January 9, 2017

January 9, 2017


Focus Verse: “When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, ‘Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.’ He was afraid and said, ‘How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.’”

Genesis 28:16-17

Jacob brings up an important theological point here: God is all around us all of the time. As a worship pastor I’ve heard a lot of complaints about this aspect of God on songs like “Holy Spirit you are welcome here” and similar lines that invite God to us. And the critiques are “technically” right. We don’t need to pray for God to come to us. He’s already here. So the more accurate prayer is for God to open our eyes to where He is already working.

That said…I still like inviting God to come to us. “Holy Spirit you are welcome here” is still a great prayer to pray. Yeah, God knows He’s welcome. He also knows that you want to be healed of cancer, or that you are in need of financial help, but you still pray it don’t you?

Anyway, back to Jacob. Another key theological issue Jacob brings up here is what exactly the presence of God evokes in us. I think it is so funny that in our prayer meetings and church gatherings, we pray for the presence of God and to see His glory fall, but I don’t think half of us understand what will happen when He shows up.

When God’s presence falls, you fall. When the glory of God shows up, you hit your knees. When God’s glory comes, the earth shakes. It is a terrifying thing when God shows up. We’ve lost sight of that amid the soft, fluffy God that gets preached today.

I read a blog once that used 1 John 3:19 (rather poorly in my opinion), “Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God.” to say that as people justified by Jesus Christ, we won’t have to kneel before God. I just can’t see that happening. God is simply too amazing for that.

And that’s what we lose sight of. It’s not that God is scary and mean and nasty and Jesus is the soft, fluffy, loving figure that saves us from the big, scary God. It’s that God is so much more than we can wrap our minds around. When you’re in His presence you realize that. You realize how tiny and insignificant you are. You realize the Gospel, to quote Timothy Keller, that “you are more sinful and flawed than you ever dared believe, but more accepted and loved than you ever dared hope.”

The God I serve is worthy to bow to. He’s so big…that I am terrified in His presence. Don’t you want that kind of God? Or are you satisfied with a god small enough that you can make him bow to you?

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