Tuesday, May 5, 2015

“Upward, Outward, and Away” Part 2

     God existed as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit before anything else came into being by His creative fiat.

    "Before the mountains were brought forth or ever Thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God" (Psalm 90:2).
    "I am the Lord; I change not" (Malachi 3:6).
    "All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made" (John 1:3).

    Thus, God is essence.  Moreover, the relationship that exists among the three personages of the Trinity comprises the dynamic and loving function of the Divine fundamental.  "God is love" declared the Apostle John of the eternal devotion, affection, and commitment that exists between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (I John 4:16).  Again, such glory existed in what we might term the "eternal past" before God determined to create angels, things, and human beings.  Only God and God only, living and loving in a perfect bond of joy and triune Self-sufficiency - this was, is, and will forever constitute the core of reality, truth, and substance.  "I am the Lord and there is none else.  There is no God beside Me" (Isaiah 45:5).

    This truth that serves as the heart of all existence must become the realized and embraced heart of our own personal existence.  We are because God willed us to be, and because He maintains our being.  "In Him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28).  To know and live in reality requires our faith, devotion, and commitment to the fact of God as essence, and of ourselves as created beings that derive all from Him.  In this primary sense, our Lord must be known not merely as the most important reality of our lives, but as the only reality of our lives.  This is the reason Scripture calls us to such purity of commitment to God - "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God and Him only shalt thou serve" (Matthew 4:10).  We grope in darkness if we look to anyone or anything else as the Life of our lives in a destructive idolatry to which the flesh of even the most godly believer is prone (Galatians 5:17).

    We must build the altar within our hearts whereupon we sacrifice any and everything other than God as the essence of our personal truth, reality, and life.  Having built it, we must visit the holy place often to remember, to rejoice, to repent and reaffirm when necessary, and to reckon with our hearts that we exist not for ourselves, but rather by and for Another.  Such truth comes hard for the flesh that long ago embraced in Adam the preposterous lie that "ye shall be as gods" (Genesis 3:5).  It comes as blessed relief, however, for the spirits of those who, through Christ, look upward, outward, and away to realize the glory of One, dwelling in Three.  "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28).  This is essence, or rather, He is essence, the God who existed when nothing else did, and who remains forevermore the Cause and Sustainer of angels, things, human beings - and ourselves.

"Of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever, Amen."
(Romans 11:36)

Weekly Memory Verse
   We have known and believed the love that God hath to us.  God is love, and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him."
(I John 4:16)

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