I think that once someone gets that the core of the Christian faith is relationship, then a lot of the Bible makes more sense. There was a great Nooma video that I bought several years ago that focuses on the same topic. In this lecture, the speaker poses the hypothetical: A husband and wife are to share a wedding anniversary together. The husband goes to the florist and buys a huge bouquet of flowers – a stunning arrangement of colour and shape. That night, he gives his wife the flowers, kisses her on the cheek and says, “Happy Anniversary love”. He then walks off and plonks himself in front of the footy.
Understandably, the wife is concerned. “Are you OK? Why did you walk off like that?” He sags, breathes deeply, and explains, “Look I did all the things I am supposed to do. I bought you flowers; I wished you a happy anniversary; I’m here tonight”.
How would you respond as the wife? What would you do with the flowers if you were in her position?
The speaker on this DVD raises a great point. The wife wouldn’t want to keep the flowers, indeed it is not the flowers she wants. She wants her husband. She wants his heart, not empty gestures or words of formality.
So too, God raises his desires:
These people approach Me with their mouths to honor Me with lip-service – yet their hearts are far from Me, and their worship consists of man-made rules learned by rote
I don’t know about you, but this rings a bell with me. I can say the words “Amen” and agree with them, but sometimes these can just be words. Equally I can sing the song ‘I can sing of your love forever’ but I don’t feel refreshed or assured in this knowledge. I can comfortably say “God is awesome” but my life doesn’t reflect the awe with which I hold him. Rather my jaw drops more easily and man-made works.
Last night, I spent a couple of hours trying to learn and master a card trick. I was surprised, and pleased, each time it worked as four aces popped out of the deck of cards. It is sobering to realise that this little trick impressed me more than God’s word that I read that day. No wonder God follows his critique of his peoples with the following:
You have turned things around, as if the potter were the same as the clay. How can what is made say about its maker, “He didn’t make me?” How can what is formed say about the one who formed it, “He doesn’t know what he is doing?”
I think this hits at the heart of the issue: pride and self-righteousness. If, deep down, I consider myself on par with God… wow. I was just blown away with the arrogance of that sentence. It seems so incongruent when I write it down, but that is the thought that undermines my life. After all, I reject God’s advice and follow my own ways – that’s considering myself on par with God. I take God’s throne and sit in it to judge and lead my own life – that’s considering myself on par with God. Scary stuff.
This being said, if I do consider myself on par with God then it’d stand to reason that I’d consider the things I do on par with the things God does. I’d consider the things I make on par with the things God makes. Worse, I may consider God as inferior to me… after all, I get more impressed by some of the things I do… sometimes.
God please help me to be turned back around. To humble myself in my own eyes and restore the awe and glory that deservedly is yours.
Go to: Isaiah 30