Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Voice, the Vainglory, and the Victor
Is.40:3-8 - The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:
5 And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.
6 The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field:
7 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass.
8 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.
ere comes a voice crying out from within a wilderness, both literally and spiritually. John the Baptist was in God’s eyes the greatest man ever born of a woman. Why? Because he had the unsurpassed honor of identifying God’s Incarnate Lamb. But before John said, “Behold the Lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world” he called out a distinct and desperate warning for people to repent. This voice came just before Christ would reveal Himself.
There is a voice today that is comprised of many different voices. Some are more caustic than is necessary, while some are a little tepid. Some have a list of false teachers while others have a different list. But certainly there are these voices crying out to a spiritual wilderness which continues to grow by leaps and bounds every day. The darkness gets deeper.
The genius of this darkness is that the author has wrapped it in alluring words and promises. It even appears as a form of light, but it is still a deadly darkness. But still the voices that can trace their lineage to the Baptist also grow every day. God by His grace is awakening deceived souls, and out of this group come more and more voices.
The Redeemer is returning and will judge the nations. And those who have directed sinners to a false hope, a false gospel, and a false Jesus will give an account. But the prophetic voice of warning and correction still calls out to reprove, rebuke, and exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. In other words there is still time for repentance. Hear the voice of the Spirit and repent.
Is.40:13-15 - Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being his counsellor hath taught him? 14 With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and shewed to him the way of understanding?
15 Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing.
Is.40:25-26 - To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.
Is.40:27-29 - Why sayest thou, O preacher, and speakest, O church, My way is hid from the LORD, and my judgment is passed over from my God?
28 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.
29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
t is almost unbelievable how much vainglory is running through the evangelical community. Vainglory is when men try and take the glory from God by elevating themselves and constricting the Person of Christ by making Him earthly and consigned to the whims of man. The false teachers insist that they are God’s instruments when they are enraptured by the things of this world. They teach utter nonsense and claim it comes from God. But the God they mention is one created by their own evil imaginations.
Look at the verses above and see how men elevate themselves into places of prominence in their own eyes. These are those to whom Paul addressed as “somewhat in conference”. But Paul says they added nothing to him and in God’s eyes it does not matter who anyone is or thinks they are. Instead of elevating the Lord Jesus in their teachings and lives they elevate themselves. They preach a god who runs to serve man, not One Who empowers His followers to be His servants.
But these Scriptural revelations are a breathtaking look into the nature and power of Almighty God. Instead of minimizing His power, they amplify it. And when we are offered just a glimpse of who God is and what He is capable of, well then we see who we are and the profound need in which we stand. But modern man with all his technological advances is not impressed with God as He is. They are bent on creating a God who is nothing more than a glorified man.
And when you have a utilitarian deity, then your preaching is not about him but about what he can do for you. And the subject of redemption seems to be on the back burner while finances, relationships, health, and even sex are the front and center topics of the day. If a man could preach for one millions years with a God given anointing, that man would still not have scratched the surface in revealing all of our Great God and our Savior Jesus Christ. But that awesome God has given way to the preaching of man and his interests.
Is.40:31 - But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
ut behold, there is a Victor over all of this. While the entire world reels to and fro from a mountain of continuous sin there is One who rules and reigns above all creation. This Victor is not slack and He is not blind to all that happens. Where is that victory? It is in the very loins of the Victor Himself! Oh yes, God lives in the eternal victory inherent within Himself. This is no clash between good and evil or God and Satan. Far from it, in a glorious mystery the God of this universe has not relinquished one atom of His power and victory.
How is that possible“?, some ask. Well those that ask such things are ignorant of the power and might and wisdom of Almighty God. The depth of God’s sovereignty passes human understanding. How can God be ruling and reigning when such chaos consumes this world? It is past our present understanding, but when the Victor returns to claim His spoils all flesh will bow before Him, and even though we still might have a limited understanding of how, on that day we will all know everything is possible for the God whose glory covers every creature. Without lifting a divine finger, all of us will realize how severely we have limited Him based purely upon the vision of His Eternal Being.
And when we experience the fulfillment of the promise made to all who believe, we will be consumed with the glory of His grace. It is on that special day when we lay eyes upon Him that we will see Him as He is and we will know as we are known. That day, that unfathomable day, will be like living a fairy tale except with a reality that can never be imagined before that day. The Victor will be admired and worshiped by all creation and the power of His beauty will overwhelm the expanse of heaven.
So go ahead and close your ears to the voices that now cry in the wilderness to prepare for that day. Go ahead and change the glory of the incorruptible God into a divine errand boy whose charge is the welfare of humanity rather than the eternal glory that is His alone. Go ahead and speak of things and success and money and prestige and health and all things earthly. Go ahead and preach everything but this Suffering Savior and His redemptive labor. Go ahead and reduce the resurrection into a new start for your earthly dreams.
But there is only one Victor. And one day this Victor will appear as a Divine Equestrian as He rides back into His creation. And all those who diminished His glory, and stole the majesty of His Person, will be called to give an account. Ultimately there is only one victory and one Glorious Victor. So let us turn our eyes upon Jesus, and look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace!

1 comment:

Cal said...

This one statement: Christ Jesus is Lord

I don't think, if I spent every waking moment, be able to unpack all that this means in a life time. Yet this is usually what is thrown out first. It is quite unpopular for a shamed, despised man of sorrows nailed to a cross to be proclaimed true king. But it is true and thank God for it!