.: Bad Art :.

Theology shapes the way we think about, view, and respond to God.  Take this example…

God loves you.

How you respond to that truth shapes how you view God, and your relationship with Him.

………………………………………………………………………………………..

I recently had a conversation with a co-worker in which she told me multiple terrible stories about pain and death in her family and in her life.  She is hurting…badly.  And her question is: “Why would God do this?” 

My response is that He’s not doing this…and / because He loves you. 

So you can see how bad (wrong / poor) theology can shape how you view God.  My hurting co-worker is now blaming God for all of her pain, simply because she believes that God would do bad things, and she doesn’t understand His love for her.  

……………………………………………………………………………………………..

All throughout the Scriptures we see that God loves us, and that we should not fear, because of His  loves for us.  We read about how God’s desire is to get us back into a  relationship with Him, and that God will make all things good for those that love Him.

So, the question is: “If God loves me so much, then why does He do bad things to me?”  

He’s not.

Except for cases of punishment, we don’t see God doing bad in the Bible.  In the Old Testament we see that God punishes people and people groups for their sin.  He held out for as long as he could, but He did punish them.   For their sin.  Sin that originated from Satan, and from us.  So, God sent Jesus to ultimately pay for our sin.  I only know of only 1 instance in the New Testament where God punishes someone for their sin.  (Ananias and Sapphira) 

We do see that God allows bad things to happen though.  Look at Job.  Satan did the evil.  Look at Joseph.  God didn’t sell him into slavery, or put him in prison.  People did.  Their selfishness and sin created Joseph’s situation.  But, God redeemed it.  God takes Joseph’s situation, and turns it around for His good.  So, Satan, with our help, does evil.  But God, redeems and creates beauty. 

So you can see how your understanding of Gods love for you directly affects how you view the situations that you are in.  My co-workers’ family members are paying for their sin.  Their alcoholism, their drug abuse.  Their death is a result of their choices. 

Not God’s. 

You might even believe that because God “loves” us, he does bad things to us to teach us a lesson.  I would argue that you should examine love.  I love my wife SO much.  I would never purposefully do ANYTHING negative to her to “teach her a lesson”.  With love comes guidance, and gentle correction.  Not intentional pain.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

………………………………………………………………………………………………….

I heard someone say that they think that God created bad things so that we could recognize and appreciate His good things. 

If you were an artist, would you intentionally make bad art so that people would recognize your good art? No, you only strive for the best, and you throw out all of sub-par art.

Lucky for us, our Artist does not and cannot make bad art.

Advertisements

cause and effect

Disclaimer:  the conversation that follows is more of me thinking out-loud than a traditional “post”.  Feel free to continue the conversation.

I have been thinking about God’s will lately, and there are 2 camps:

  • Camp A believes that God wills [causes] everything to occur. 
  • Camp B believes that God allows everything to occur.

Notice the difference, and think about the implications of the two. 

Common example:  I am driving, and in need of some tunes, so I look down to scroll through my iPod.  You walk out into the road – I don’t see you – and I run you over.  You don’t make it.

So, did God will [cause] for me run over you?  Or, did he allow it?

I read a devotional today where the author (Camp A) stated the following.

One of the objectives of the Holy Spirit when He became resident in your life is to “work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” When circumstances, not to your liking, invade your life, thank Him for His providential leading, for it is His work according to His will. 

(Scripture Reference:  “For God is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure” Philippians 2:13)

Out of context?  This verse is saying that God is working in you to help you want to do and be able to do what pleases Him.  This passage is not saying that God wills [causes] things to happen to you.  Now, some basic assumptions here are that God is able to do what He wants, and we see at times in history and in Scripture that God does lift His hand and lead people to act in order to accomplish His will. 

Another classic example: Job. 

Did God will [cause] the tragedies that fell on Job?  Or, did he allow it?

I sleep and eat in Camp B.   Where do you sleep?

// with everything we will shout for your glory //

In Acts 4 we read about the original church (around 5,000 households at that time) was starting to face threats and opposition.  I find their response extremely hopeful. 

