Snapshots: Day 44

Snapshots: Day 44

The Snapshot: “God said, “I will be with you.”  (Ex 3:12a) Is just knowing He is here enough? If everything the preachers say is true, it is not. If He is love, I want to sense that love, if He is comfort, I want to sense that comfort. If He says I will provide for you, I want to know that sense of provision. If He says I am the healer, I want to know healing. If I don’t know these things, why not?  What is missing? What am I missing? What? I must “believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Heb 11:6) That I need to remember to come near to him? (Jas 4:8) I can keep it in my intellect that He will never leave me (Heb 13:5) or I can wait upon Him, desiring to draw near to Him, until I sense He is here. That is a possibility; I’ve known it, so why don’t I do it more often?

Further Consideration: In the previous snapshot we considered some of God’s attributes about His being, His existence, but there are more that pertain to His character which leads to His words and His actions:

He is Faithful, He is Good, He is Just, He is Merciful, He is Gracious, He is Loving. If these things are true – and they are – if my heart isn’t yearning to experience them, there must be something wrong with me!

Thus when God says, “I will be with you,” then all of these things will be part of that experience, knowing His presence in the days that follow. We know that we can trust Him because He never changes in His attitude towards us, we can be assured of His goodness, that strange description that is so difficult to grasp, yet when we do, we have a feeling that it is right, pleasant, enjoyable and we need have no doubts about Him in any shape or kind. And so it goes on; these are the things about God that the Bible is clear about and which make knowing Him not only worthwhile but essential in life.

The apostle Paul wrote, “If God is for us, who can be against us.” (Rom 8:31) which could be equally said, “Because God is for us, who can be against us.” That is the truth, He is for us. He is with us, indwelling us by His Holy Spirit, working around us by His sovereign power, and ruling from heaven over the affairs of mankind, working them together for our benefit (Rom 8:28). That is almost too good to be true – but it is! But my experiences of Him being “with me” will vary.

There will be the relatively rare times that I referred to previously when His presence is virtually manifest and there is such an awareness of Him there; there will be other times when we have no sense of Him there (although He still is), and there are a multitude of experiences in between. Sometimes He seems very active in our lives, sometimes it seems like He is waiting and still – but He is still there!   Rest in that.

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15. Aspiring to Faithfulness

Aspiring Meditations: 15.  Aspiring to Faithfulness

Gal 5:22   the fruit of the Spirit is ….faithfulness

Num 12:7  my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house.

Deut 7:9    Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands.

When I started looking up verses about faithfulness, the next in our list of things to aspire to, I found something I had never noticed before: most of the verses about faithfulness are about God and I could find hardly anything that calls us to be faithful. The meaning of ‘faithful’ is, in its simplest form, ‘remaining true’. That is how it is in respect of God Himself and for us it means “remaining full of faith – faith-full” or remaining true to God. There is an echo of this in Jesus’ words, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Lk 18:8) i.e. will he find us remaining faithful to God.

When we look at faithfulness as a fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22), there is a certain ‘chicken and egg’ thing about it; which comes first? We’ve said several times that the fruit comes as we hold true to the Spirit, open to Him, being led by Him. In a sense we might say the fruit grows when we remain faithful to Him, and yet faithfulness is actually one of the fruit He brings in us. So faithfulness to Him releases faithfulness in us in much wider ways. The first reference to faithfulness in the Bible is in respect of Moses (Num 12:7 – see above) which the writer to the Hebrews picks up on (see Heb 3:2). In other words, Moses was true to his calling and remained faithful to the Lord and to Israel.

But let’s see some references to the Lord’s faithfulness and that will help faithfulness grow in us. First of all, “God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.” (1 Cor 10:13) i.e. when temptations come from the enemy, the Lord will not leave us on our own but will remain true to the relationship we have with Him and will be there for us.

