love will cast out all of our fears

The Explanation For Our Difficulties

God is not concerned about our plans; He doesn’t ask, “Do you want to go through this loss of a loved one, this difficulty, or this defeat?” No, He allows these things for His own purpose. The things we are going through are either making us sweeter, better, and nobler men and women, or they are making us more critical and fault-finding, and more insistent on our own way. The things that happen either make us evil, or they make us more saintly, depending entirely on our relationship with God and its level of intimacy.
Oswald Chambers – My Utmost for His Highest

The Angel of Death

I had only ever seen his handy work from a distance. His signature was unmistakable. The Angel of Death was nothing if not a craftsman. This time was different. Dying before my eyes was a man I loved. I’m not ashamed to say it. Throughout a boy’s life he’ll have many friends, mentors, and bosses, but only one dad.

The scene was familiar, the hospital bed, the beeping monitors, the inescapable smell of antiseptic. The situation was different. This stay wasn’t a mere inconvenience or temporary station. We had come to say goodbye.

In the same way that death unifies the human experience it also acutely exposes our difference. While death’s footsteps echoed in the hall everyone said goodbye in their own way. Many said it with tears and sobs. Others said it with a faint smile remembering a special moment or one of his famous jokes. Others still hung back not saying anything though their eyes spoke for them.

Quiet fell on the room as death made its grand entrance. Dad’s face grew pale and his breaths became shallow. The angel of death carries with it an atmosphere of sorrow. The air in that little room became dark and heavy. Clouds began to form and realization rained down. Death paused for a second to bask in its native habitat.

Before the darkness could dominate the air a note rang out. More notes followed, forming into a beautiful melody. Praise and worship to the Holy One washed over me, the room, death himself and flowed out into the hallway. Heaviness lifted, the clouds fled, and death hastened its step no longer enjoying the moment.

As the singing continued death took dad’s hand. If you weren’t paying close attention you might not notice the shallow breathing stop. The singing died and a quiet somberness filled the room. Its job done, death turned to leave.

As we stared on in silence at dad’s hospital bed it was transformed from a barren wasteland to fertile ground and what began to bloom was absolutely glorious. Bright and radiant dad sat up slowly. His eyes focused on the brilliant angel of life who had quietly entered the back of the room. What it lacked in pageantry the angel of life made up for in power. Hoping down and without a look over his shoulder dad took the angel’s hand.