Today is my birthday. I have one of those strange ones that’s too close to Christmas and is also on New Year’s Eve. That sets you up for all kinds of reflection. It doesn’t help that I am a contemplative person already. This year I want to share my “resolution” with you. So here it is…
I will never again apologize for the goodness of God.
Pretty simple, right? That seems confusing but maybe I can explain, somewhat. It is difficult since God is infinitely good and descriptions of His goodness fall well short. Instead I want to brag about how good God is. As a matter of fact I want to go to extremes. I believe the goodness of God cannot be balanced. I believe the goodness of God is grossly understated. I believe the selfishness of man doesn’t want to admit to the goodness of God. I believe God has so much more for us then we are currently realizing because of our severe short-sightedness and self-effort insistence. I believe religion wants to “keep control” over people so they never find the awesome goodness of God. I actually believe what God has said about who He is and what He has done and is capable of doing. I actually believe that Jesus is the exact representation of God. I believe that if you can’t see Jesus doing it then it isn’t God but man instead. So I’m done compromising the message of God’s goodness and instead I plan to be the most ridiculous lover of God I can be. I look forward to people saying “that isn’t real” and “I have never seen that” and “you are living in fantasy land.” I pray that we move from discussion to demonstration. Jesus said that if you can’t believe in Him and who He was then at least believe in His works. His works were the mighty works of God. His works were beyond human capabilities. His works were beyond the natural. His works were the expression of God’s love. His works were supernatural. Jesus said we would do those works like He did and even greater. Jesus said His love empowers us to keep His instruction. His instruction was to do what He did. No more apologies. It is time to shine like the lights He has made us.
Do you know that mankind has been resisting the goodness of God from the beginning? Adam and Eve chose self effort and independence instead of dependence on the goodness of God. They had everything they needed from Him. Sarah didn’t believe God was good enough to carry out His promise of giving her a child. Instead she laughed at the thought. Even Abraham had his moments of wavering faith. Jacob was sure that his brother was going to kill him at the family reunion. God brought him out and brought him back but Jacob wasn’t believing in the goodness of God to protect him. Even the nation of Israel fresh out of slavery couldn’t accept the goodness of God. Here is a verse I discussed in my last post “Heavenly Sounds.”
Hebrews 12:19 And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: (KJV)
The nation of Israel had escaped Egypt and were provided for miraculously by God all the way. They came to mount Sinai to finally establish a lasting covenant with God. As they gathered to hear from God they were afraid. They begged to not have to hear God speak to them. Do you know what God was saying? In the last post I talked about the meaning of the words “sound” and “voice.” Just like the day of Pentecost this was the symphony of Heaven invading Earth and the voice of God Himself. In the phrase “voice of words” the “words” is the Greek word Rhema which is literally God’s utterance or spoken word. It has unlimited power. It makes the impossible possible. Check out this verse:
Luke 1:37 For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment. (AMP)
or you might be more familiar with this translation:
Luke 1:37 For with God nothing shall be impossible. (KJV)
The “nothing” here is the word Rhema or God’s spoken word. When He says it, it will happen. The second interesting phrase in Heb 12:19 is “the word should not be spoken to them any more.” The Greek for “word” here is Logos. Logos is the nature or essence or blueprint of God. For example the mighty works of God that the disciples uttered in tongues on the day of Pentecost would be Logos words. In the gospel of John it says the Logos became Jesus. In the Aramaic the word is Memra which means manifestation or living expression. I believe the Israelites were hearing God speak about His nature and of course His nature is good. I believe the Israelites were in the presence of “too much good.” Remember they didn’t have Jesus. They were ruled by a Sin nature. They were from Adam and not born again. They were fresh out of slavery and knew nothing but abuse. I believe they had no capacity for mercy.
Moses on the other hand was afraid but also drawn to the presence of God. He later asks God to show him His goodness or glory. God tells Moses that he can’t handle it all, it would kill him. So God shows him a measure of His goodness. So what was different about Moses? I believe he had a revelation of the goodness of God and mercy of God. Somewhere in his 40 years of wondering, God showed him His mercy. Maybe because he killed a man and wasn’t killed himself. Maybe it was his dependence on God in the wilderness. However it happened Moses was drawn to the burning bush not running away. Moses wanted to climb the mountain when the people wanted to run away. I believe that mercy is like water. When you are drenched in water, the mercy of God, then you can handle the fire or goodness of God. So here is a LLT for Heb 12:19:
Hebrews 12:19 The symphony of Heaven sounded and the people heard the voice of God telling of His goodness and the people couldn’t handle it. (LLT)
So the people asked Moses to step in and be their representative. They asked for a law relationship instead of a Grace relationship. In some ways I can see how this was necessary. They had no capacity for mercy. They were very aware of their Sin in the presence of God and they were afraid. Only the love of God will cancel that kind of fear. So they needed some time in a relationship to learn to trust God. They had ample opportunities including an on-time arrival to the promised land only to realize they were still not trusting God. You know the rest of the story. Manna, provision, clothes and super-shoes. 40 years to build trust in a loving God.
So why we still insist on a law or a Grace-and relationship with God today absolutely boggles my mind. We have Jesus. He paid the price. We get to live His life. We get to draw near to Him and His goodness. We get to let Him provide for us. We get to work the mighty works just like Jesus did. So why do we resist? Why do we flee from the mountain instead of running up it?
Self, religion, doctrine, fear…there are many names. In the end we just don’t believe. We say “it is too good to be true.” Just this week I had someone ask me “what does maintenance look like for a new believer or the flock in general?” I think what he was asking is “how do we make sure the people don’t fall into Sin?” Same question. Same answer… Jesus! He brought us in, He made us new, He keeps us, He protects us, He encourages us, He provides the victory. The only maintenance we need is to believe it is true. The only accountability we need is to call forth the new creation that we have become. The only community is one that proclaims the mighty works of God. Our family is seated at the right hand of God in Christ. Our small groups are groups of mighty Supernatural Gospel-spreading believers like Jesus. Our outreach brings healing, deliverance, freedom and destruction to the enemy.
It is too good to be true. We don’t deserve any of it. Still it is our good God that says it is so. When you think it is too good to be true then it must be true. That is the nature of your Abba in Heaven. Get over it. I told you, no more apologies.