Archive for Magnificent God

I Am from You

The Lord God formed man of dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. (Genesis 2:7, NASB)

God, in a way, our relationship is private and personal,
one that You and I share alone.
It’s an organic relationship,
as fundamental as my substance,
as my existence.
I am from You.

I turn back to You now as demands leave me
uncertain and
seeking support.
I am from You.

I don’t just have my source in You.
I’m not a child now seeking independence.
I am a part of You once ripped away,
now seeking reunion.
You are life, and I am alive.
You are reality, and I exist.
You are air, and I am a breath.

Father, I am from You.
Make us one again, I pray.

Father, as I trust You,
my reality is as vast as You are.
I share in Your character,
Your power,
Your goodness, and
Your unlimited future.

Hymn: Imagine Your Creator’s Breath

Creator

You created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
your works are wonderful.
(Psalm 139:13-14, NIV)

Creator,
Father,
I am Yours—
life, breath, mind, energy,
spirit and body, past and future,
I am entirely Yours.
Conceived by Your love,
knit together by Your infinite wisdom,
born and cradled by Your power,
I am the child of Your very being,
O Lord of all.

You love me.
Father God,
before the mountains could witness it,
You invested yourself in me.
You devoted yourself to my needs.
Driven by love, You held nothing back—
now, then, always.
I don’t understand it, but
everything around me says it is so—
the air, my food and water, every pattern and color,
every conversation with a friend.
Reminders flood my senses from birth through death.

Creator,
Father,
Your glory invites me to come and know You,
and prodded by my needs,
my failures and anxieties,
I look up to You.
I hunger for You.
Father, fulfill in me that unhindered relationship
that Your love has always craved,
that Your wisdom would patiently teach,
that Your power can provide.
Draw my life energies into yourself,
the Source and Goal of all I am.
Enable me to become all I can become,
to grow, to learn, to discover and aspire,
but all in You and unto You.

Creator,
Father,
nurture that trust within me.
Nurture that love.

True wealth is not possessing, but
being possessed by
almighty
all-loving,
all-wise God.

Hymn: God of the Universe

I Am His Child

Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.
For He Himself knows our frame;
He is mindful that we are but dust.
(Psalm 103:13-14, NASB)

God loves us as a parent loves a newborn child.
An infant doesn’t have to earn the parents’ affection.
A baby is loved because of relationship, not because of merit.

Read the beautiful picture painted in Psalm 103.
The Father understands us far better than we understand ourselves.
He never expects us to live like something we’re not.
We don’t need to pretend with Him.

Instead, He takes the initiative to transform us
into more than we can be on our own.
He wants to make us truly His children.
He wants to make us like our Father in every way.

All He asks is that we respond to Him in trust, step-by-step.

Like Your Son, Father,
may my thoughts flow
from You and
to You.
Keep me hungry for
Your glory,
not mine.

Hymn: Holy Father, Only You

I Am Your Creation

O Lord, you are our Father.
We are the clay, you are the potter;
we are all the work of your hand. (Isaiah 64:8, NIV)

During some periods in my life, I’ve lived in a vague uneasiness about myself. I’ve felt a restlessness, an unsettledness within that was hard to pin down or identify.

Eventually I realized this stemmed from a clouding of my relationship with God. Though I had not totally rejected Him, I was reluctant to face Him, afraid to stand before Him unhidden. Perhaps I had let Satan steal my confidence through his false accusations. Or perhaps sin had crept in, and I knew deep within that I hadn’t been living as I should. As a result, guilt had separated me from a full, joyful relationship with God. I was hesitant to look into His face.

If you’ve ever experienced these feelings, try something with me. Close your eyes and bow your head, and see yourself standing before Him right now. In your heart look Him straight in the face and say, “God, I am Your creation.”

Go ahead, try it.

Listen. How does your heart respond when you say that?

I have a sense of being a child, standing before my Father, with my arms outstretched, looking up into His face. No matter what my struggles, He understands me. My sins and failures have not dampened His love. I’m enveloped in acceptance, an affection, a belonging that goes deeper than my childish inadequacies.

