A Divine Order

“Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.” –Genesis 2:1 (NIV)

When we read the Creation account in the first chapter of Genesis, it is both interesting and assuring to mediate on how God created the world. Each step is meant to be a preparation for the next. Plants need soil to root themselves in, and water and light to aid in their growth. This is why God beforehand created light, the sky, and dry land on the first, second, and third days. Where would the birds fly and where would they rest? Before God created the birds on the fifth day, He created the sky on the second day and the trees on the fourth day. Those trees would not only be sources of shelter, but sources of food as well. On the fifth day God created fish for additional sustenance, which in turn would not survive if God had not created water on the second day. Neither would the livestock or wild animals of the sixth day survive if there was not the land and gathered waters of the third day, the vegetation of the fourth, and fish of the fifth. To top it all off, God created man, and brought him into a world where everything he will ever need will be provided for.

Often, it seems that we can never make sense of our lives. Everything, at least from our perspective, seems to be one random event after another. It can be distressing, especially after we’ve tried to connect the dots on our own understanding and failed to draw meaning from it all. Yet it is at these moments, when we are perplexed over our destination in life, that we should take comfort in God’s perfect will for us as His children.

Nothing is random in God’s eyes. He has ordained every event in our lives towards a specific plan; a plan that He assures will never be meant to harm us, but to give us a bright future and hope. More often than not, I find that those seemingly random events and decisions in my life, were actually guided by God to prepare me for something grand and glorious. However, we tend to see this big picture only in retrospect. I have often thought in my moments of confusion that it would be nice if God could reveal to me the entirety of His plan for my life. But then I realize that life would not only be dull and predictable, it would be a life where faith could not grow. It is in the unknown, in times when we seem to be groping in the dark, where we learn to place our faith in God and hold onto Him. May we take assurance in the fact that God has a specific and beautiful plan for our lives. A plan which only requires that we surrender our cares, our confusion, our concerns to Him and place our trust in His perfect wisdom.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Beyond Our Limitations

“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us,” –Ephesians 3:20 (NIV)

Who is God? It is clear that He is someone much different from us. If we could graphically describe His existence, it would be like a circle. Who can tell where a circle begins and where it ends? Likewise, God’s existence is eternal; there was never a point where He began to exist, and there will never be a point where He will cease to exist. In contrast, our existence can be described like a line. A line has a clear start point and a clear end point. It is the same with our mortal lives. For us, our existence begins when we are conceived in our mother’s womb, and ends on the day when we die.

God is also omnipotent and omnipresent. No feat is too great for Him to perform and He sees everything simultaneously in real time. For us humans however, situations always remind us of our limitations. Even though we wish otherwise, we are not invincible nor can we be everywhere at once. He is the only one who can create something out of nothing. We on the other hand always have to use pre-existing materials and ideas to create. God is all-knowing, yet ignorance is something we as humans always need to overcome. Not only is God different from us, but He is superior to us in every way. Thus He deserves our respect and worship.

Often, we tend to put God in a box. We catch ourselves thinking that our situations are too difficult even for God to solve. Our own limited human understanding tells us that if no human can solve our problems, not even ourselves, then no one can solve them at all. How wrong we are! We fail to take account of the fact that God is not bound by our limitations and nothing is impossible for Him. What’s even more reassuring is that fact that He is not distant from us. He is not a passive observer, but actively seeks to help us out of His love for us as His creation. However, if we truly want His help in our lives, we have to allow Him to enter into our hearts and do His work. God will always be standing at the door of our hearts and knocking, but we must be the ones willing to open that door for Him. When we come before Him, acknowledging His supremacy over our lives and our situations, He will be able to do more than we ask or can even imagine according to His will and purposes. May we surrender our present situations to God knowing that while we may be powerless in our human frailty, He is more than able to help us in our time of need.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Witnessing for Christ

“Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.” –Mark 13:11 (NIV)

I used to be enrolled in a Toastmasters class in order to improve my public speaking skills. As part of the activities that we would participate in, we were asked to pick a random topic out of a hat and speak on it for about two to four minutes. Sometimes you would know something about the topic you have picked, but most of the time you wouldn’t know anything all. I remember when I used to get a topic that I had little knowledge about; it was hard to speak on it even for the short amount of time I was given. I was always worried if I was presenting myself clearly and hoping that I was not making myself look ignorant.

Often when we are put on the spot against our will by those who may view our faith in Christ with cynicism and confront us for our belief in Him, we may react in the same way. Our shock at the sudden nature of the circumstances we find ourselves in, coupled with our nervousness and anxiety in making sure we use the right words to present a bold witness for Christ, leaves us stammering and hoping that our “interrogation” will be over soon. After the pressure is off us, we question whether in that moment we were bold witness for Christ at all.

It is true that we must be prepared to answer opposition and tell them of the life-changing power of Christ. We prepare ourselves for this inevitability by spending time in God’s Word and meditating on what He has done in our lives. Yet sometimes, in our moments of weakness, we feel as if we have failed to be the witnesses for Christ that we are called to be; resulting in anxiety overwhelming us. Thankfully we don’t have to go through this anxiety. If we allow Christ to speak through us, asking Him to guide our words and control our thoughts, automatically He will give us the words to say and how to say them. When we rely on our own strength to be witnesses for Christ, we will stumble because it was not of our own effort that we were saved from sin. Since we were freed solely because of Christ’s sacrifice and Him coming to reside in our hearts, He is the only one who can speak of the redemptive work in our lives and spread His message. All that Christ asks is that we have an open heart for Him to use and to speak to others about His plan for all His creation. The result will surprise us when we have allowed God to speak through us and all we will be able to do is to praise Him. Our words are not to bring glory to ourselves or to our own abilities in living the Christian life, but it should reveal to others that there is a transcendent and powerful God who loves humanity so much that He is actively seeking to restore humanity from its degradation.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.