“Upsetting Your World”
The Rev. Lou Tiscione, Pastor, Weatherford Presbyterian Church (PCA)
“In the beginning God…” are the four words that upset my world. My hope is that they will upset yours as well! These words are revealed truth which can also be called reality. You know reality is that sticky truth that hits you in the face like a brick wall. Some may think that reality is what you make of it or believe it to be. Try standing in front of a brick wall and imagining that it’s not there. Then try running as fast as you can in the belief (even strongly held) that you’ll just pass through that wall. The result is obvious; so too, the confrontation of these four words.
Just like that wall, God’s words knocked me off of my throne. I was a Christian when it happened, but clearly, reality and truth are true for all or not true at all.
Genesis 1:1 declared clearly that there was a time nothing existed; therefore, God made everything out of nothing! Nothing existed in the beginning except God Himself. He spoke and all things leapt into existence. This God changed me. He made me a new creation. His words told me that I had no right to claim the throne of my life, to think that I was “in charge.”
In making me a new creation, He gave me new desires, specifically a new desire, a profound and deep desire for Him. The Great “I Am” is the only self-existent being. All things that exist proceed from Him. I am because He is. We know Him in Jesus who said, “Let Me tell you how to say Yahweh in Greek (I’m paraphrasing), It is Jesus.” (read the “I Am” sayings in John’s Gospel.)
The confrontation came when I realized that He alone had the right to claim ownership of me and sovereign control of my life. There was no other reasonable response that a creature (me) could make to the Creator. Since all existence proceeds from Him, “In Him we live and move and have our being”, Acts 17:28 ESV, the claim of an absolute self-determination is unachievable.
At the risk of repeating myself, let me re-phrase. Before there was anything there was God. By His sovereign will alone He chose to make everything out of nothing. Opposed to this is the view of eternal matter. A once great secular philosopher of the 21st Century said, “The cosmos is all there ever was or ever will be.” Acceptance of this view, in my opinion, requires a blind leap of faith into the dark rather than a step into the light.
King David said it best, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork.” Psalm 19:1, ESV
In light of God’s confrontation of Man’s idea of an autonomous, self-directed control over life, the question must be asked. How do you or have you responded to the reality that you’re not in control?
The critic might say that this view of reality is demeaning and renders men and women to be pawns. But just the opposite is true. Understanding that you’re not God and He is brings you to the profound realization that He has condescended to reach down and bless man above all creatures. David wrote in Psalm 8:5 about man, “You have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.” In light of the whole of Scripture, this supremely points to Jesus Christ but declares the significance of the entire human race.
You are free to ignore this reality. But, for the sake of repetition, it would be like ignoring the wall I mentioned in my introduction. So then, “How do you respond to the truth that you’re a creature made by the Sovereign Creator? The simple, not easy, response is one word, “Submit.” Men continue to suppress this truth in unrighteousness. Nevertheless, I call you to submit your life to the truth.
This is not a matter of perspective or experience. Your submission to the Creator is a matter of reality!
Let me emphasize a propositional truth. Whether you believe God’s revelation of His sovereignty or not is irrelevant. That is, God is not anxiously awaiting your acceptance. Your belief or unbelief will not impact Him in the least. But, concerning your life, knowing that you are a creature in the hands of the Creator will frame your existence.