GAINING A DIVINE PERSPECTIVE: Discovering What’s Right for Our lives When Things have gone “Wrong”. There are things that confuse us. For instance, we could understand if a young man said, “Dad, you wanted me to have a driver’s license, but you’re not buying me a car. It’s not fair & doesn’t make sense.” But of course, dad does make sense. On the other hand, would we understand if one heard, “Heavenly Father, you gave me this vision, why aren’t you making it happen?” In this instance, would we realize that personal prophecy & Biblical prophecy are similar…YHWH God has given both to carry out His agenda & to improve our conduct, not to increase our knowledge or cater to what makes us feel good.
WHAT IS GOOD? Is freedom good or bad? Pleasure can be evil, & pain can be good…in some instances. So what is good? And more specifically, what is good for oneself in a particular situation?? Just because we desire something, does not automatically make it good. And even though God is a gentleman and lets us have the desires of our hearts—that does not automatically make the desires of our heart good. One godly king wanted to live longer than when God was going to take him, and prayed for extra time, but then he used the extra time granted him to turn from God & do evil. We must quit equating “good” with “what I desire”. Then we must take the next step and separate “good” from “what everyone wants”. They are two different things. Just because everyone desires something does not make it good.
INVENTING A CONVENIENCE MACHINE. Let’s say I invented an outstanding convenience machine, which really saved time & made everyone’s life convenient. But then I tell you that it comes with a hitch…over 75,000 people per year must die from the convenience machine, millions each year must lose their health through injury & side effects, and some communities would be destroyed and parents might lose moral control over their teenagers due to this convenience device. You’d turn it down. You’d say life & health & community are more important. And I would say, well, this convenience machine is already here, it began as a Model T. The Amish rejected it. Yet I’d be rich if I had a dollar for everyone who has told me how evil the Amish are for rejecting cars. It really bothers some people.
DO WE LONG FOR THE GOOD? Most people feel they know right from wrong, and what is good…but do we long for the good, or is it good because we long for it?? Too often we frame something as good in our mind because we want it, not because it is divinely viewed as good. However, deep inside, we are not fooled. Deep down, in the long run, we want a life directed towards worthwhile goals. Which means that deep down we seek to participate with God to make our lives meaningful, for it is God who gives lasting positive value to things. When folks seek spirituality, it is a search to find positive divine meaning for one’s life. And, by the way, it is never too late to put meaning into one’s life.
FAILED DREAMS. Perhaps you know the secular song about the failed dreams of high schoolers. To line up with God’s thinking, we have to let go of our expectations. When we surrender our lives to God, we also surrender our interpretation of things, and our expectations. Events can then be reframed. “All things work together for good to those who love God & are called according to His purpose…” (A) We lose our worldly goals, & gain godly goals. This mixture of loss & gain happens in many things. The first time we surrender our worldly goals in exchange for godly goals, this event is celebrated with a Rite of Passage called Baptism. The marriage ceremony celebrates the loss of singleness & the gain of spousehood. Over a lifetime, we will have our goals & dreams collapse & fail. Few if any win 100% of the time. Often very little is done to move on…I suggest perhaps a Rite of Passage event, perhaps a special meal to move on in life.
NOTHING HAPPENED, EVERYTHING CHANGED. All around us, people’s dreams get dashed. The woman or man, who wants to become a doctor, gives it up because of a pregnancy. The father who wants a son gives it up after 5 daughters. A mother looking forward to grandchildren has children who do not reproduce. A person, who wraps his life around a future occupation, realizes that it won’t work out. A relationship fails to materialize. A family has issues. One fails to lose weight. Life is not tidy. Dreams become disappointments. We may have certain goals we expected by a certain age, and are too upset at that age’s birthday to celebrate. When dreams are lost, people feel out of control, that life is not fair, despair, betrayal by fate & God, and hopelessness. And these negative feelings may be dumped on those around the person. A father who fails to get a son may take it out on his unwanted daughter. And quite frankly, part of the problem is that too little is done by everyone to help the person recover from “what should have been”. If the despairing dreamer can verbalize what has happened, put a label to the disappointment, or even tell the story about it, the act of verbalizing it dilutes the negative charge. Acknowledging the loss may allow the person to grieve over the loss. And many people need to grieve over the loss of a dream—which may not be spotted by outside observers because it is often a non-event, it’s something that did not happen. Additionally, at some pt. the person, if he or she loves God, will see that all things work together for good…but that often takes time…perhaps years! Dreams are like a hand of cards, one needs to know when to hold them or to fold them.
LORD OF THE FLIES. There is a book entitled this, about boys stranded on an island who are excited to get away from adult rules. Beelzebub’s name means Lord of the Flies. The boys descend into moral anarchy. That is the path our society is taking. Just pick whichever bathroom you feel like using. Just addict yourself to whatever pleases you, because supposedly everyone is an egoist. There is no right or wrong…only opinions, so do what you want to increase your power & wealth. When freedom is used for evil, it is no longer good. There is a pride & arrogance that goes with such an attitude. So we see the arrogant name “post-modern world”. Really? So the modern world is gone? The Word says rebellion is the Spirit of Witchcraft. When this nation dumped Christ, they replaced him…and it should be obvious to the casual observer what they replaced godliness with. Economists assume in their formulas that people & corporations will act in their own selfish interest. So what does this kind of selfish self-interest lead to? It leads to companies like Nestle (of the elite Nestle family) making mothers dependent upon baby formula to the point that it is estimated 4,000 babies worldwide/per day die because they are on formula instead of mother’s breast milk. Initially, the company gave out free samples long enough for mothers to ruin their milk production. Part of the problem w/ the formula, which is not as healthy as breast milk, is that mother’s dilute it with contaminated water & millions of babies have consequently died from malnutrition & diseases. Selfishness leads to big pharma selling dangerous drugs as long as they can, even when they know their destructiveness—and even if they know they will be sued in the end. And this is why God has provided us with the Word of God, to prevent moral anarchy. As much as people hate the Bible, you might have problems realizing that it is for our benefit!!… Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness…these rules are for us!
PROPHECY. And the subject of the Word of God brings us back to prophecy. Even prophecy is given to show us how to behave or not to behave.(B) I am reminded of the Apocalypse of Peter, a book that was esteemed by the early church but not deemed worthy of inclusion into the Scriptures. In it, it describes the sexual moral anarchy & abortions of the end days. The prophecy is concerned with morality. Like I said previously, when God’s Spirit has placed a personal prophecy in your heart, one purpose is to build up your character. We want to take a systematic view of what His Word says, and not get a narrow distorted view as some of the cults use. We want to open the Word of God to improve how we behave…for that was the reason it was written, not so that we could become smart with facts. The Bible does not try to be a science or history book.
MUST WE ANSWER ALL DOUBTS ABOUT TRUTH? When a baby is born it sucks on its mother’s breast. The baby does not ask for I.D. from the mother, or a certificate authenticating or approving the breast. If the child demanded 100% certainty of what it was sucking on, it would starve. Contrariwise, the totally cynical skeptic refuses the wonderful life-giving Words of God because every last doubt can not be answered. It’s an unrealistic standard. If you could verify truth, how do you verify the verification, and on and on it goes. Nothing in life is without a trace of doubt. That is why the person of God moves forward with FAITH. “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”(C) “For without faith it is impossible to please Him [God]…”(D) And when we walk by faith (which is the only way to please God) what will happen? “…the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise & honor & glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ…(E)
(A) ROM 8:28 (B) 2 TIM 3:16 cf. JN 14:29 & JN 13:19 (C) 2 COR 5:7 (D) HEB 11:6A (E) 1 PTR 1:7