God’s Glory is all Around
Creation all Around us is Singing the Praises of His Glory
In today’s environment most of us are living very busy lives. We are working more hours, longer days, and we are more attached to technology than ever before. We labor all week in our occupations while waiting for the weekend that is filled with personal activities and is over before we know it. Sometimes we need to pause and reflect on the world around us like the saying “Stop and smell the Roses” instructs us to do. Do we see that God is in the mundane day to day grind? He is there, and He is speaking to us daily, like an adoring lover who just wants to be noticed. If we are listening, we will hear Him.
Take a Look Around
While taking a pause from the burdens of daily work, I am writing this while on vacation. Many of us take a trip for a few days during the summer to gain some rest and relaxation. I am sitting on an island beach watching the waves come upon the shoreline. My thoughts shift back and forth as I ponder the vastness and magnificence of Creation. The sea goes on for as far as I can see, just like the sky is only interrupted by the occasional cloud that passes by. On the horizon, I can faintly see the skyline of a city on the mainland, but only if I am focused and looking for it. So many buildings are just a speck from my perspective when I glance at the horizon. If I were not looking closely, I would not even notice that they are there. In each of those city structures, there are multitudes of people. I assume that most of them are going about their day to day lives, and many of them are not aware of the magnificent love that Jesus has for them. Many of us think and act as if this world rotates around us. We are guilty of believing that we are the center of everything; however, the vast greatness of God goes beyond our understanding. His love for us goes beyond our ability to see, fathom, or comprehend. Like the city on the shoreline, if we are not aware of His love and focused on it we could very easily not even notice that it is there.
So many buildings are just a speck from my perspective when I glance at the horizon. If I were not looking closely, I would not even notice that they are there.
To be honest, I think that my favorite thing about the shore is the breezecoming off the ocean. There is a constant, steady breeze that gently washes over me as I take in the scene. It is not overpowering or abrupt. It is constant and unwavering, relentless in its continual movement. It brings relief from the hot sun as it creates an atmosphere of comfort and tranquility. Like the wind, the Holy Spirit is always in motion. Though we cannot see Him, we know that He is there. We can only see and feel the effects of His passing by or through us. He is known as the Comforter, and like a gentle breeze on a hot beach, He is the perfect element to create an “I want to be in this place” kind of atmosphere. He is relentless in His pursuit of us. He is the first person of the Godhead that any of us encountered because no one receives the revelation of who Jesus is without Holy Spirit engaging them first. On a hot sun-scorched beach, everything around you is reflecting the sun and intensely magnifying the heat, and there is little that brings more comfort than this steady, cool, relentless breeze.
A Higher Level
While the breeze brings some relief from the heat and reminds me of the Spirit, there is one thing that intensifies the cooling comfort of the continual wind, and that is getting wet. Once you have submerged yourself in the water, the measure of relief from the heat is increased. It is the same wind, but the breeze seems cooler once you have been in the water compared to when you were dry. The spiritual parallel here is that a baptism of the Holy Spirit is an upgrade from just being aware of the Holy Spirit. Even when you were still dry the breeze kept you from being overcome by the heat. However, now that you have been drenched by the water, the wind does much more than relieve you from the heat. You go from a place of just getting relief, to a place of being able to thrive in an overheated environment. In this picture, the Holy Spirit is both the water and the wind. He is the wind because He is the source of comfort and relief when we live in a world of trials that try to consume our peace. He presents a way for us to not be overcome by the heat pressing in from every direction. He is the water because once we have been baptized into Him, there is an increased ability to overcome our environment or situation. You not only survive the heat, but you thrive while in it!
As I sit on the beach and look out at the sea, I am staring down a concrete pier that was constructed for boats to come in and dock. The pier is basically a concrete wall that divides the sea at the shoreline. The water on the right of the pier cannot touch the water on the left of the pier. On the left side of the pier the water is clear, and I can see the ocean floor at depths of 30-40 feet. When in the water I can see fish swimming right up to me and the beauty of God’s creation leaves me speechless. On the right side of the pier, however, is a complete body of water polluted by seaweed. The water is brown, and you couldn’t see your feet if you were to stand in the water ankle deep. You see, the waves of the ocean are bringing the seaweed onto the shoreline. In doing so, it corrupts the space where we would seek refuge from the heat, the place where we get wet! The brown water on the right side of the pier is like the sin in the world and our lives. If the Devil can take the one thing that helps us to thrive in an overheated trial of life and corrupt it so we never get wet, then he has successfully prevented us from experiencing what it is like to thrive in our current situation. Far too often, believers settle for the breeze and stay out of the water. The breeze is nice, and it brings comfort. There is nothing wrong with the breeze, and we should all appreciate it on a hot day. However, there is a greater level that God has for us to experience, and He has made a way for us all to get wet if we choose to.
Like the concrete pier, Jesus has solidified an impenetrable wall that keeps any pollution from entering the space that we occupy. This is not to say that we live perfect lives once we come into relationship with Jesus, but what I am saying is that it is His Righteousness that God sees when He looks at you or me. Jesus allows us to receive a fresh baptism of clean cool water, and once you have experienced being soaked you will never want to be content with settling for “just the breeze” ever again. He has created a safe environment for us to experience the thing that will position us to thrive in our situation. I will also add that being in the water is much more fun than sitting in the sand!
He (Jesus) has created a safe environment for us to experience the thing that will position us to thrive in our situation.
While sitting here among many others on a crowded beach, I figure that some (maybe most) fail to see the skyline of the city on the water’s horizon. Similarly, many fail to acknowledge God’s unfailing love or experience it in their own lives. Likewise, I wonder how many people sitting on this beach take for granted the constant breeze itself. Their focus may be on something else and they are unaware of the supply of relief and comfort that is unwavering. It is harder to ignore because it is constant, but even when it is hitting us right in the face like the wind, many of us fail to see God providing the resources we need and the fact that the Holy Spirit is tirelessly pursuing us. Lastly, it seems impossible to ignore the great atoning sacrifice that our Lord Jesus has paid for us. As I look at the water on the left and the right side of the pier, I figure it is impossible for people not to recognize the difference. It is so obvious in the natural: brown water vs. crystal clear water. Yet, many people fail to understand how Jesus has separated us from a life of sin and death, putting us in a positional advantage to thrive. Creation all around us is silently singing the praises of His glory. I pray that God gives us eyes to see it in the everyday environment that we live in. His glory covers the earth and is all around.