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Prophetic Revelation: Networking the Nations
Word for the Month: July 2018
The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all the peoples see his glory.
When we look at the heavens on a dark night, and even more so when we see images of distant galaxies on the television, what is the response of our heart? Wonder of course! A sentiment shared by everyone but those with the hardest of hearts. But how about worship? Does a sense of awe before God the Creator fill our hearts? Yesterday, just standing in the Welsh fields looking up at the hill and the woods was wonderful: a newly mown meadow with the scent of the cut grass, birds singing, birds flying, rabbits running, the sun on the trees … and the intricacies of the wild flowers, more beautiful than I ever remember. It’s plain to us, God our heavenly Father designed it all, and made it all … probably partly for us just to enjoy! However, different people see different things:
Unbelieving hearts cannot see what is all around them. Ultimately, an unbelieving heart just sees the absurdity of evolution and understands that even though every part of our normal daily life must be ordered and controlled for it to be successful, when it comes to the universe, they think it can only be the product of time, plus chance – in other words, a massive accident.
And so creation around us is a sign. It is God saying something to us. But in response, someone might see God, others might see time plus chance. But creation, although a wonderful sign of God’s power, his love and provision, can be a bit impersonal. We may need something more and the Bible presents us with many more direct signs of God’s intervention in the world and in peoples’ lives: in the Old Testament, mainly in his dealings with the children of Israel; and in the New Testament, through Jesus and the challenge he presented to everyone he met. And, once again, our response will depend on whether we have a believing heart, or an unbelieving heart.
In the parable of the sower, in Matthew 13, we have the same idea. Unbelieving hearts are always looking for signs. On the other hand, a believing heart, just bows in worship before the Creator. This is the nature of the relationship God wants us to have with him – one of fellowship and trust, love and companionship. God does not want to have constantly to prove himself to us by mega-signs. Of course, for us, our lives are filled with signs, as we live day by day in fellowship with God the Father and the Son. And for us, they sometimes may be huge and of tremendous significance and often so personal that we cannot share them in public, just as we do not share the intimate details of a human relationship.
Let’s not forget the disciples. They were on a journey of belief that took them many months to complete, from the time Jesus called them, to the time they were filled with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. They saw Jesus´ signs, they believed, and yet, Judas turned his back on Jesus, betrayed him and then committed suicide. Peter denied Him but was restored … and learned much more about Jesus in the process. It is the same for us. Those of us whose hearts have been softened by the Holy Spirit can identify with the disciples. We are on a journey that will only be completed when we leave this life and meet Jesus face to face, or when he comes again, and we meet Him in the air.
A short prayer: “Give us hearts O Lord that are softened by your Spirit, ready to receive your truth and ready to love and do your will”. Amen.
Inspired by and in memory of William Delves
Susana Delves, Mastershausen, Germany