Friday, October 8, 2010

"The Ultimate and the Personal"

God is loving enough, wise enough, and powerful enough to work in both ultimate and personal terms for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ and our benefit.

God's glory, will, and eternal purpose in Christ must be viewed as the overarching purpose of our Heavenly Father. His working is God-centered because He knows who and what He is in relationship to creation, and to the angelic and human races. Our Lord is the originator and sustainer of all things, and all things must be in proper relationship to Him in order to rightly exist. God ever works to bring the universe into this righteous, tranquil, and joyous fulfillment, and His focus on the ultimate should fill our hearts with great assurance. Indeed, we would never want to become the center of Divine attention because such a misdirected focus on God's part would place all creation in grave peril.

Our Lord is nevertheless the most personal of beings. "The very hairs on your head are all numbered" declared the Lord Jesus. Therefore, God's necessary emphasis on His ultimate purpose does not hinder His precisely detailed working in accordance with our individual existence (Matthew 10:30). How the Lord does this nobody knows but Himself. But He does it. He works for His glory, will, and eternal purpose in Christ, while integrating our personality, history, calling, experience, condition, and circumstance into the inevitable fulfillment of "gathering together in one all things in Christ" (Ephesians 1:10).

Often in prayer for others and for myself, I begin with the ultimate, asking God to further His glory, will, and eternal purpose in Christ. Then I ask that He would effect this purpose in the most personal terms, specifically applied. Emphasis on the former establishes the proper altar for the latter, and ensures that our focus is our Heavenly Father's focus. The order and sequence are essential in prayer, and in our understanding of the Divine purpose in all things. The ultimate and the personal - God works for the fulfillment of both, and eternal wonder will fill our hearts as we see Him loving, wise, and powerful enough to track the hairs of our head even as He sustains and redeems a vast creation.

"God thundereth marvelously with His voice; great things doeth He, which we cannot comprehend. For He saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth; likewise to the small rain, and to the great rain of His strength."
(Job 37:5-6)

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