I heard the voice of my Shepherd this morning as I prayed.
“I am a God of resurrection. I am a God of life.”
I wondered at the distinction He made between resurrection and life. He made it in the Bible, too, now that I think of it.
“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.'” John 11:25 NIV
“What’s the difference Lord?” I asked.
In answer to my question I heard the Spirit within me say, “Resurrection is not just about the bringing of life. It is also about the removal of death.”
I have to admit I had never thought of it in quite that way before and the ramifications of it stunned me, particularly in light of our current discussions on judgment. You might not see it yet. Allow me to explain myself and my line of thinking a little further.
God is a God of life and of resurrection. He does not just bring life or perform resurrection. He is life. He is resurrection. When He walks into a room life follows Him. Resurrection emanates from Him. Death is removed just by His being in a place.
Now I am going to say something which will make some of you recoil in disagreement. Ready? Everyone wants life. Most don’t want resurrection.
Before you unsubscribe to the blog hear me out! We want to live. We just don’t think much about God’s attempts to eliminate death from our lives, our families or our culture. If removing death were just a matter of obliterating cancer or heart attacks we’d be more than happy to let God perform it. But the tendrils of death are twined much deeper into the fabric of the world than most of us acknowledge. You see sin and death are con-joined twins and death is not the dominant sibling; It’s just the least likeable. It is sin that brings death and in order for resurrection to take place death must go. It follows, then, sin has to go with it. And that is the part of resurrection which no one wants. That is why neither Judah nor Israel would hear the prophets, and depart from sin, even when the writing was on the wall about God’s coming judgment!
Here is what God told Jeremiah as he was preparing the man of God for ministry, “When you tell them all this, they will not listen to you; when you call to them, they will not answer. Therefore say to them, ‘This is the nation that has not obeyed the Lord its God or responded to correction. Truth has perished; it has vanished from their lips. Cut off your hair and throw it away; take up a lament on the barren heights, for the Lord has rejected and abandoned this generation that is under his wrath.” Jeremiah 7:27-29 NIV
You see God’s judgment and wrath are a part of his resurrection nature. Judgment comes to a people who will not allow God to remove death because they will not allow God to remove sin. Most frightening is the culture that loses the ability to recognize the difference between life and death, the culture that begins to say “Life is death. Death is life.”
I was watching a television interview today with Ricky Martin. For those of you who missed it, he just “came out”. In the interview he said he had been on a spiritual journey and on that spiritual journey he came to the conclusion that God didn’t mistakes; So he had decided that his own homosexuality was to be accepted and embraced. I nearly wept. I do agree with Ricky. God doesn’t make mistakes. But God didn’t make him homosexual. Sin took Ricky’s good creation and warped it making Ricky into a sinner like the rest of us. Sadly he no longer sees it that way. Like so many others in our culture he is beginning to call what is death life and what is life death. He proclaimed that being a gay man was “wonderful”.
Homosexuality is just one of the issues we Americans really don’t want God to deal with in our nation. We protect it like a mother wolf defending her cubs from a bear. Really it’s no different from the immorality of idolatry which Israel and Judah committed. They defended their right to worship as they wanted in the same way.
But God is a God of resurrection. Resurrection for Him is not a choice it’s a result of His existence and so He will have it. He will remove death eventually and with it sin. Those who stand to defend sin will be moved out of the way and sin will be done away with.
Now some will say ” Well if resurrection is not a choice for God, sin is not a choice for me. It is just the way I am.” God made a way, He sent His son Jesus to not only forgive our sin but to give us strength to change from our sin and become children of God. This is what John meant when he wrote, “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” John 1:12 NIV
For this to be true, though, we have to get out of the way of God’s resurrection power and let him remove sin and death. We have seen the ramifications of not allowing the Resurrection to do His work peaceably before. May our God have mercy.
Wow, that was good.
Thank you Nicole. I am glad it ministered.
In this post you state that you believe that God doesn’t make mistakes. If this is true then why is it that throughout the Bible (primarily within the Pentateuch) God is depicted as having come to the realization that he has made a mistake. In Genesis 1-3 God creates man and woman in his and other celestial beings images yet at the very first temptation they falter. Seems like a design mistake to me. Only a few chapters later within the same book God says: “My spirit shall not abide in mortals forever, for they are flesh; their days shall be one hundred twenty years.” (Gen. 6:3) Yet Noah and others are written to have lived until 900 years and more. Oops! And yet again only a few lines later God says himself: “I will blot out from the earth the human beings I have created—people together with animals and creeping things and birds of the air, for I am SORRY that I have made them.” (Gen. 6:7) Sounds like God thinks this whole universe thing (or at least humans and animals) were a mistake. If we move even farther into the Bible we see more mistakes still. For my final quote I go to the book of Job. In the book God tells Satan (not the christian Satan more simply an adversary) that Job is the finest specimen of man on earth, and that he of all people would never curse God. Yet anyone who reads Job knows that the story ends a bit differently with Job wishing that there was an executioner at his birth so that he never would have had to live. God was wrong. So does God make mistakes? I think that it is pretty clear that he does. And in order for God to exist he must necessarily be omnipotent, omnibenevolent, and omnipresent. The above examples and many more throughout “God’s Word” describe God in a way that is completely antithetical to ALL of these descriptions and, therefore, God cannot exist.
Dear Abigail, Interesting observations… they are leading you to erroneous conclusions but interesting nonetheless. To accept the concept of God at all is to by definition accept transcendence. Transcendence indicates that God goes beyond the limits of our understanding at some points. Because we cannot always understand what He means or why He does what he does, does not mean He does not exist.
Why did God make us fit to fail? He doesn’t tell us why. We can guess at it, but we have to face it that that’s all our attempts to understand are… guesses. Was it a mistake in our design? No, the psalmist indicates that God knew before Adam and Eve were born that they would fail requiring the sacrifice of His only begotten son when he says, “You knew all my days before ever one of them came to be.” Further The Bible indicates that the fall of man and the salvation of man were planned out before God even made the world!
“For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver.It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but he has now revealed him to you in these last days.” I Peter 1:18-20 NLT
I am aware that believing God is difficult sometimes. Still I have chosen to do it… crazy or not. I suppose time will tell which one of us is truly “around the bend”.