When our children fail or get in trouble, we don’t want them to hide from us or go to other sources for help. It hurts and frustrates our hearts when they won’t share themselves with us, even when they fall. We long for them to come to us and be assured of our love, understanding, and total support, no matter what they’ve done. Our Father is the same with us. We are His. Though sin brings a cloud and a separation from Him, the separation is on our end, not His. The love and acceptance still exist. He yearns for us to turn to Him again.

As I stand before Him as my Creator, realizing I am His very own, worship becomes a living relationship. At such times, words are unnecessary. Communication lines are open from heart to heart, without the formalities of speech. The love I sense for Him is worship. That trust growing within me is the adoration He desires.

Standing there, I long to live always in His presence, in that unbroken fellowship with Him. Sin appears now as foolish and destructive, soiling that beautiful, living relationship. I want Him to seal all my affections forever as His very own. I want to live fully and freely before Him—naturally, as His love designed.

And in that love, I want to glorify Him in every way I can. Creation so beautifully and lavishly glorifies Him, singing constantly of His power, His wisdom, His love. As His creation, I want to take my place in that symphony.

We are His creation, His children. That warm, open relationship is what He wants most for us, and with us. He only asks that we trust Him—trust Him enough to come to Him immediately and repent when we have sinned; trust Him enough to bring Him our needs and concerns; trust Him enough to obey His words of love.

He is a wonderful Father!

Father, You have placed
Your Almighty, holy name on us.
We are cleansed,
protected,
equipped,
exalted, and
forever set apart as Your very own.
Thank You, Father!

God Our Fullness

We are inherently, inescapably needy.
We are not self-sufficient and never can be.
We forever have needs outside ourselves –
food,
water,
air,
temperature control,
companionship, and
so much more.
We are fragile creatures,
never self-contained,
designed to be dependent,
designed to be incomplete.

Sovereign God, You are complete in Yourself.
You are all power,
all wisdom,
all life,
all truth, and
all rightness.
You are self-contained.
You need nothing.
You lack nothing.
You are full to overflowing.
You give of Yourself
constantly,
lavishly,
lovingly.

O God of all,
we need You.
Only in Your fullness can we be complete.
Only in Your wisdom can we think aright.
Only in Your power can we
be who we need to be.
Only in You are we
pure and
at peace.
Only in You are we
loved,
honored, and
truly, deeply satisfied.
Only in You, Father.
Only in You.

Father, I look to this world, and
I am engulfed in
death, darkness,
disappointment, and despair.
I look to You, and I see
life,
love,
deep meaning, and
a shining future.
Fix my eyes on You.

Hymn: All-in-all

The Hunger

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. (Matthew 5:6, NASB)

I had an extra day off work, and I wanted to enjoy it to the fullest. One of the best parts of having the day off is getting to stay up late the night before. So I watched TV to my heart’s content. I lay around instead of taking that walk I needed. And I ate whatever I felt like eating.

By the time I went to bed, I felt bloated, guilty, and restless. I had learned again what I should have already known: self-indulgence is not the path to happiness.

What’s more, satisfying the needs of our bodies does not satisfy us.

Yes, we are physical creatures. In a sense, we are children of this earth. Our bodies are made of its elements. We are sustained by its resources and are dependent on them for life – water, food, and air. Even our concepts of pleasure and beauty are largely shaped by this earth. And when we die, our bodies return to the elements from which we were formed. Physically, we are children of this earth.

But we are more than that. We are more than this weak, dying body. Life is more than a sensory experience. Happiness is more than making our bodies as comfortable as possible.

We indulge ourselves. We make life as easy as we can. Or we make it as stimulating as we can. Pleasure . . . ambition . . . they add interest to life, for a while. They can be pleasant distractions, some for longer than others. But always the emptiness returns, the “is that all there is?” feeling. We hunger for something greater, something deeper, something truly fulfilling . . . something lasting.

We hunger to reach all the way to the roots of our existence. We hunger for our Father, our Mother.

We hunger for God.

