June 13, 2013

“Behold, these are but the outskirts of his ways, and how small a whisper do we hear of him!  But the thunder of his power who can understand?’  Job 26:14

I am rather particular about what I like:

I like my coffee with a little cream but not too much;
Salsa should have a little kick but it shouldn’t scorch my taste buds;
I am driven inside when it is too hot or too cold;
I don’t like it when it is too windy or breezeless;
I like my dessert sweet but not too sweet.

Everyone has preferences.  Those preferences have ranges that depend upon the person.  When the ranges of our particular preferences are exceeded, we become uncomfortable.  However, there are another set of ranges that affect our very existence.  Our lives cannot be sustained if the ranges of these parameters are exceeded:

The sun cannot be any closer or further away;
The atmosphere cannot be any thicker or thinner;
My heart rate cannot get too high or too low;
My immune system has to be sensitive but not too sensitive;
I need some gravity but not too much.

We are very delicate creatures in terms of the mighty forces at work in this universe and there is no greater power than God Almighty.  He embodies forces that can turn our fragile forms to dust in an instant.  Who can stand before the weight of His glory?  Who can take the thunder of His voice?  Who can bear the intensity of His image?  Who can comprehend His ways?

God is beyond the range that our forms can accommodate.  I am incapable of taking all of God.  He has to moderate His power in order that we can know Him without being hurt.  He has to show us glimpses of the divine in the safety of His hand.  There is no place for pride in the full revelation of God.  Humility is our only response when we consider the grace that God has shown us by limiting Himself in His own revelation just so that we can bear it.  I am astounded by my own arrogance by taking God’s limited revelation and limiting it even further by my own preferences.  I wonder at how often I find myself living as though I control the boundaries of God in my life.

I cannot bear the silence of God.
I strain against the whisper of His voice in frustration.
Yet, I am afraid to hear the full force of His voice.

So many of us live in an attempt to set limits on God’s involvement in our lives; like that is even possible.  We like a little bit of God but not too much.  We don’t want God to exceed the range of our preferences for fear of Him making us uncomfortable.  We cringe at the thought of God calling us to a lifestyle that may bear the ridicule for being a Jesus Freak.

Humility recognizes that we don’t have that kind of control. Humility comes before God willing to take all that He has to give.  That may mean patiently waiting in His silence.  That may mean obediently following the roar of His leading.  Only the sinful heart thinks it can manage God Almighty.  God is never a preference of our lifestyle.  He is the very essence of our life.  He is the air that we breathe.  He is the source of every heart beat.

May we humbly seek all that He is revealing to us, no matter where that leads.

PRAYER: Lord, thank you for allowing yourself to be known by me.  Thank you for opening my eyes.  Thank you for breathing life into my dead soul.  Father, I want to know You.  Help me to be open to all that you have to reveal to me.  Sustain me in your silence.  Give me courage to follow when you speak.  Teach me to know your voice.  Jesus, keep me humble before your mighty throne.  Do not let the arrogance of my heart think that I can manage my obedience.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ.   Amen.


  1. Reblogged this on life: acoustic & amplified and commented:
    I don’t like litter.
    I don’t like bird poop on things.
    I don’t like people being mean to old folks.
    I don’t like tyrants.
    I don’t like Brussels sprouts, lima beans, raisins,
    mint, mustard, pickles or strawberry ice cream.
    I don’t like the torture of children,
    the suffering of war, or smoking in public,
    or sleet. Or sand in my socks.
    I don’t like tragedy. It refuses to negotiate.
    I don’t like rain, because it messes things up.
    I don’t like sunrises because they come too early.
    I don’t like sunsets because they end things.
    And they keep coming. It’s annoying.
    And pleasant days, like everything, can without warning
    turn worse.
    And you know how joy is always either compromised
    or cut short.
    I don’t like poetry, because there’s never enough.
    I have my standards.

    Steve Garnaas-Holmes
    Unfolding Light

  2. Amen, it is that aspect of sin which is at the heart of so many things. That we believe we can understand and therefore control. Thank you for visiting hisnamebpraised and liking the post. Blessings to you and your writing. Doug

  3. I can only echo what others have said.

  4. Beautiful thought and heartfelt prayer.

  5. “We don’t want God to exceed the range of our preferences for fear of Him making us uncomfortable.” Your frank words, JD, pinpoint a common trouble spot. Oh, Lord, forgive me when I’m hesitant to leave my comfort zone. Remind me that beyond those limits is where your glory is displayed most magnificently!

  6. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THIS POST!!!! Thank you for this awesome post today! You are truly a blessing to me!

  7. This is a God-glorifying post! Amen.

  8. As usual, wow! Ditto, Karl. And thanks, JD.

  9. This post really resonates with me. You’ve described something that I’ve never been able to put into words – the feeling that we’re baby birds in God’s hands and the humility of that. Beautiful.

  10. Most excellent! Well said.

  11. Amen. I am sure glad I don’t have to hold it all in control.

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