Month: September 2013

God Has All Life

From Kenny: Here’s yet another post from guest blogger Tim Price. Check out some of his other posts here.

Big-God

I once got a tattoo on my arm. It is a wooden cross with a banner wrapped around it. The banner says “Music” and “Life.” When I got it I was a new Christian and didn’t really know why I got it, I just drew it once and it looked cool. Over time it has taken on new meaning.

The very last night I ever abused substances like drugs and alcohol I said something to myself that at the time I thought was very profound…

“You can take anything from me, but you can’t take away my songs.”

I had a lot of strange philosophies about music and life. For one, I thought they were both mine. I thought of all the things I owned, you couldn’t take my songs away because they sort of existed in a strange vein of reality, that is music. It’s not necessarily something you can just take out of my hand.

Secondly I believed so strongly that music itself could give me life. I thought music could give me life when in fact it was eating me alive, because it was a major idol in my life. It really did consume me, and I wasn’t even that good at it! Literally a few minutes after I recognized that my entire life came crumbling down and I begged God to have my life.

That was the day before my sobriety birthday.

This tattoo symbolizes for me now a sort of sacrifice of music and my life. I still enjoy both thoroughly! I haven’t become a gnostic and rejected all fleshy things or anything like that. I believe that in my sacrifice of these things I have come to love them both a greater capacity than I ever could have before.

I used to think I was great because I really appreciated nature. I would look at the sky in awe and it would sometimes get me through the day. But I never went beyond that in my thinking. Who gave me the sky? Who gave me the eyes to appreciate it?

I’ve never enjoyed life so much now that I know it doesn’t belong to me. Now that I know it’s his and that he created it all, I can look beyond these incredible created things to the Creator Himself and enjoy them as the gifts that they are.

We don’t have to rely on things that die to give us life. It’s all His and He is the source of it all.

Infinite in Being and Perfection

infinitytat

Here’s another guest post from Tim Price…

“There is but one only, living, and true God, who is infinite in being and perfection.”
Westminster Confession of Faith 1.1

A man named Joseph Campbell, a man with whom I don’t often agree, once said something that struck me. He said “Perfection is inhuman. Human beings are not perfect. What evokes our love — and I mean love, not lust — Is the imperfection of the human being.” (The Power Of Myth)

Whatever his intentions with a statement like this are, he has observed two profound truths about us. We struggle in relating to anything other than ourselves, and we are far from perfect. We are an egocentric breed to the fullest extent. So clearly, this makes it difficult for us to relate to God because he is vastly different from us in that he is infinite in being and perfection.

Of course the good news is that the Gospel says that God relates to us. He clothed himself in our flesh and dwelt among us. (John 1:14) That may be language you’ve heard before but do we really think about the reality of that? About true omniscience, the power of the universe, relinquishing the power of the universe to come and live the life that we should be live and die the death we deserve. As the old hymn says, He came “in helpless babe.” (In Christ Alone).

The truth is that God is infinitely incredible and loving and I’m mostly just me. He became like me to do amazing things for people like me. His amazing things aren’t the things I would think to do. His big things entailed him being handed over to be murdered in silence. The omniscient creator of this entire universe has decided to make his power known to us by becoming humble. We must worship him for all that he is. Powerful and humble. Meek and Mighty. (See Phil 2:1-11)

In one of C. S. Lewis’ books in the Narnia series Lucy finds herself wrestling with Aslan, “And whether it was more like playing with a thunderstorm, or playing with a kitten, Lucy could never make up her mind.” I think it’s important that we wrestle with every bit of who God is and praise Him all the while.

The Freedom of God and Man

Freedom of God and Man

From Kenny: Yet another guest post from Tim Price. Check out his last couple posts False Teaching and the Centrality of the Gospel.

God is free.

God is not governed by this world. Nothing in it dictates His will for it. Nothing that happens thwarts him or catches him off guard. He does whatever He pleases whenever He wants with the power of the universe in His hands. Can you imagine that? Can your brain actually come close to grasping the height and depth of this reality?

Although God is not governed by this world, He is actively working in it. And it is still here. This is dumbfounding. I mean, look at this world. If you had His power and took one look at our situation, wouldn’t you scrap it? Or at least start over? I probably would. I hate so many things here. I hate sin and the effects it has on us. I hate murder and adultery. I hate sickness and death. I think hating these things is appropriate, because the truth is that they’re awful. If I had power to rule the universe, I would certainly do something about this broken world with my freedom.

The good news is that God, in His freedom, has done something. He planned on doing something from the beginning (Gen. 3:15). And the even better news is that He is not me and isn’t doing something that an impatient self-righteous person like me would do. In His goodness, He made a plan. His plan is not to do away with us. It is not to abandon us. It is not to torment us. It is to save us and so much more.

In His freedom to do whatever He wanted with a bunch of rejects who rejected Him, He chose to live amongst us and to be the person He is. With infinite love, He freely chose to endure homelessness, rejection, hatred, torture to the point of death for us. This was an act He did that was entirely unconditional. He is conditioned to nothing but himself.

So when I hear about God being bound by no one and doing what He did, I know too that in the most paradoxical way, I am free in being a slave to him. How could someone who did what He did for us impose rules on us as if to put us back into a different kind of slavery. No, at the beginning of the ten commandments God says, “I am the lord your God, who brought you out of slavery.” Then He gives us the commandments. Obedience to him, then, is what freedom looks like. In obedience to the liberating God of this universe, I share in his freedom.

I am free.