We don’t want to think of it that way. We want to look at the need a “rational” way and come to a more human solution. But the fact is that we hunger for something more than this sea of humanity has to offer, more than it can know. We hunger for our Creator. We hunger to know Him and be known by Him, to understand, to rise to all that we can be, to find our place . . . forever.

We grasp for fulfillment, and fulfillment can only be found in the One that created us from Himself. Fulfillment can only be found in all that He is and all that we can be in Him.

If you’re searching for meaning, for purpose, for soul-deep satisfaction, for all that life should be, search for the Source. Search for Him.

You’ll discover that He has been searching for you all along . . . searching for His child. And you’ll discover that finding Him is as close as a single, honest prayer.

God is a gardener at heart.
He delights to grow things from tiny seeds.
Look at your life and
the lives of those who are following Him.
It’s like a stroll through His garden.
What is He growing?
Isn’t it beautiful?

Hymn: Growing in God

When God Calls

By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going. (Hebrews 11:8, NASB)

The old adage says, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”. Apparently Abraham didn’t believe that. When Almighty God called him to leave his home and extended family—the comfortable, the familiar, the secure, the “bird in the hand”—he obeyed. He didn’t know where God was taking him, but he followed anyway.

His obedience was the outward evidence of an inward faith. He had met Sovereign God, the Creator, the Lord of heaven and earth. Once Abraham had encountered Him, nothing else mattered. God’s reality was motivation enough. God Himself had called. Abraham obeyed. Since he believed in this Being who spoke to him, what else would he do? It was by faith that Abraham obeyed (Hebrews 11:8, NASB).

Abraham’s situation is not unique. Almighty God comes personally to every believer. He calls each of us. He makes demands. He makes promises.

He points to a new path and commands us to leave the life we have known and begin a new one. We don’t know where our new life, our new path, will take us. But if we believe the One who is calling—if we believe He is who He says He is—what else would we do but bow and obey? How else could we respond but to follow wherever He leads us?

For a time, God may isolate us
from every other source of supply
but Himself.
It can be frightening.
But what an amazing privilege!
Almighty Creator God is looking into our eyes,
one-on-one,
face-to-face, saying,
“I am God your Father.
I love you.
You can trust Me.”

Hymn: I Only Want to Walk in You

How to Be Sure about God

Genesis 1; Psalm 8; Isaiah 40:12-31

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval.

By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.

By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks.

By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; and he was not found because God took him up; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God.

And without faith it is impossible to please Him. (Hebrews 11:1-6a, NASB)

We cannot have a casual relationship with God. He claims to be Creator, sovereign Lord of all reality, Father, Redeemer, and Fountain of Life. If His claim is false, we should ignore Him along with all the other fakes and fictions in our world. If He is who He says He is, He is the reality that shapes every other reality. We owe Him everything, and more. There is no halfway. He is All-in-all, or He is nothing.

Since God is the ultimate question, how can we know that He exists? How can we be sure about Him? Our entire lifespan is a mere moment in time. We perceive and understand so little of reality, and He is by His very nature beyond our senses and imaginings. If we could completely encompass Him with our perceptions and expectations, we would be God, not Him.

Any objective observer of the human situation would come to this conclusion: understanding all reality is beyond human ability. It is beyond our perspective, beyond our brevity, beyond our wisdom, beyond the blindness and smallness of our self-centered pride. We can only know a Sovereign, transcendent God as He intentionally reveals Himself to us and as we respond by trusting Him.

That is the path to knowing God that is laid out in His Word, the Bible. What is our proof or evidence for the things we cannot see? Faith is our proof. Faith is our evidence. Faith is our assurance (Hebrews 11:1).

Creation itself nurtures this faith in what is beyond our senses. All its vastness, its matter, its detail, its pattern and order, came from nothing. It truly is a creation. Everything we see came from what we cannot see (Hebrews 11:3). Creation is but one of many testimonies God has provided, one of many signposts pointing to His reality (Other signposts include His written Word, His Spirit speaking within, the testimony of other human beings, and the man Christ Jesus).

