Saturday, March 20, 2010

Calm in Calamity (and other wanderings)

~Disasters work like alarm clocks to the world, hence God allows them. They are shouting, "Wake up! Love! Pray!"

Isaiah 45:7 says, "I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create evil; I, the Lord, do all these things." It is indeed controversial; yet it is truly effective in all its authoritative, sovereign implications of the foreknowledge of God; it is a source of fearlessness and endurance for those of faith. Calm in calamity: one asks himself, "Who is in control no matter what?" Although, on the other hand one might ask whether such calamity indicates a malevolent God. But by that he is dealing with subjective emotions rather than objective truth. The objective is quite the contrary, and easily mistaken, it is not about a love for adversity, it is about knowing a strength and a faith so great that adversity, in all its adverse manifestations, hardly even exists. By this one does not hesitate to progress through the face of adversity. His faith, in its most correct form, never removes responsibility; it removes fear of responsibility. The results are complete opposites with the greater saying, "God's will is my delight." I often find that people confuse inner peace with some sense of insensibility whenever something goes wrong. In such cases inner peace is a permit for destruction: The unyielding optimist will pretend that the forest is not burning either because he is too lazy or too afraid to go and put the fire out. Ironically, to him adversity is an intimidating giant.

~Just as an unexpecting child is awakened to find an ocean of gifts surrounding his bed, through faith in the goodness of God one awakens to the gifts of patience, wisdom, and courage. So, when understanding calamity, one should not limit God according to his own understanding; it results in a failure to acknowledge the sovereignty and the justice of God. As Octavius Winslow wrote, "justice is the fire of love." He is God; he is love; he is sovereign. In some cases, what seems bad to man is good in the end and what seems good to man is nothing but filth. Men are commanded to pray and love, to unify and work, but instantly labeling what is or is not God's will can reach dangerous grounds because by this, obsessively, one is fabricating his own god.

~As no servant is greater than the master, I want to note that God is the commander, thus all else are messengers; Proverbs 1:32-33 says, "For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm." The messenger that attempts to replace the commander is both wayward and complacent, yet consequently, the original sin was channeled through the desire to be like or greater than God. What is it that leads one astray from the most viable path? It is not a rare flaw in which only a select few struggle. Ultimately, it is a disposition to form our own paths, and while this is evidence of desire, that desire is bound to be more substantial when aimed in the best possible direction - this direction is one in which God reveals.

~I am aware that the following is likely a regurgitation of some of my previous writings, but regardless it is essential. God is sovereign to so far a degree that he is not an impoverished deity, with insubstantial weaponry, merely set out in an attempt to defeat evil. It is not a threat to him or his kingdom. While
he abhors sin and we are commanded to do so as well, in his absolute holiness and sovereignty, he holds both good and evil in the palm of his hand (Isaiah 45:7). He allows short term evils in order to carry out long term good [C.S. Lewis; Mere Christianity]; therefore, he is ultimately good and impossible to truly oppose. Yet the extent of such an authority is perfectly consistent with the holiness of God. With our simplistic cognitive reasoning, some things are first perceived as negative before we get to witness the positive results. But by God's foreknowledge, he envisions the evils that will ultimately result in goodness, as written in Isaiah 46:10, "I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please."

~Imperative is the passion to improve one's personal walk with and faith in Christ, and in result, the obsessive contemplation of temporary afflictions cease.
This is also to seek his will before adhering to a certain confirmation bias that tends to dictate the human perception of right and wrong, as I have previously quoted this of Kierkegaard, "The proud person always wants to do the right thing, the great thing. But because he wants to do it in his own strength, he is fighting not with man, but with God." All must be still and know that he is God (Psalms 46:10), and in result they will mesmerize with an illumination of ravishing colors to those with eyes to see and ears to hear the truth of Christ.

~Finally while on the subject of seeking God's will, or the discovery en route to both emotional and spiritual value, I want to add an important observation; however in this case, it is regarding one of many reasons for stress within the self-driven busybody. In The Knowledge of the Holy, A.W. Tozer recovered nicely the principles of strong faith over contemporary misconceptions thus writing, "I fear that thousands of younger persons enter Christian service from no higher motive than to help deliver God from the embarrassing situation his love has gotten him into and his limited abilities seem unable to get him out of. Add to this a certain degree of commendable idealism and a fair amount of compassion for the underprivileged and you have the true drive behind much Christian activity today."