DayBreaks for 12/12/17: How Christians Can Make God Disappear
From the DayBreaks archive, December 2007:
It was the Psalmist that perhaps most eloquently voiced the purpose of creation when he said, in Psalms 19:1-4 (NIV) – The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun…
Have you ever wondered why God made physical things? After all, He Himself is a spiritual being, as are we. Could God not have created spiritual beings without physical bodies and without a physical realm to move around in? Of course He could! But He didn’t. The reason why is unknown to us, other than the fact that God seems to delight in creating, and in the work of His hands – just like a master craftsman delights in a fine piece of jewelry or a chair or vase.
I think, however, that the main purpose behind His creation – all of it, not just the physical realm – is found in the passage above: it exists to declare the glory of God. Someone has said that creation is like God’s fingerprints. From fingerprints alone we can’t tell too much about a person – we can’t know their character, interests, etc. – but we can tell that they were there. It’s evidence of their existence. Creation is evidence of His existence and it glorifies His name!
If only spiritual beings (humans, anyway) were as good at it as the physical universe. We don’t do a great job of declaring the glory of God. Joel Belz, in the December 8 issue of World Magazine, wrote: For the truest and most effective proponents of godlessness are almost never those who are most blatant about their mission. They are instead those who purport to pick up any topic at all for further discussion—and then leave God out of that conversation. Do that with a dozen such discussions, or maybe 20 or 100, and you don’t have to do much more. You’ve implicitly made your case. God doesn’t exist—or if He does, He doesn’t matter.
What struck me about Belz’ statement wasn’t how the godless go about declaring that God doesn’t exist, but how subtly we as believers can, by the lack of our words and actions, also make God disappear. When we leave God out of the public conversations we have (and the private ones as well), God has disappeared in that instance. And, as Belz notes, if we do that often enough in dozens or hundreds of conversations, God is as good as invisible – He disappears from life and living.
How many conversations do you have in the course of a day? In how many of those conversations is even the name of God voiced (other than when someone uses His name in vain)? Are you one of those Christians who makes God disappear, or do you, like the physical heavens, declare the glory of God?
PRAYER: Father, Your Word says that someday we will shine like stars in the universe. The universe proclaims Your glory – may we add our voices in our daily conversations! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.