February 22, 2011

"What We Really Believe About God" series (God vs. The "Obvious")

Over the last several days I have been talking about how our faith is impacted by what we really believe. On the first day of this series, I addressed God vs. Hard Knocks. A lot of people have a hard time believing in the sovereignty of God because of the circumstances that they see in their life or someone else’s. We looked at how the whole story of Scripture is really a testimony that God works most clearly in those situations. The situations that people call impossible are the perfect primers for God to work, and since all of us are impossible situations ourselves, we have no reason to think that God doesn't desire to work in such arenas.

Yesterday I talked about God vs, Mean people. The challenge was whether we had enough faith to trust God to use us and change even the most hopeless looking people.

Today we are going to look at God vs. the Obvious. What I mean by that is that a lot of people put more stock in what they see and hear than what the Word of God says. Someone once said that faith is believing what you cannot see. I don't think that is exactly right. I think faith is simply believing what God says. So the question for you to think about tonight is this: regardless of what you see on tv, hear in the news, read and talk about - do you have more faith in the reality of the broken world around you, or in God and His word? Don't answer so quickly, we'll take a look at why this is so hard.

A few years ago, there was a universal event that covered the news, the pulpits on Sunday mornings, the magazines , and just about anything that we heard or listened to. It was the event known as Y2K. Do you remember Y2K?
The turning of the century. The reason Y2K became so significant wasn't because of the millenial milestone for humanity, but because of an alleged computer glitch.

That's right a computer glitch.

Christians and non-Christians alike were losing their minds because of the impending chaos they were told would ensue when computer systems in banks, utility companies, government defense systems, and TiVo's tried to compute a 00 ending in the new year turn over at midnight of Dec 31st, 1999.

Books were written to help people plan for the end of the world. People sold their life savings to take exotic last chance trips. People stored up their pantries with water, food, and survival gear to last as long as possible after the total breakdown of all social and economic order. It sounds funny now, but people truly were worried about losing all there money, electrical power, insurance, and missed episodes of Friends on TiVo. These wern't just those pathetic heathens out there. These were honest God-fearing Christians who let the appearance of "obvious" things in their world distract them from the sovereignty of God in Scripture. One of my favorite movie quotes is in the movie Anne of Green Gables. Anne's adoptive mother says to Anne after Anne throws a temper tantrum declaring she is in utter despair, "To be in despair is to turn your back on God." It's true. To become hopeless, means that you have let the world tell you their is no hope, when the author of life Himself has told you that their will never be a moment without hope, and not just any hope, the single greatest hope of all time: That He is in control and works all things together for your good (if you are one of the ones who love Him). Romans 8:28

Why do people read their Bible and yet trust it so little when it matters the most?

We are all guilty of this at times in our lives. Why is it so hard? I think the answer is in this truth that the Bible tells us about ourselves:
Mark 4:18-20
18Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. 20Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown."

No matter where you are or what the world tells you is true, this one thing will never change: God is Sovereign! There is nothing in this world outside His control or His goodness. If you belong to Him, then your life is His. He has a plan for you that involves His glory. The world can talk about reality all it wants. I know God's Word. That's reality!

For thought:
What are some of the things that appear to be obviously without hope where you are?
How about your home?
Read Psalm 1. What is the difference between the two types of humans represented? What is the danger of the righteous living among sinners? How do we overcome that?

With you for His glory