Saturday, February 25, 2006

don't assume God, He doesn't like it

Suppose I were to ask President Bush who the most important person in his life was, and suppose he said Dick Cheney, or his dad, or his campaign manager. Now suppose I say, "what about your wife Laura?", to which he responds, "I assumed you knew that".

Let me ask you, do you think she would be honored by such a response. Would you? No. No one is honored by being assumed. Granted, we do assume some very important things, like oxygen. But oxygen, or our wives, our parents, our friends, are not honored by us assuming them. In fact, quite the opposite.

It is so much more the case with God than our wives. he mind. He is not honored by being assumed, and he does not like it very much at all. Why? Because it runs contrary to his eternal purposes. God wants to be, and deserves to be recognized. Throughout Scripture we see that God acts as he does so that people will know he is God and give him the glory due his name... You see this very clearly in the book of Exodus:

"Say therefore to the people of Israel, 'I am the LORD... and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment... and you shall know that I am the LORD your God." (Ex. 6:6-7)

"I will lay my hand upon Egypt and bring forth my ... people ... out of the land of Egypt by great acts of judgment. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD." (Ex. 7:4-5)

"[Tomorrow] the frogs will be destroyed from you and your houses ... that you may know that there is no one like the LORD our God." (Exodus 10:1-2)

"By now I could have put forth my hand . . . and you would have been cut off from the earth: but for this purpose have I let you live, to show you my power, so that my name may be declared throughout all the earth." (Exodus 9:15-16)

"As soon as I [Moses] have gone out of the city, I will stretch out my hands to the LORD; the thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail, that you may know that the earth is the LORD's." (Exodus 9:29)

"Go in to Pharaoh; for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, in order that I may show these signs of mine among them, and that you may tell in the hearing of your son and of your son's son how I have made sport of the Egyptians and what signs I have done among them; that you may know that I am the LORD." (Exodus 10:1-2)

"In the time to come, when your son asks you, "What does this [Passover] mean?" you shall say to him, "By strength of hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, from the house of bondage."" (Exodus 13:14)

"Not a dog will growl against any of the people of Israel, either man or beast; that you may know that the LORD makes a distinction between the Egyptians and Israel" (Exodus 11: 7).

Let me encourage you not to make God the foundation of your life - foundations are hidden and no one takes notice or praises the beauty of a foundation. Make God your everything. Make him your express purpose, make him your portion, the center of your conversations, your goal, your boast, your waking and lying down thought. When you talk about the warmth of the day, praise God for it. When you think about your health, thank God for it. Don't assume God. In the words of John Piper, "God does not like to be taken for granted. God wills to be central and supreme and celebrated in all of life, including the life of the mind."

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