Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Him With Whom We Have To Do

“Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” (Heb.4:13)

C.S. Lewis has observed that what most of us are really looking for is not a Heavenly Father, but rather, a heavenly grandfather. But we need to get one thing straight: God is nobody’s grandfather. If our relationship to Him is not an immediate bloodline, there is no connection at all. If the Bible teaches anything, it makes this truth abundantly clear. Still, as you well know, teaching that is Biblically sound is not always practically seen. Lewis’ observation is a case in point.

If you and I are not carefull, we can easily see God as a benevolent, indulgent deity, content to sit by and watch us play and have a good time, merely shaking his hoary head from time to time and murmur a gentle, “No-no, now.” Not senile exactly, just unobservant. This idea is reminiscent of a philosophy popular in the 18th Century, called Deism, which acknowledged that God must have existed to create the universe and all its laws, but there is no reason to think He has any concern with the day to day concerns of men or justice. Obviously, this was only wishful thinking. It was alright to believe in God, but not much of one. It goes without saying, if the God who created all things is actually watching, the implications are enormous…and potentially life changing.

You who are grandparents, as we are, have no doubt experienced hearing from your children say, “You never would have let me get away with that!” And it’s true; we often succumb to the temptation to pass over offenses in our grandchildren that we castigated in their parents. (I will not argue here whether this is a virtue or a vice!) My point is this: you and I have to deal with God personally. As the verse says, it is Him “with whom we have to do.” With regard to our eternal destiny—Heaven or hell—Jesus Christ stands between God and us, but parental discipline, as well as parental protection, is part of God’s job description. And He takes it seriously. Children of God can, and do, sin, but never successfully. The old gospel song says, “My Heavenly Father watches over me.” But there’s also an old Negro spiritual that says, “He sees all you do and He hears all you say; my Lord’s a-watchin’ all the time.” Both are true.

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