In a similar vein, “He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.” (1 Cor 1:8, 9) i.e. the reason we can be assured that we will stand blameless on the final day of accounting has a twofold dimension to it. First, God will remain true to the principles of the salvation He has provided for you through Christ and so, because of the Cross, you will appear before Him blameless, because Christ has taken all the blame. Second, we will stand blameless on that day because He will have kept us true to Him by the presence of His Holy Spirit working within us on a daily basis, and the presence or Jesus seated at His right hand ruling over our affairs. In all of this He will have remained faithful and true in respect of us.

Exactly the same thing is conveyed to the Thessalonians: “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.” (1 Thess 5:23,24) The focus here though is not so much the final accounting but the actual return of Jesus, but the same thoughts are conveyed – we will be kept by God’s faithfulness. He will remain true to us and be there for us.

But not only is it in respect of being ready for Jesus’ return and for the final accounting, it is also in respect of our daily lives and the warfare we encounter here: “pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not everyone has faith. But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.” (2 Thess 3:2,3) Paul acknowledges this spiritual warfare, especially noting that it can involve people who are hostile to us, but he has this same confidence he has spoken of elsewhere, that God is for us and will remain faithful and so can be relied upon to strengthen us and protect us.

Now this has brought us to a key issue – we can RELY on God BECAUSE He IS faithful, He will always remain true to us, He will always be there for us. There is a hint of this in “Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath.” (Heb 6:17) God’s unchanging purpose is because He Himself never changes. Because the plan of the Godhead made before the foundation of the world is perfect, it never changes. God never changes and His purposes never change and His feelings and His plans and His purposes towards us, never change. We can rely on this, He is faithful, He is unchanging. Rejoice in this, be secure in this.

Now I said there appear few calls to remain faithful to God but really everything in the teaching in the New Testament is summed up in this. It is inherent in our calling. We did not surrender to Him just for ten minutes to receive His salvation; we gave our entire lives to Him. That is how it works. We remain faithful to Him because we have to, for without Him we are nothing, without Him we have no present and no future. I don’t have to try to be faithful, I just HAVE to be. The moment I cease to be, is the moment I fall into disobedience and rebellion.

But if He is faithful to us and we are faithful to Him, then by necessity we must remain faithful to one another in the body. Peter denying Jesus for a horrible few moments in the grounds of the High Priest’s palace, and Judas betraying Jesus for thirty pieces of silver are the quintessential examples of absence of faithfulness and those two incidents should act as spurs to us to be alert and ensure we never go down the same path.  He is faithful; we will be faithful – to Him and to our brothers and sisters in Christ (including those we know little of in persecution zones?) May it be so.

3. Faithful?

Meditations in Colossians: 3:  Faithful?

Col 1:2   To the holy and faithful brothers in Christ at Colosse:

Well, to see the meaning of ‘holy’ we had to study some of the many references to it in the Bible but as we move on to consider what it means to be faithful, it might be more fruitful to meditate on it, ponder on and chew it over, rather than do an intellectual study of it.

I am called to be faithful to my wife. That means I am to remain true to her and not let my mind, my thoughts stray to any other woman.  To be faithful means to remain true. Faithfulness is a building block of community, of civilisation, of humanity and the inference from the earliest chapters of Genesis is that faithfulness to one person is God’s design for us. As we, as a society in the West, have drifted away from God so that particular foundation has been undermined. So often people do not remain faithful for life, just as long as it suits them, just as long as it takes them to get bored with this particular relationship that now calls for effort to be made. In the early days of young love the thought of faithfulness doesn’t even arise for we are so taken up with one another that we can think of nothing else. And then the years pass, children arrive to make claims on us, age creeps up on us and we find we are different people and if we are careless and naïve we no longer put the effort in to expressing love like we once did. It is at this point that faithfulness becomes a challenge.

But we can also be faithful to an idea or a doctrine or an ideology. In recent years in the UK we have seen politicians jump ship and change parties. They no longer remain faithful to the party of their roots. It has always been so. Even that great statesman, Winston Churchill changed parties, more than once. Expediency can be a strong motivator to being unfaithful.

