In, it’s such a little word

What was the plan, exactly?

Let’s talk about words some more. Words are describers:

Short, tall. Long, short.
Strong, weak. Simple, complicated.
Ideas, plans… Plans?

Remember this for later: “No word of God is void of power.” (Luke 1:37)

I was meditating on that verse one evening. It’s the angel Gabriel’s answer to Mary that day. He had told her something amazing, something wonderful, something absolutely dumbfounding. And she had asked him, How?

I gave that a bit more thought, then asked – “NO word, Lord? No word of God is void of power?”

“Have you considered the word in?” He replied. “As in, In the beginning?”

“Hmmm. I know several verses begin that way. Genesis 1:1; John 1:1.” I could almost feel him nod his head and wait, as I continued to think.

I had to admit that I’d never really considered that little word, in. So I did. I looked it up in various secular and Bible dictionaries, Strong’s Concordance, etc. The definition is not complicated. In indicates a location, a relative position. Inside. On. Within. At. Among. With.

Those meanings are simple. How is that little word in powerful, I wondered? Various Bible phrases began coming to mind.

In Christ. In Him. In whom. Jesus claimed that He was in the Father, that the Father was in him, and one day, they would both be in us. What a thought – one day we would be inhabited by God himself.

Consider John 14:10, 20-21, 23:

  • 10 “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works… “
  • 20 “At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.”
  • 21 “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him…”
  • 23 “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”

Also:

  • “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:” (Eph. 1:3-4)
  • “In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.” (Eph. 3:12)
  • “One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” (Eph. 4:6)
  • “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:” (Col. 2:9-10)
  • “For in him we live, and move, and have our being;” (Acts 17:28)

So much wonderful truth is contained in that one little word, “in!”

After a day or two, I began wondering about something else…

What exactly happened “in the beginning?” (Or even before the beginning.)

The Word was there… In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)

Secret things were kept… That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world. (Matt. 13:35)

A kingdom was prepared… Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: (Matt. 25:34)

The blood of prophets was shed… That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation; (Luke 11:50)

God loved Jesus… Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. (John 17:24)

God chose us… According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: … 10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; [even] in him: (Eph. 1:4, 10)

The works were finished… For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. (Heb. 4:3)

Jesus coming to earth in human form was preplanned; foreordained… Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, (I Pet. 1:20)

The Lamb (Jesus) was slain… And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Rev. 13:8)

Certain names were written in the book of life… The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. (Rev. 17:8)

I’ve begun to see a plan, haven’t you? The essential difference between Christianity and any religion: “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Col. 1:27) The Gospel. The good news. THE PLAN. The only plan, planned from the beginning.

Christians are inhabited by the same Spirit that created everything. (John 1:3, Col. 1:16)

Such a powerful word, in.

Link

A gifted fellow blogger commented that my post (https://estherspetition.wordpress.com/2015/01/09/why-does-god-love-us/) reads like poetry… such a touching compliment. Here’s part of my response to her.

That post wasn’t written as poetry, it’s a very, very shortened version of a conversation I had with the Lord some time ago about space – like why are there so many galaxies in the universe, are there more than one universe, etc. If I posted the entire thing it would be many pages long, way too long for anyone to wade through.

LeafEdgesIt was sort of like the night I was wondering about grasses, and trees, and shrubs – why are there so many shades of green? The Lord asked if I had ever considered the edges of leaves… weird, huh?

Not just leaves, the edges of leaves. All were carefully designed and constructed, so many different types, configurations, thicknesses, textures, colors, purposes, right down to the cellular level.

So the next morning I googled “leaf edges” and found multiple sites, some college-level (really scientific) and some grade-school level. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leaf is where I started… wow, what a lot of information about leaves!

I started reading and looking at the images but it was really mind-boggling. I could almost hear the Lord chuckling as I tried to skim the material, thinking to myself “This is awesome.”

Here are some earlier notes about that thought-provoking conversation:

I didn’t like the color green much, until the evening the Holy Spirit asked me, “Have you ever considered the edges of leaves?” What followed was image after image of leaves, panning slowly through my mind’s eye for quite a long time.

I saw leaves of grass, bushes, flowers and trees. And not just the leaves, the edges of the leaves. Some were thick. Some were thin. Some were dainty, some were rugged. Some were smooth, some were rough. Some were scalloped, some were zig-zagged.

Why? I wondered, was I being shown the edges of all these leaves? I began to meditate.

Hmmm. Why don’t the leaves just stop, why do they have finished edges, like hems on garments almost, I began to wonder. Below are some of the websites I visited looking for answers to my leaf questions.

Of course only the Designer can really explain, and all he said was, “I love you.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leaf
http://cite.nwmissouri.edu/nworc/files/Agriculture/LeafID_Margin/LeafID_Margin_print.html
http://www.botanical-online.com/hojastiposangles.htm
http://departments.bloomu.edu/biology/ricketts/leaf_edges.html

Why does God love us?