They gathered, and prayed this prayer:

“Lord, help us, your servants, to speak your message without fear.  Show us your power to heal.  Give proofs and make miracles happen by the power of Jesus, your holy servant.”

And the result?  The verse that immediately follows this prayer says “After they had prayed…they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and the spoke God’s message without fear”.

So, when they (the original church) started to feel threatened, they prayed that they would “speak God’s message without fear”.   They did not pray for safety, comfort, or protection.  But for boldness.

If you need a prayer to lift up, I think this might be the one.

Lord, help me, your servant, to speak your message without fear.  Show me your power to heal.  Give proofs and make miracles happen by the power of Jesus, your holy servant.

… two truths …

First, there will be times in your life when God will test you. You cannot predict what that testing looks like, but you can prepare for it, by trusting God in the little things; the little risks prepare you for the severe times of testing.

Second, when all seems dark and you have no where to turn, trust the promises of God.

“By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.”  Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.” Hebrews 11:17-19.

God tested Abraham.  And Abraham leaned hard into the promises that God had made him.  God told Abraham that “through Isaac your offspring will be reckoned”.  Abraham was banking on that promise.

… There will be times in your life when God will test you …

… When all seems dark and you have no where to turn, trust the promises of God …

thoughts from evotional

There never has been and never will be anyone like you. But that isn’t a testament to you. It’s a testament to the God who created you absolutely unique.

All of creation is singing a worship chorus to God. And it’s not just the meadow lark with its 300 notes or the nightingale finchwith its 24 songs. According to the German physicist and pianist, Arnold Summerfield, a hydrogen atom emits 100 frequencies which makes it more complex musically than a grand piano which emits 88 frequencies.

For what its worth, Pythagoras said: “A stone is frozen music.” Very interesting in light of what Jesus said: “If you remain silentthe stones will cry out.”

My point? All of creation is singing a unique song to the Creator. And you are part of that universal chorus. No one can worship God FOR you or LIKE you. God has given you a unique voiceprint. There are millions of people praying and worshiping God in every language all the time. But your voiceprint is unique. Like a parent who knows His child’s unique cry or scream or laugh, God knows your voice. He hears your voice. The Heavenly Father loves your voice.

Mark Batterson

[ then ]

Hours before Jesus freely gave His life for us … he prays.

Here are several huge concepts found in John 17 that blow me away:

:: Here are His words: “Having completed the work you gave me to do, I honored you on earth [ by leading people to praise God].  I am blown away by the idea that Jesus completed God’s task by leading people to paise God.  And, it honored God.

// if we want to honor God, we can do so by leading people to praise Him //

:: Later Jesus prays: ” I pray that they can also be one in us [ or “be in us”].  Then the world will believe that you sent me.”  Did you catch it?  Then.  If, or when, we are one [unified] in God, then, the world will believe that God sent Jesus.  Later Jesus went as far as to say “I will be in them and you will be in me so that they will be in perfect unity.”

// they wont get it until we are united with God //

// they wont get it until we are united with each other //

My hope and prayer is that we can continue to honor God by leading people to praise God.  Both on our platforms and off.

:: keep giving ::

The Bible is full of examples of people giving sacrificially.

:: The poor widow gave ALL of her money.

:: The immoral woman drenched the feet of Jesus with extremely expensive perfume.

:: Solomon sacrificed 1,000 bulls instead of just 1.

:: God gave sacrificially – his only son.

:: David refused to sacrifice anything that cost him nothing.

As worshippers, followers, musicians, and worship leaders, we should be giving sacrificially.  It is [extremely] easy to give to God what is acceptable, the status quo.  However, true acts of worship and gratitude seem to contain large amounts of sacrifice. 

As musicians, it is easy to just get the job done.  I am hoping that we can create a culture where artists give so much to their work, that God can’t help but to be glorified. 

I have been challenged to step it up and give God more of myself.  He has given me so much.

:: Give something of yourself that costs you ::

:: Go big or go home ::