But sometimes it is right and proper to cease to be faithful to old ideas, old ways. We grow up and so our ideas and our behaviour changes. Sadly some may be brought up with good moral parents who seek to convey good standards but with the passing of years, insidious little temptations creep in and we compromise and before we know it we have moved right away from those ways we were taught. We have not been faithful to the way of our parents.

For those of us who are now Christians, there came a time when we were challenged about remaining faithful to our old ways. The word of God came to us as the Holy Spirit did His work and convicted us and we came to realise that we were in fact lost, helpless and hopeless. We turned from our life of self indulgence, self motivation, self gratification and self honouring and realised that remaining faithful to that way of life was only going to keep us locked in to a life of anxiety, a life of self-destruction, and so we turned to God, we received Jesus as our Saviour and Lord, and we embarked on an entirely new life empowered by His Holy Spirit, Our calling now is to remain faithful to Him, our Lord and God

It is, for most of the time, the most natural thing to do, as we rejoice in His love and goodness, but then a snake slithers into our circumstances and whispers, “Did God really say….” and doubts are sown and we start wondering. “It’s all right’” he continues, “it will be all right.”  And there we are in the challenge to faithfulness. It happens most insidiously sometimes.  Life gets busy, we have children and family makes more demands on us, we become successful in ‘our career’ and even more demands are put upon us. Church life becomes a nuisance it seems, and the snake whispers, “Well, they don’t care about you, and so much of a Sunday morning is a charade, a performance. You would be better off giving time to the family or catching up with that work on your laptop.” It sounds so sensible, so rational. And as the pressures build on us, whereas we once used to have a meaningful ‘quiet time’ it became a quick glance and a couple of verses, someone else’s comments and a muttered, “Lord please bless this day,” and then even that ceased. It all happened so subtly. “I’m still a Christian,” you exclaim but in reality it is little more than in name. Your call to be faithful to Him seems a long way in the past.

But then we look at the word again – faith-full, full of faith. Faith comes by hearing the word of God. We became people who respond to the word of God. We responded to it and were born again and became part of ‘the faithful’.  And then the word kept coming and we kept responding and we were changed and so we carry on changing to become more like him. And then He spoke words or direction and calling to us and as we responded in faith He anointed us and equipped us for service and so we find ourselves called to remain faithful to our calling. Again the challenge will be there from the whisperer to ease up, step back, rest up, but we are called to be faithful, to remain true to our calling and true to Him who called us, empowered and equipped us.  We are the faithful of God!

3. A Sense of Alone

Motivation Meditations in Acts : 3 :  A Sense of Alone

Acts  1:9   After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.

How we take for granted what we read in the Bible! This has got to be one of the most amazing things recorded in the New Testament. There were the disciples, one minute standing with Jesus and the next moment, they are alone – apart from two angels who question them. Well we won’t say much more about this episode here for you can see it in the general series on Acts. The point we make here is that suddenly this most charismatic of figures who had been the centre of their lives for three years was now gone. Yes, that had happened once already at the crucifixion but now it has happened again in a completely different way. He has just gone up and departed from sight. At least before they had a body; now they have nothing but memories. Yet the two angels declare that he will return again one day, although they do not specify when.

Now I want to link this in with some teaching that Jesus gave which we find in Luke 18.  In Luke 17 we find Jesus speaking about the Last Days and again he indicates there will be an uncertainty about the ‘when’ and the ‘how’ even though he does give us many indications or signs to watch for. And then at the beginning of chapter 18 we find, Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” (Lk 18:1)  Of course people often take this out of context but when we see the context, we see that Jesus is saying, however long you have to wait for my return, remain faithful to what I’ve taught you and seek my Father in prayer and if you want things changed, keep on praying, and he does this via this parable about a widow. What is interesting is that at the end of that parable we find, “However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Lk 18:8)

Again, when you see this in context, you will see its significance. Jesus has spoken about the uncertain Last Days and he has taught about the need to remain faithful in your relationship with the Lord and keep on bringing your needs to Him in prayer and when he gets to it, we can now see that what he is saying is, regardless of the days, regardless of whether you get your prayers answered, regardless of how difficult it is (this we imply in the light of the general teaching of the difficulty of those days), remain true, remain faithful to God.

