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Monday, April 8, 2013

"IS"

Is:  To exist or live; to occupy a place or position; to continue or remain as before.  A small word, but it tells us much, doesn't it?  One that "is" really is one who exists and lives - occupying a placement or position unlike any other.  The most amazing part of the definition of "is" can be found in the last part - the concept of continuing or remaining as before - unchanged by what has come or what lies ahead.  This is the definition of the character of God - unchanged by what has been - what is today - or what will come in the future.  Solomon spends a great deal of time outlining all the accomplishments of a man on a quest - getting more of everything, living without restraint, not held back by anything.  He even tells us of his tremendous struggle with "accumulating" all (wisdom, houses, wives, lands, personal property - you name it).  It comes at a price - after all is said and done, time spent and body worn, nothing really all that satisfying emerges from the pursuit.  Then when it seems like he is going to really leave us with a "downer" in this book, he drops in little tidbits like the one below.

I know that whatever God does, it endures forever; nothing can be added to it nor anything taken from it. And God does it so that men will [reverently] fear Him [revere and worship Him, knowing that He is].  (Ecclesiastes 3:14 AMP)

Whatever God does - it endures.  Whatever he does is perfect - nothing can be added which will lend to its perfection, nothing can be taken from it which will leave it less than perfect.  Whatever God does, it is with the intention of capturing the attention of man's heart - so man might enter into relationship with the one who "is".  

The "whatever" of God - do we really understand it?  I doubt we do, for the "whatever" encompasses all he does - the full extent of his love, grace, peace, provision, and power.  Solomon says God "is" - he is continuing as before - he changes not.  If this doesn't give you hope, then I don't know what will for everything around us changes - except God.  

"Whatever" really means "no matter what".  Solomon is saying "no matter what God does - it endures".  I often use the expression, "Whatever!"  What I am really saying when I use it is that no matter the circumstances or choices, what will be will be.  Solomon was likely saying something quite similar - no matter the circumstances - God "IS".  He IS our ability to overcome.  He IS our refuge and strength.  He IS our hope and trust.  He IS all we need.

Knowing that he IS - Solomon comes to this conclusion for all man faces in life.  It is God's goal to show himself as continually present - constant in all circumstances - always faithful to his promises.  Now, this may not seem like much to you, but when we put this in perspective, we begin to see the truth of God occupying a placement in each of these circumstances - not just "present" to observe, but to be our "whatever" in the midst of them!  

Solomon concludes from all his life's events - seeking all that would promise satisfaction:  Nothing satisfies like the "whatever" of truly recognizing the one who IS.  When men come to a place of recognizing God as the one who existed before our circumstances overwhelmed us, present in the midst of the pressing storms, and ever-faithful to navigate us through the continual flux of the future, he determines a need for the one who will not change his position - he remains central in our lives no matter the circumstances.

I think it might help us to see another translation of this passage to put this all together:  I’ve also concluded that whatever God does, that’s the way it’s going to be, always. No addition, no subtraction. God’s done it and that’s it. That’s so we’ll quit asking questions and simply worship in holy fear. (MSG)  The thing God asks of us - trust the one who IS.  Stop asking questions and simply worship him (his consistency, his unchangeable character, his faithfulness).  Life deals us different hands at different stages - much like a game of cards.  One hand may seem quite good, allowing us to "score a few points".  Another may seem to "subtract" from the overall "score".  The truth is, life is not a game of chance like cards.  God IS - he has been in our past, he is in our present, and he will be in our future.  All these are "tenses" of "IS" - to have BEEN, IS, and BE.  If you don't get it by now - Solomon is really helping us disconnect from what will constantly change - amassed treasures, positions, etc.  He is pointing us toward the connection which will remain constant - humbly submitted to the one who IS.

Not sure where you stand today, but when I face the "whatever" of life, I want to know I am walking through it with the one who IS.  Just sayin!