Let's not trivialize God

But God’s angry displeasure erupts as acts of human mistrust and wrongdoing and lying accumulate, as people try to put a shroud over truth. But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse. What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn’t treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life. They traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in his hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand. (Romans 1:20)

No good excuse - did you catch that? We don't have to see God to know he exists - we can see evidence of his creative existence all around us if we look with 'open eyes'. Instead of seeing God's presence, we imagine we need some kind of 'image' of him to worship. Imagine being one of the Israelite people those hundreds and hundreds of years ago, seeing Moses ascend the mountain to commune with God. They knew something was happening 'up there', but they had nothing 'down where they were'. So, they created a 'symbol' they could look upon - the golden calf. They demanded an 'image' they could worship rather than seeing the evidence all around them. Why it is we demand what is 'false' in our lives while we are surrounded by so much of what is 'real'? I don't know about you, but I do that when I want to have some form of control in my life. Do you know what God said to Moses the day they created the idol? "I’ve seen these people and indeed they’re obstinate." Yup, obstinate and a bit 'hard-headed' about sums it up - no good excuse.

We don't want to ever be guilty of 'trivializing' God's creation or his presence with us. We need to continually be aware that he is near. Not in the 'image' we create of him, but in the image he gives of every aspect of himself all around us. The wind blowing through the leaves of the tree remind us he has a voice. The busy ants on the mounding anthill give us an awareness of his constant work in our lives, never tiring or giving up on us. The fluttering of the tiny wings of the hummingbird, hovering so gracefully above us, remind us of the ease at which he comes to us. We can 'see' God in many ways and in many things - there is evidence all around us. We don't need to create any 'image' that trivializes him - for that would be utter foolishness on our part. We can never create an 'image' of God worthy of all he is. We should never trade the glory of what he is for anything we could create with our own hands and minds.

How do we worship a God we cannot see or touch? Do we worship the tree or the bird? No, we allow our spirit to commune with his Spirit. Worship happens when our inner man yields to the presence of God all around us - when we let go of our need to see and touch long enough to be touched from above. We never allow anything to separate us from his presence. We want 'evidence', but we forget about all the evidence everywhere around us - even the very breath we just took is evidence of his presence with us. The sustainer of all things is within us - his Spirit communes with our spirit, ordering our finite minds so we don't create anything that would 'shroud' his presence within us. The God we serve will not be trivialized. He will not be 'veiled' - his presence is meant to be felt and known. We may not always 'see' him, but we can always know he is here. Just sayin!

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