Now this lays down a foundational principle for us that has wide application. Basically it says, whatever is happening – however difficult the days, however trying the circumstances, however aggravating people appear to be, and however silent God appears to remain – remain true and faithful.

Remember this is a series about motivations, about how we see people react in Scripture and what Scripture teaches us about people’s motivations. What this now tells us, and it should be born in mind throughout the series, is that if everything is taken away from us (Jesus has just left the disciples), if we suddenly find ourselves bereft by loss of loved ones or by peace being removed and us being left with upsetting circumstances, and if there seems nothing to indicate guidance and direction, even if all these things are true, we are still called to remain faithful to the Lord.

Put it another way. If everyone in our family is an unbeliever, or if everyone around us seems to desert the Lord – for Jesus did say in such times the love of most (for Him) will grow cold – even if that is true, we must still remain true. If I am the only Christian in my street, or my class or in my place of work, I am still called to remain true to Him, I am still called to be filled with His love and goodness, and still called to be filled with truth and honesty and integrity. If everyone around me is abandoning moral integrity, I will not steal, I will not commit adultery and I will not covet what belongs to others, and I will still worship the Lord!   When all restraints are removed in society and everyone else abandons church and worshipping the Lord on a Sunday, I will remain true. When everyone else becomes jaundiced and jaded and cynical, I will remain thankful and joyful and true to God.

Do you see this? We don’t really need to worry about motivations, we just have to determine to remain true whatever happens, because Jesus is watching and Jesus looks to see who will be faithful when he comes back. In a day of declining faith in the materialistic West of the twenty-first century, remember that faith isn’t declining everywhere. We may feel like Elijah and moan to the Lord that we are the only one left (see 1Kings 19:14) but the truth is, like then, that there are many others who remain faithful and true.

Joshua found himself in a time of compromise and had to declare to the people, But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” (Josh 24;15) i.e. you serve your idols if you will in your folly, but me and my family will remain true to the Lord. Stamp that last sentence on your heart.

Those words bring to mind the words of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (Dan 3:16-18) That is commitment! Whatever you do to us, we will remain true to the Lord and put our future entirely in His hands. Hallelujah! May that be our response also!

32. Ongoing Evil

Meditations in Malachi : 32.  Ongoing Evil

Mal 3:15   But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly the evildoers prosper, and even those who challenge God escape.’ “

There is an inherent problem living as a righteous and godly person in an unrighteous and ungodly society or nation. In challenging the people of God with the word of God, the prophet acknowledges this difficulty. It is just a variation of what we have already considered earlier, but it does highlight certain specifics that the wise Christian should be aware of.

Fact one: we live in a fallen world and large numbers of people (in the USA and UK this is now the clear majority) do not acknowledge God and live out their lives as they see fit, not as God sees is right. That is the unpleasant truth of living in the twenty first century. But having said that, it has always been that way! That is why Jesus told the parable of the weeds (Mt13:24-30, 36-43) and the parable of the fish (Mt13:47-50). Both parables remind us that good and evil live alongside each other and that a final judgement will only come at the end.

