Sunday, September 12, 2010

Nice Scaffolding!

Jesus once said, "My kingdom is not of this world."  And at the end of time He says to His righteous ones, "Come, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." 

So, he prepared for us a kingdom that is not of this world, and His own kingdom is not of this world.  ...but He did make the world.  Why?  

The bible says in several places that this world is passing away... in one moment the heavens and earth will cease to exist.  So, He only intended for them to be temporary. Like a temporary structure used only until the intended structure is complete. (by the way... WOW! this is an amazing universe to only be scaffolding!)

So the big Question is that if this world is temporary, and if our inheritance doesn't even have anything to do with it, then what are we doing here?

He made a temporary, finite world, and placed man in it- man who would eventually inherit a kingdom not of this world, but of the infinite world of Heaven.  My growing belief is that the purpose of the world is that its the finite, temporary place for Satan to bear the fruit of his evil thoughts.  We, beloved by God, are horribly the chief recipients , and vehicles, of those deceptions. But those who live in faith in the Creator, and in His Christ will prove the perfect wisdom and knowledge and power of God over all of that.

Godly wisdom like "I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me...  
As you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me." -Matt 25:35

- All the best lies of Satan in this world can't come close to the goodness and freedom of the true nature of God.  

POSTSCRIPT: I think its interesting that He refers to "these, My brothers"  Jesus calls those who believe in Him His brothers...  He is the first born of many brothers...  He's talking here about ministering to believers.  Naked, thirsty, sick imprisoned believers.  I'm challenged by this. There are so many in this corrupted world who are putting their faith in Christ and suffering for it. 


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Satan Gets Punked

This title cracks me up! See if you think this post matches the title. This is my second post about the fall of man being the plan of God from the start (see "as planned"). This may not be your interpretation of the events in the garden of Eden, but I think it's worth a look.

Most people say the garden of Eden is where Adam and Eve blew it for all of us. They did the ONE thing God told them not to do, and then God had to get us out of this predicament.

I propose that the events of the garden were a well set out table, arranged especially for Satan, to carry out on earth what he attempted in heaven. It was not only God's intention that man would fall under the deception of the evil one. It was God's intention that Satan would deceive man and take his authority over creation- and subject them to his corruption - it was His plan for Satan.

Warning: If you feel that God putting man through injustice and pain is out of character, you may not like this post. But I feel that God is primarily about something beyond man's comfort at this time.

Irresistible Man
This world is part of God's response to Lucifer's rebellion. So far, we've seen it include creating new dimensions, creating the universe, creating time, creating earth and man. Whew! And all of these were done with God's unmistakable mark- perfect in beauty, marvelous in wonder, dreadful in power, unsearchable in love and wisdom.

Among all this, He made man, such a small, weak being, and placed him on the earth. He took special care in creating man, and said wonderful things about this most favored creation. ...and Satan took special care in noting what God was doing. He saw the heavens and the earth God had just created - with a word. And how could he miss God spending time loving on Adam and Eve ...enjoying them ...sharing in their wonder ...walking and talking with them ...and giving them authority over all the brand new things He had created! Wow!

These new beings were so innocent and weak!! God had made them, fearfully and wonderfully, in His own image, and was bestowing His great love on them... He was giving them authority over all the stuff of the earth, and over these new heavens as well... This was an amazing treasure, and growing in desirablility with every moment. 

Satan could never resist the chance to defile it all- to steal it all.

Satan Snared
Then the time came when God allowed Satan access to them. Of course Satan did what he could not resist doing- what God knew He would do. - He spoke to the beloved, vastly wealthy, and incredibly vulnerable man with his lies. And he took man and all he had. Authority over all that God had created and poured into man now belonged to Satan. Satan siezed this jewel and was not going to let go. It was his ...and it was so easy. ...hmmm.

It was so easy. What was God up to? He was the ruler of thousands upon thousands of glorious, fiery and mighty warrior angels. Satan and his crew had only a fading glory and not the strength they were made with. God's mighty cherubs in heaven had already fought and prevailed at the first rebellion and Satan and those fallen angels were driven "from the mountain of God and from the fiery stones."

But this time, with man, God let down His guard entirely. He left man, and the heavens and the earth, like a jewel out in the open, unguarded. And Satan took it. I think that made Satan like a monkey with his fist in a cookie jar.  Thrown down from heaven, he now has a place- here on earth- stolen - where he can display his wisdom, his understanding, and raise his ugly head up against the knowledge of God.

And, this is the hard part, not only did he now have a place, but he who only steals kills and destroys now had a race of beloved creatures to deceive, and to bring into corruption. (that would be us.)

Things that make you go, “hmmm”.

Civilians turned Combatants
Man was innocent of the things that had gone on in Heaven- the rebellion, the affront, the battles that had taken place, the war that was underway.

He was about to have his innocence destroyed, and in a painful reality, be made aware that there is a battle going on. That he has an enemy who steals life and health from him and those he loves. And that God has an enemy- one who breathes lies about His trustworthiness. ...When a man comes to Christ, and tastes the freedom from Satan's corruption, he finds that he has been lied to and stolen from. ...And at that time, he finds that the Lord is standing faithfully by him, ready to give him His Spirit... oh, it's on now!

*John 14:12,13 "I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father."

I'm just sayin'
So, Satan got punked because, in this world he stole, he's about to find out just how weak and powerless he is against the will and wisdom of God.  This new creature, man- so weak when compared to any angelic being, including Satan, so easily corrupted with the simplest of lies,  and so easily taken and owned by Satan- will, with faith in Christ, walk free from Satan's hold- and there's nothing he can do about it.  This same weak and meager Man will exercise God's own authority and dominion in Jesus' name, and overcome any of Satan's works, small or great, and so, bring glory to the Father. ...and shame to Satan.

The power he thought he had over this jewel of a world, and the authority he thought he had over mankind, dissolves against the believer and the beautiful Body of Christ who calls on the Lord in faith.