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Sunday, July 12, 2015

Not the "how", but the "who" - the order of the letters makes all the difference

I don't fully understand the "watchful" ability of God - because at best I can only keep my eye on a couple things at one time - and even then I am just barely keeping up with things.  Don't believe me, then recount the last time you were cutting up something on the counter, while a pot was coming to a boil on the stove, and the sudden alertness it created when you heard that sound of the hot water hitting the stove top with a loud sizzle.  You were right there, and it stilled boiled over!  You were "watchful" over the entire dinner, but it stilled managed to escape your attention that the pot's contents were at the point of coming right over the edges of the pot!  Yes, we are watchful, but our watchfulness is nothing like the omnipresence of God - his ever-present, all-seeing watchful presence.  I don't just believe it is his vantage point in the heavenlies which gives him the great ability to be watchful over all mankind at one time.  I think it might just have to do with the fact he created all things, knows exactly how all things work, and that little appreciated fact that he is GOD!  

Great blessings belong to those who have the Lord as their God!  He chose them to be his own special people.  The Lord looked down from heaven and saw all the people.  From his high throne he looked down at all the people living on earth.   He created every person’s mind, and he knows what each one is doing. A king is not saved by the power of his army.  A soldier does not survive by his own great strength.  Horses don’t really bring victory in war.  Their strength cannot help you escape.  The Lord watches over his followers, those who wait for him to show his faithful love.  He saves them from death.  He gives them strength when they are hungry.  So we will wait for the Lord.  He helps us and protects us.  He makes us happy.  We trust his holy name.  Lord, we worship you, so show your great love for us. (Psalm 33:12-22 ERV)

If we re-read our passage again, we won't want to skip over the opening words about great blessings belonging to those who have the Lord as their God.  It is more than knowing there is a God, or that he loves us.  It is more about "having" him as our Lord - one who is owner of our lives and in full control of our actions.  We cannot just "know about" him - we actually have to be in relationship with him to understand and appreciate the blessings he has provided for our lives.  This gives us a different vantage point ourselves - not making us omnipresent or omniscient (everywhere present or all-knowing), but it does give us the presence of God moving with us in our lives (the one who is all-present and all-knowing).

It is also important to be mindful that God created our minds - he knows very well how they work, what their limitations are, and how vastly creative they can be at times.  He knows how thoughts are formed, what influences them, and when they can carry us into action or paralyze us into motionless inaction. It might just be this knowledge of how we think and where our thoughts have the capacity to take each of us that makes it so easy for him to know what each one of us is doing or about to do.  Since there is no new thought under the sun where God is concerned, when we head down a certain path of thought, he knows exactly where that will lead.  This is why we can trust him when he gives us that little niggling inside which says to just stop now.  He knows the path isn't going to produce something good for our lives.

We might somehow assume we are able to accomplish things in our own power or by our own great skill.  Truth is - - - at best our skill is far below that of the Creator's!  In this case, it is pretty much advisable we look to him for the sorting out of our affairs and the keeping of watch over our lives.  He is indeed the one who turns the heads of the kings to do his bidding and the feet of the soldiers to overcome in battle.  We cannot lose sight of the faithful love of God for it will never lose sight of us!  We are saved from death - both spiritual and physical - by his watchful eye and strong arm.  We are made full on the delightful bounty of his prepared feast - both physically and spiritually.  We enjoy great privilege in his presence.

Our part is two-fold:  1) We enter into this relationship with open hearts and open minds; and 2) We continue on in this relationship, waiting for his every move.  God doesn't spoon feed us through life, but he prepares a bounty for our sustenance.  We go to the places we know we will find his "prepared food" - like to the Word of God in times of study and contemplation.  We don't just sit there like birds in a nest and hope a worm will drop into our mouths!  This is part of "continuing on" in relationship with Jesus - we go where he directs, prepared for what he has provided for us, and then we enjoy the sustenance he provides. We might not understand the "how" behind what it is God does for us in this life, but we can appreciate the "who" behind every action on our behalf!  Just sayin!