Fact two: God rarely seems to tell us when He is going to turn up. This means uncertainty. Will it just get worse and worse or will He come and change it?  That depends on exactly where we are in God’s economy. According to the book of Revelation the last day appears to be preceded by unparalleled godlessness and unrighteousness, but are we actually in those days? Only the Lord knows. If we are not then, considering Church history as a whole, we may expect the Lord to turn up with revival and turn many people to Himself. There have been many prophecies and much praying over the last half century that suggests that that will be, but the truth is we don’t know when. Lots of people have tried to put a positive spin on the state of the church and the state of the nation, but the truth is that God has NOT come in sovereign power in revival in this century at least. Yes, there were various ‘renewals’ in both the USA and the UK in the 1970’s to 1990’s but we have not seen that sovereign move that has been seen in earlier parts of Church history – and we still don’t know when it will come.

Fact 3: Jesus anticipated these feelings of frustration because, when teaching on prayer, using the parable of the widow and the judge, he concluded, And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Lk 18:6-8) Note the final words. What is he saying? Pray your heart out and keep on praying, but at the end of the day, regardless of whether you think you get answers or not – remain faithful!

So let’s remind ourselves by looking at the verse above, what it is that we have to contend with and stand against. First, says the prophet, “we call the arrogant blessed.”  In an ungodly society values get distorted and we esteem those who are proud and arrogant. I’m sure you can think of public figures (often politicians) who are loud, brash and self-esteeming – and who, as a society, we applaud. Second, he says,the evildoers prosper.” Those who are living unrighteously and are making big money seem to not only be getting away with their unrighteous and ungodly outlook on life, but they seem to be doing well out of it! Third, he says, even those who challenge God escape.” Are the names of Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens familiar to you? They should be for they are two of the leading crusading atheists who have been pumping their anti-God propaganda into the world for the last few years – and apparently getting away with it.

So, go back to the first ‘fact’ and remind yourself that so often God allows the ungodly to persist for two reasons. First because there WILL come a final reckoning either at the end of a person’s life or at the Last Day and, second, because the Lord wants to give each person every opportunity to repent and turn to Him before their times runs out: “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Pet 3:8,9) So, don’t get frustrated with the unrighteousness and ungodliness you see around you. Pray your heart out and “overcome evil with good.” (Rom 12:21) Regardless of what others are doing, YOU “let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Mt 5;16)

 

67. Assurance

Meditations in 1 Peter : 67: Assurance

1 Pet 5:10,11 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

And so we come to Peter’s closing comments in this letter about suffering. Again we must note that there is a context for these verses. There are distinct links from these verses to the ones that precede them. Verse 10 starts with “And”, suggesting a continuation of thought. There is the phrase, “after you have suffered a while” which links this with the previous thoughts about suffering. Previous chapters had more to say on suffering and persecution but the previous verses warning about Satan’s activities, had reminded us that, your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” Now what is important to note is that although we may resist the enemy, sufferings still come, and it is about this that Peter seeks to bring this final assurance: God WILL restore you! But there is much here to be understood.

First, note his description of the Lord: “the God of all grace.” In the context of what follows this must mean the God who provides all the grace you need. Grace as a provision of God for our daily lives is simply His ability conveyed to us to enable us to cope and overcome. But God doesn’t aimlessly provide this resource for us; He does it for a purpose: “who called you to his eternal glory in Christ.” Now this has at least two meanings. First it can mean God who called you to share in His eternal glory, or share in His very being. Now that is certainly true for He has made His home in us when He placed His Spirit within us. Remember Jesus said of the Spirit, “you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” (Jn 14:17) and then Paul taught, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?” (1 Cor 3:16) So God’s glory resides within us, but He is an ongoing resource to help us live out our relationship with Him.

But there lay be another meaning to this, “who called you to his eternal glory in Christ.” It also means who has called is to an eternal life with Him, which starts here today and continues on forever. So we are participators in a life that goes on and on, and while on this earth we need His continual resourcing to uphold us and maintain us against the enemies attacks that we have already referred to. For that glory to continue to shine in us, despite the things that come against us, we need His continual supply of grace.

