Perhaps it may turn out a sang,
Perhaps turn out a sermon.

-- R. Burns Epistle to a Young Friend

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

God Has People

And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness.  -- Genesis 15:6
And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.  -- Hebrews 11:6

What kind of life pleases God?  What does God want from me?  He wants us to be merciful, kind, and patient with one another, to help one another whenever someone is troubled or in trouble.  If you get right down to it, the horizontal sins listed in the Decalogue relate to taking advantage of our fellow humans, denying them fair treatment, making them suffer, and using them that we might have our way and satisfy our desires at their expense. 

We can train and restrain people to the point that most, most of the time, will adhere to a common set of societal standards.  Even the most militant atheist can hardly argue with the inherent sense of the Golden Rule.  A stoner or a drunk knows that what goes around comes around.  That’s certainly better than the attitude of the criminal, the sociopaths, psychopaths, central bankers, politicians, and other parasites who are convinced that they might as well do whatever they want and that their rights supersede the rights of the marks and the masses. 

As long as people stay fairly close to what we now call traditional values and respect the boundaries of community and courtesy, a nation or a people can manage to get along for a while – even if they are more or less godless like so much of Europe these days.  But as we drift further out, we are more and more likely to go off course.  Anyone can navigate a vessel while the coast is in sight.  Under the clouds on a moonless night far from shore, the only way to get home is to accept the truth your compass shows you.  If you don’t believe it, you will never make it back.  For those who fly airplanes and gradually move up to being instrument-rated, a lack of faith can be even more disastrous.  Planes crash when pilots refuse to believe the evidence of their instruments.

All of our apparent goodness, kindness, long-suffering, mercy, and forgiveness can be quickly forgotten if we do not believe God exists and rewards those who seek Him.  Abraham obeyed God because he believed God.  When we believe God, we trust that He knows what He is doing regardless of our present circumstances, the fears and trepidations of our flesh, the contrary opinions of those around us, or the fashions and fads of the world.     

If we want to please God, if you really want to know what God wants from you and from me, He wants us to believe Him – not so He can be proven right or so there will be a consensus but because He is right.  God is not terribly concerned with the direction of public or popular opinion.  He is not dismayed because the world at large, celebrities, oligarchs, plutocrats, and high society ignore and reject Him.  He asks if you and I trust Him because He loves us and will commune with us, enriching and healing, and bringing peace, insight and understanding by His presence.  God has people – the ones who believe. 


robinstarfish said...

I'm not sure why, but this song immediately popped into my head upon reading this. Probably something as simple as the title, and Bill Fay is one of them. Anyway, you've got a soundtrack now for today's blog. :-)

robinstarfish said...

A link would have made it WAY easier to find...

julie said...

Under the clouds on a moonless night far from shore, the only way to get home is to accept the truth your compass shows you. If you don’t believe it, you will never make it back.

In my head again, I see.

Just the other day, I was thinking that the past couple generations of secular society are like people with faulty compasses. They point a particular way, but the attraction is weak or the needle is stuck, and so the read isn't reliable, and they lose their way. Then, when they would pass the compass on to their children, they can't really explain what it leads to, or if it serves any purpose that isn't purely ceremonial. The children, in their turn, think the compass is worthless, and that they can make their own way based on their own set of rules, which don't need a compass anyway. And so they go farther and farther astray - beyond lost, they don't even understand there is something they were supposed to be heading toward, and that it would be good for them to get there. Their path is easy, and wide, and always slopes downhill; what could go wrong?

John Lien said...

Naw Mush, it has to be harder than that. Doesn't it?

Kind of ties into your comment the other day at OC about God is available to all people no matter what intellectual gifts they were given. (or maybe that was my interpretaion of what you said).

Good, no, excellent analogy (metaphor?) julie.

Secular goodness only has so much staying power. Are you willing to give up your life for a set of secular moral behaviors originating from natural selection pressures upon groups to enhance group survival?

Didn't think so.

mushroom said...

That Bill Fay guy again. He's good.

Julie, it's just that every once in a while I manage to pick up the signal from that Classic Rock Lightwave station you listen to. I think you've nailed it with your analysis.

So easy, John, even a fisherman can do it.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"But as we drift further out, we are more and more likely to go off course."

That's an important lesson to learn. Otherwise, one is in for a world of hurt.
Of course, pain has a way of helping to believe, in my experience, but it could just as easily go the other way if I allow envy and bitterness to enter my heart.

Believing with thankfulness in my heart is much better, IMO, but I am biased.

mushroom said...

Amen, Ben.