EarthBlueMarbleLargeJan2012Lone.

Not lonely, lone. Sole. Only. One. A plurality of one. Singleness. Unity. United.

Agreement. Always. Peace. Always. Perfection. Always.

Is that the why of creation? Perhaps. But one day God decided to not be lone. Alone. So he took steps to do something different for a change.

Be un-alone. Create a being that would be fit for him to be un-alone with. A beloved. A treasured fellowship.

First, meditate. What kind of being? Composition. Appearance. Size. Longevity. Ability. Goals? Purposes? Aims? Decide. Don’t create yet.

Next, design. Decide environment for that being. Appearance. Size. Composition. Next, plan. Decide how and in what order to proceed.

Begin process. Create building material for environment. Photons. Particles. Quarks. Electrons. Protons. Ions. Atoms. Element. Only one element was necessary, every other element comes from rearranging particles in that first element.

Materials that would serve as building blocks, supplies, habitat, for the beloved treasure, the being that would re-define purpose.

Why does God love us? He went to a lot of trouble to create us.

Discovery, ongoing process of worship

GrandSpiralGalaxyNGC1232So much more vast than all of space, Father God, just the edge of your little fingernail could crush our whole universe and disintegrate us into dust.

Creator of multitudes of galaxies, you are fully aware each moment of each infinitesimal component as each spins in perfect balance, obeying your design for it.

Yet having set these multitudes into motion, you made yourself small enough, intimate enough, personal enough and individual enough that you can see your own work with our eyes!

You experience it, explore it, examine it and enjoy it through our eyes, hearts, minds and souls. And as we discover your works in the vastness of your creation, you lead us to discover You.

You, your person and your personality. Your heart and your care for us, who you dreamed of and fashioned on this earth, this tiny planet, the people you have chosen for a habitation.

As we discover more of your works in heaven and in earth, help us never fail to discover more of you.

Adapted from February 2008 post, Creation.

Pray about the Nails

As I was meditating last night, I was visualizing the vastness of creation and the infinitesimal size of me – one tiny speck of grit in the universe. Wondering how important the prayer of one insignificant person could be, I asked the Lord what he wanted me to pray about right now.

I wasn’t feeling very confident in my prayers at that moment.

But even before I could get my thought completely articulated, He reminded me of the little poem “For Want of a Nail.”

Pray about nails, He said. Watch, and when you see a likely scenario on the news, pray about the nails. Pray that nails will be lost.

WILL be lost? I asked. Not that nails WON’T be lost? Not that they’ll all be present and accounted for, in good working condition? I was thinking about every Christian doing his assigned task.

No, He said. One man can’t tackle an army by himself, but with prayer one man can tackle a nail. Sabotage a nail. The enemy’s nail.

What are these nails? I asked.

He began to show me images of past events, where odd things happened to hinder the enemy.

The Dunkirk miracle – In WWII fog suddenly covered the English Channel, hindering detection as England’s civilian armada of small boats crossed the channel to evacuate over 330,000 Allied soldiers.

4 Jun 1940: Allied soldiers became trapped on Dunkirk beaches when the Germans used a fighting technique called “blitzkrieg,” an all-out blitz on Allied forces.

The only way to evacuate them from the shallow waters was by small boat, and the English people were urged to provide every small boat they owned for the effort. But the weather was too good — Nazi planes could see them coming! (http://www.timetoast.com/timelines/canada-in-wwii)

“The grave plight of the troops led King George VI to call for an unprecedented week of prayer. Throughout the country, people prayed on 26 May for a miraculous delivery.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunkirk_evacuation)

“Nazi dive-bombers hovered overhead, unable to penetrate the cloud of fog for 72 hours. God had placed this shield over the straits of Dover, where the Atlantic Ocean, North Sea and English channel met, forming a busy thoroughfare for shipping in the 21 mile Strait. Historically, it was always rough, never still for more than three minutes. Now it was becalmed for 72 hours during this God-controlled rescue mission.” (Over 330,000 soldiers were rescued.) From an interview with a survivor,
(http://www.biblestories.stellaris.com.au/bible_studies/dunkirk.htm.)

In recent years, Stuxnet – this computer malware made history as the most advanced real cyber weapon. It sabotaged the Iranian centrifuges at Natanz being used to enrich uranium.

While designed to spread widely, the worm was programmed to execute against a highly selective list of targets. (http://arstechnica.com/business/2012/04/stuxnet-worm-reportedly-planted-by-iranian-double-agent-using-memory-stick/)

What are the nails we should pray about?

At Dunkirk — good weather. Prayer brought about a change in the weather, something a man could not do.

At Natanz — good operating system. Prayer led someone to change that, something a man could do.

So, I will be watching for opportunities and praying about the nails.

—————————

For Want of a Nail

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost —
All for the want of a horseshoe nail.

