Tuesday, November 29, 2011

God is the Source

About a month or two ago I started the "Life Journal Reading Plan" on YouVersion. For any of you who don't know what YouVersion is, you should check it out! It's a sweet website that lets you start your own Bible reading plan. But anyway, it was a plan to read the whole Bible in one year, which became a bigger challenge than I first thought. I got about two weeks into it before falling behind and it's taken me this long to try to continue it. I realized the other day that the reason I started falling behind was that my heart just really wasn't in the right place when I started it, but I'll get back to that a little later.

The plan started with Genesis 1-2, and Luke 1. I only had to read a couple verses before my faith was both challenged and strengthened. Everyone knows and has probably heard the signature verse of Genesis 1 being used:
"And God said 'Let there be light,' and there was light."
- Genesis 1:3 (ESV)
I read it and continued and it really didn't stand out to me until I read verses 14 and 15:
"And God said 'Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth."
- Genesis 1:14,15 (ESV)
That opened up such a can of worms for me. I began to question the order of the creation story. Light came before the sun and the stars? How could that make sense? The sun and the stars are what emit light, right?

A few minutes later and I suddenly felt convicted. Is our God not the LORD? Is HE not the source of everything? How could I dare to question how God could create light without the help of giant balls of burning gas and plasma? Does God need anything other than Himself to create? I know it sounds like a small little minute detail of my reading, but for me it was huge. God alone is the source of light.

More than that, God alone is the source of everything else. I soon found that it doesn't really stop with just the origin of light or the order of creation. If we're not careful, we can take for granted all that God does, and just assume that the source of our [life, success, love, freedom, forgiveness, happiness, joy, peace, provision, food, water, relationships, intimacy, etc.] is something material or worldly (or worse, ourselves) instead of God Almighty. Everything we have, we owe to God, because HE is the source of it ALL. He spoke our lives into being. He brought everyone into our lives that we know and love. He makes sure we are well and provided for. He created and designed intimacy, love, peace, and happiness. We owe it all to Him. And if there is anything in our lives that makes us happy or at peace, let us make those reasons to praise Him with all our hearts. Thank Him the minute you think of it! It's so easy to take it for granted. Thanksgiving may be over but may we never cease giving thanks!

I'm going to try my very best to start this Bible reading plan over. I'm going to let the source of my motivation to complete it be to strengthen my relationship with God, and to know Him better, not just to finally read the whole Bible, or to read it in just one year. Those motivations will just run dry. However, motivation for anything can never and will never run dry if God, and God alone, is the source!

- Zack

“There is something beautiful about a billion stars held steady by a God who knows what He is doing. (They hang there, the stars, like notes on a page of music, free-form verse, silent mysteries swirling in the blue like jazz.) And as I lay there, it occurred to me that God is up there somewhere. Of course, I had always known He was, but this time I felt it, I realized it, the way a person realizes they are hungry or thirsty. The knowledge of God seeped out of my brain and into my heart. I imagined Him looking down on this earth, half angry because His beloved mankind had cheated on Him, had committed adultery, and yet hopelessly in love with her, drunk with love for her.” 

― Donald Miller,  Blue Like Jazz