But there is no objective proof that makes faith unnecessary. Our ultimate decision is always this: do we trust God or not? That decision is God’s design. To come to Him, we must realize our smallness and dependence, then trust Him as our Creator, Father, and Lord. To know Him, we must humbly acknowledge Him for who He is and acknowledge ourselves for who we are. Until then, we are foolishly exalting our small selves above the greatness displayed all around us. That can never lead us to the truth. The truth begins with God, not with us. Certainty requires our humble, trusting commitment to Him.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. (Proverbs 9:10, NASB)

But further, how can we frail and flawed creatures ever hope to please such a God or fellowship with Him? We please Him the same way we come to know Him: by faith—that is, by humbly, simply, actively trusting Him (Hebrews 11:2, 4-6a).

We are blind until we trust God.
He works His mightiest wonders right in front of us—
creation,
Jesus Christ, and
the glories of life in Him—
and we see nothing.
Trusting Him opens our eyes to His magnificence.

Hymn: Transcendent God

We Need to See You

In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted. (Isaiah 6:1, NASB)

Father, we are flooded with so many needs,
but our real need is
You.
We need to know You for all You are,
the One true God,
high and lifted up,
the Holy One,
our Source and Goal,
the All-in-all,
our Eternal Father.
We need to see You for all You are.
We need to trust You always for all You are.

Lift our eyes, Father.
Help us to see You.

God wants us to know Him.
His most intricate and detailed works—
creation,
the Bible,
even the Old Testament tabernacle—
are those that fill our mind and senses with Him.
Father, I want to know You.
Open me to receive You.

Hymn: Simply God

Live as Seeing the Unseen

We walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7, NASB)

We tend to react only to what seems real to us. And as humans, we interpret reality primarily by what we can see. If it happens to be visible, it’s real. If not, it can’t be fully trusted.

But even science tells us that our sight perceives only a fraction of reality.  Many “lower” animals perceive the world very adequately without the sight we experience. In fact, many of them sense vast portions of reality we never notice in our heavy dependence on sight.

For example, many animals live in a world of smell. They rely on it to find food, to find mates, and to protect themselves. Some scientists believe that pigeons and salmon can use scent to navigate great distances.

Other migrating animals, including certain butterflies and birds, seem to find their way across vast distances of unfamiliar territory simply by sensing the earth’s gravitational field.

Sharks, the platypus, and other species can sense electrical impulses in the bodies of their prey. Rattlesnakes and their fellow pit vipers find their prey through an organ that detects body heat. Bats can fly with incredible agility and accuracy, even picking insects out of midair in the dark, using their built-in ultrasonic radar.

Some animals and plants can predict the weather as well as we can, or even better. They seem to know of coming thunderstorms, earthquakes, or volcanic eruptions, perhaps because they can perceive electrical charges in the air, hear low-frequency vibrations, or feel tiny tremors to which we are oblivious.

Even in the area of sight, we are sometimes left far behind. Birds of prey can clearly see what is almost invisible to us. And some insects see colors the human eye can’t distinguish.

All this reminds us that as physical beings, we humans operate on a heavily filtered version of reality. Sight leaves us in the dark in many, many respects. And if we perceive so little of what is real in a physical sense, imagine how little we perceive of the realities that are not dependent on matter.

That brings us to Hebrews 11. It talks about people who pleased God by trusting Him, despite the way things looked around them. Noah spent many years building an ark, based purely on God’s warnings about things not yet seen (v.7, NASB). Moses overcame all the trials and difficulties of leading Israel out of Egypt because he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen (v.27, NASB).

All these saints lived wisely and fruitfully by focusing on the reality of God’s presence. Almighty God was always with them. They knew it was true, and they acted like it, even though their eyes could not see Him.

I long to live that way, knowing and trusting that reality, living in full response to His personal presence with me. What a joy it would be to consistently act and react as seeing Him who is unseen (v.27, NASB).

I want to live and serve that way, to pray and worship, to think and talk as being immediately with Him always and forever.

Live in response to Sovereign God,
not in response to your childish fears.
Walk in the light of all He is,
not in the shadow of your own smallness.