This proverb has been around in many variations for centuries. It is found in a number of forms starting as early as the 14th century. The earliest reference may refer to the death of Richard III of England at the Battle of Bosworth Field.

The short version shown above was published in “Fifty Famous People” by Richard Baldwin. Click here to read his short story about the nail. http://www.mainlesson.com/display.php?author=baldwin&book=people&story=nails

And note: this is a story about the fall of an evil king, and the victory of a good one.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/For_Want_of_a_Nail_%28proverb%29

Suppose

Suppose…

I always existed, as pure thought and energy. Alone and completely self-sufficient, I needed nothing outside myself to eternally exist.

Yet at some point I chose not to be alone. I created immortal beings with the ability to think, learn, reason, make decisions, travel, and do work. Not identical to each other and none like myself, I made hierarchies of these creatures and gave them personality, power and purpose. Communication. Fellowship. Worship.

For their habitation I created a place outside myself, efficiently designed to best serve their purpose and mine. The dimension of heaven.

To facilitate communication, fellowship and worship, I made a space for myself within their habitation, creating one without danger of damage or destruction from my presence.

Sounds okay, yes? God, angels, heaven. Seems complete to me.

But it wasn’t, in God’s mind. Something more remained to be created.

For whatever reason, God desired fellowship with a being “in his own likeness.” Angels did not meet that criteria, no matter that they had free will, could love and obey and worship him for eternity. (Some chose otherwise; that was their right to do, and the consequences of their choice have been and will be played out.)

To facilitate the existence of this next being, the material universe, constellations, galaxies, solar systems, stars, planets, moons, movement, light and dark matter were created. Time and space.

The habitat came first, then the human beings. Once again, God made creatures with the ability to think, learn, reason, make decisions, travel, and do work. And free will. But with a critical difference: beings created in God’s image and imbued with God’s essence… zoe: God’s life; eternity.

Meditating on this one day, I asked: Why give them eternity? Why wouldn’t creating these personalities in God’s own image be sufficient? So we live for a while and then die, so what? We would never know the difference, how could it matter?

Ah, but that’s the point. God’s own image is eternal. Without zoe, it’s not his image.

Fast forward through the timetable of temptation, rebellion, sin, Christ, cross and redemption, to what I believe is a relatively near-future item on God’s agenda.

A headquarters for God in all his personas – Father, Son, Spirit – combining the dimension of heaven with the dimension of earth.

Before that happens, earth will undergo drastic remodeling, perhaps a thousand years of reconstruction. The powers (dunamis) of the present heavens (air, sky, everything from the dirt up) will be shaken (vibrate, waver). The original language in these verses from Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 is interesting.

What is in the air and sky that has power? Space station. Satellites in orbit. Planes, cell towers, television signals, radio waves. Electrical wires. Skyscrapers.

There will be no visible sunlight or moonlight, and stars (meteorites ?) will fall to earth. Volcanic eruptions caused many months of darkness in times past; that could happen again. The very atmosphere will be different. Will the air still be breathable?

Shaking of the entire planet will occur, as well as demolition of the elements — that word elements actually means order. Anything constructed will be de-constructed. Men will be in great anxiety and anguish over what is happening in the skies and oceans.

To survive in the next planetary form, human beings may need to evolve considerably. They may need God’s genetic makeup in their very cells.

Jesus told the disciples that this “generation” (sometimes translated race) will not pass away until all these things have happened. Generation? The word is genea, from which we get genetics. He said that heaven and earth will pass away, but his words will not.

He is the Word – the communication of God – and his spirit inhabits, genetically alters, certain human beings. Human beings who thus may survive, and thrive, on a reconstituted planet, to which one day Creator God will move his headquarters, and occupy space within his creation alongside the beings he created.

It is fascinating to suppose.

Creation

“Eye of God,” photo by NASA

Part of a Sunday night service at church recently was an assignment to write a poem or statement to Father God, to say what was in our hearts in worship to him. Those who were willing were encouraged to share what they had written. The comments and poems were beautiful, heartfelt, and ministered to the rest of us greatly.

Although I didn’t share what I had written, the following is adapted from it.

So much more vast than all of space, Father God, just the edge of your little fingernail could crush our whole universe and disintegrate us into dust. Creator of multitudes of galaxies, you are fully aware each moment of each infinitesimal component as each spins in perfect balance, obeying your design for it.

Yet having set these multitudes into motion, you made yourself small enough, intimate enough, personal enough and individual enough that you can see your own work with our eyes! You experience it, explore it, examine it and enjoy it through our eyes, hearts, minds and souls. And as we discover your works in the vastness of your creation, you lead us to discover You.

You, your person and your personality. Your heart and care for us, who you dreamed of and fashioned on this earth, this tiny planet, the people you have chosen for a habitation. As we discover more of your works in heaven and in earth, help us never fail to discover more of you.