That supply is necessary because of the suffering that is implied in,after you have suffered a little while.” Despite all that has been said so far in these recent meditations, we still may not take in the truth here: Christians DO suffer and they suffer persecution. Jesus warned the church in Smyrna, “Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.” (Rev 2:10) Jesus KNEW this was going to happen and wasn’t going to stop it! It was coming as a test of their faith that would abound to God’s glory!  This does happen to Christians!

For the Christians that Peter was writing to, he was confident that, God … will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” They were going to come through this. Now we have to acknowledge that that isn’t always the outcome; there are sometimes martyrs. Stephen was stoned to death (Acts 7:59,60) and James was killed by Herod (Acts 12:2). It is not for us to say what the outcome of persecution will be. Our call, as Jesus said to the church in Smyrna is to “be faithful, even to the point of death.” If persecution comes and God brings us through it, we win. If we die and go to heaven, we win! This does require us to have a Biblical view of eternity and of death and heaven.

Peter then concludes, To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.” When he says, “to him be…” he is saying, understand that He has this and so declare it and glorify Him with it. His is the power. God has the power, all power, for He is Almighty. There is no limitation to His power so if He so decrees, none can stand before Him. But, understand this: it is His power to use as His wisdom decrees. So sometimes He uses His power to bring us through the persecution here on earth, and sometimes He uses it to bring us to Him in heaven.

Why is Peter finishing with this? He finishes with it because he wants us to live at peace in the face of whatever comes our way, secure in the knowledge that the Lord is sovereign and He will move on our behalf in whatever way is best for us. We can rest secure in His love knowing that His wisdom is perfect and His power is sufficient to achieve whatever it is that He has on His heart to achieve through us! Whenever – and always! Hallelujah! Can we rest in that? May it be so!

 

31. Perfect

We pick up and now continue the series on God in the Psalms

God in the Psalms No.31 – God who is Perfect

Psa 18:30 As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless.

We have previously considered God who is good and God whose words are flawless, but because we so often struggle with this concept we consider it more widely with this verse now.  Why do we struggle with the idea that God is perfect? Because we often don’t understand what is going on in life and we can’t see the whole picture and so we wonder why God doesn’t turn up and do something.  Perhaps it’s also because we have had negative experiences in life, especially when we are young, and those experiences act like a stain or scar on our lives and the hurt of them distorts our thinking and makes us question God’s goodness. This questioning is not unusual.

Gideon did it: “But sir,” Gideon replied, “if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our fathers told us about(Judges 6:13) He looked at their circumstances and concluded that God could not be with them. Abraham struggled similarly: Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?” And Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!” (Gen 17:17) and this after he had previously believed and been declared righteous (Gen 15:6), and later his wife similarly struggled, Then the LORD said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.” Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him…..Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?” Then the LORD said to Abraham, “…..anything too hard for the LORD? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son. (Gen 18:10-14).  When confronted with what seems impossible, we wonder and question, but God is perfect and when God says something He means it!

This idea of God being perfect comes out many times in Scripture:He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.” (Deut 32:4) God is entirely dependable (a rock) because everything He does is utterly good. The law of the LORD is perfect” (Psa 19:7). All of God’s decrees are perfect.  “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect (Mt 5:48). Perfect here means complete, whole, lacking in nothing. Whereas we may look at our own lives or the lives of people around us and see that they lack a lot (strength, grace, wisdom, humility, love, gentleness, peace – the list goes on and on!) NOTHING is missing from God.  Think of any good characteristic and He has it.  When John wrote, There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear (1 Jn 4:18) the perfect love he was referring to was God.

But our verse above speaks of the way of the Lord.  The Lord’s way refers to the way God thinks, moves, acts, lives and works. It’s all about the way He expresses Himself and interacts with us. This is why this is so important. It’s not only that He himself is perfect but it’s about how He relates to us. We may not understand what is happening, either because it is too complex for us to work out, or because we can’t see the whole picture, but our call is simply to trust Him, that because He IS perfect, He is working the best for us in it. We may not be able to see that fully until we get to heaven, but for now we have to learn to accept this amazing truth. It will transform us!