Summary: Everyday it gets more difficult to live a godly life in this present world. Paul instructs Titus as he lived in a similar society for a while.
Why? Understanding Life Events (II)
Isa 55:8-9 ¡§¡¥For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,¡¦ says the LORD. ¡¥For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.¡¦¡¨
Last Sunday we began developing a frame of reference for examining the events of life. Often we are thinking at one level and God¡¦s thinking and acting in terms we don¡¦t understand. We walk through an experience and after it¡¦s over we look back and ask, ¡§What was that all about?¡¨ Sometimes an ordeal leaves us baffled as to why God allowed any of it. We will never have all the answers in this life. That¡¦s why the just must live by faith. Seeing through a glass darkly, we have to simply trust the Lord with some things. But it really helps to have a frame of reference in our lives that gives assurance and meaning to life¡¦s events. There are three things God is always doing in people¡¦s lives. For me personally, looking a life through this paradigm has been extremely helpful. Regardless of whether the scenario seems negative or positive from our own perspective, you can count on it; God is always doing these three things:
1. He is bringing people to moral choices.
2. He is revealing Himself to people.
3. He is preparing the redeemed for eternity with Him.
Last week we used the story of Naboth and King Ahab to illustrate point one. In that story we saw how God orchestrated events that required moral choices from all the players in the drama. We started talking about point two and ran out of time. So there we begin today.
Why does God providentially walk you through the events of life you find yourself in? What is God doing where you work? What is God always doing?
II. He is revealing Himself to people.
The heavens declare the glory of God. He must be awesome to be able to create galaxies that make this earth seem smaller than a grain of sand. There is a certain amount we can know about God by simply looking at the glory of His creation. But God is primarily known through His activity in people¡¦s lives. The Bible is a record of God¡¦s work in people¡¦s lives. And it lets us know a lot about His character, His motives, and His purposes. How do people know you? They know you through your interaction with them. If you were just lying in a coffin in a stiff, motionless condition, people could never get to know the real you. If they saw some of the work you had done¡Xa painting you made, a room you decorated, a poem you wrote¡Xthey would know some about you. But the best way for people to know you is through your interaction with them. The same is true of God. He interacts with people in the context of providential events¡Xand in doing so reveals Himself to them
When the canon was completed, God did not stop working in people¡¦s lives; God did not stop revealing Himself in the events of people¡¦s experience. The same God who providentially ordered Joseph¡¦s steps is also ordering your steps. The same God that used Joseph as a channel for revealing Himself to multitudes of people is still at work. I want to take a couple of Bible stories to illustrate what I¡¦m talking about. We could do that by going back over the story of Naboth that we used last week. At the same time God is calling people to moral choice, He is also revealing Himself to them. But to keep it interesting we will use a couple of other stories from the Bible.
The first is the story of Israel¡¦s exodus from Egypt. When we read the Exodus story, we find the Lord saying something like this several times, ¡§Then you will know that I am the Lord.¡¨ God was arranging events so that when it was all said and done they would know something about Him. Remember when God appeared to Moses in the Burning Bush? God sends Moses on a mission; He tells Moses to go to Pharaoh and tell him to let Israel go. If you recall, Moses didn¡¦t want to go; he didn¡¦t feel qualified; it didn¡¦t seem like a good plan; it didn¡¦t seem like it would work. But God assures Moses that He will go with him and accomplish the task.
Now in Ex. 5 Moses obeys and goes to Pharaoh with the message. How many remember what happens next? Moses hits a brick wall. The circumstances get worse instead of better. Now instead of the hard work of making bricks, the Israeli slaves have to gather their own straw as well. The Israelites are very upset with Moses. Moses goes to the Lord with the ¡§why¡¨ question. Ex 5:22-23 ¡§So Moses returned to the LORD and said, ¡¥Lord, why have You brought trouble on this people? Why is it You have sent me? 23 For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has done evil to this people; neither have You delivered Your people at all.¡¦¡¨