Thursday, November 1, 2012

He is a different Being

I'm sitting in a warm living room on a cold evening. I'm listening to sisters (well, just "sister" now) play the piano. I've just eaten a yummy meal. My feet are encased in cozy boots. I feel the urge to write.

I've been needing to sit down and collect my thoughts for awhile now. Writing is the way I do that. If I go for several days without writing, I begin to notice that something is wrong. The back of my mind has a tickle; an irritating nudge, telling me I'm forgetting something. But I'm stuck on a treadmill and can't slow down to figure out what's stuck in my shoe. ...Until I sit down to write and think.

Of course, I can't publicize all my thought-collecting. That would be just plain terrifying (not sure whether more so to you, or to me!), but I decided I'd share a few of my thoughts.

- Thought number one; I'm so grateful to be sitting here, warm and safe, with electricity running my laptop and the light above my head. My heart goes out to those in the North who have lost homes and loved ones in the recent storm. May God be with them.

- That reminds me of what I heard at church yesterday; one of the ladies told of her co-worker's sad state of affairs. She had a son who was trying to commit suicide, and she surprised him in the act. She wrestled with him to get the gun away. He was stronger than her, and ended up killing himself right in front of her. How sad. How awful. God be merciful!

- I've been thinking a lot lately about the names of God. Our Sunday-school lesson this week was on the third commandment. It's such a blessing to study the laws of God as see how much love they contain - but also how much they tell us about God Himself. This one reminded us of how holy God is; we should treat even His name with awe and respect.

That led me to thinking how little we think about what God is. Not Who, but what. He isn't US.

That seems obvious, but, really, it's....everything! He isn't a human. He isn't a creature. He isn't an angel. He isn't like anything else. I can look at another girl and say "I'm like you." An angel can look at another angel and say "I'm like you," but God can't do that. He's another "Being" entirely. His very essence is different. His make-up. His....whatever it is that makes one being different from another. 

Think of what this means! All your life, you've dealt with other humans. Sometimes you deal with other beings - animals, for instance. You are familiar with a limited variety of "being" types. Every once in awhile, a human interacts with a supernatural being, such as an angel or evil spirit. The Bible is quite clear that both of those are real beings, and we have numerous accounts of times when they have interacted with human beings; some in the past, and some in the present. Whenever they make themselves know - whether they be a godly or ungodly spirit - they results are tremendous. Coming into contact with a "being" we aren't familiar with terrifies us - and with good cause! It also fascinates us.

I find it interesting that even "uncivilized" natives in a deep jungle are aware of the spirit world. Every tribe, no matter how remote, has made some sort of connection with the super-natural world (most of the time, the devilish side of it, unfortunately). They know. We're born knowing.

But in all that knowing, no creature, no being, is so terrifying as God. There is nothing else to compare Him to. Everything that we are, He's not. We are limited. He's not. We die. He's always been. We are anchored in the present. He not only knows the future and past, but is in them. He can do anything.


And what of His nature? He defines what is good and what is bad. He is the source of our moral code. Something is good because it is "like Him." Something is bad because it is not like Him. Hatred is wrong because He is love. Lying is wrong because He is Truth. Treating the Sabbath day as a ordinary working day is wrong because He rested on the Sabbath. Treating His Word flippantly is wrong because He honors His Word. He is God-focused, therefore we must be.

He doesn't get tired. He doesn't lie. He doesn't change. He doesn't grow. He doesn't forget. He is a real, true, actual Person. This isn't a fairy story - He's real! And He really is a totally different Being. Such a thing can happen. He exists.

And because of all this - and more - we ought to tremble before Him. I understand that His children are commanded to come boldly before Him - such a precious verse! - but that should not diminish our awe of Him. I think that if I truly kept in mind what little I know of Him, and always remembered that He is such a great, different Being, I would speak differently to Him. So many times I talk to Him as if He's a human, you know? But He isn't. He thinks differently than I do. He sees differently than I do. Not just because He's wiser, and "gooder" and purer, but because He is a different Being.

If I always remembered this, I would cry over that verse which allows me such an awesome privilege, to come before this God and be permitted to speak a word to Him. I would be speechless at the news that He loves me. I would take care that every word I spoke in His hearing would be just right.

Why do we treat His name lightly? Why do we tack "in Jesus' name" on the end of a prayer as if it didn't matter that we've been given the awesome honor of being able to ask in His name? Why do so many "praise songs" repeat His name over and over again like a chant in a commercial instead of a title of the Sovereign Ruler of earth?

Why do we treat His names lightly? He is our Lord - why do some songs or people throw that word in to fill up space in a verse or sentence? He is our goodness; why do we talk about "my goodness" when we want to express surprise?

Oh, how I want to treasure His names - all of them!

- I've also been thinking about .....

...Forget it. All the other stuff I was thinking about suddenly doesn't seem that exciting or important.

How can I complain about _______, when I just talked about this wonderful Being I am allowed to know?
How can I sound enthralled about _________, when I just sat here and described a God who is better than  a fairy story, and actually exists?

I'm overwhelmed.

I think I'll stop for now.

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