Monday, June 29, 2015

A Far Off Goal (Revisit)


That image on our left led to another two parter, although each post was titled differently.  It's another one of those gems that I found on Google+.  Thanks again to Neil Kremer for permission to use it.  

The Queen Mary is permanently docked in California.  This is the dock across the harbor.  When I first saw the picture, I was online on a small screen netbook and I missed the expanded platform at the end of the dock.  But even with that, there’s still a sense of the Queen Mary being the goal and this was a bridge that was never completed to get there.  Sure, you could swim from here, but you’d never reach the goal in any shape to take full advantage of it.  And I thought it was a great description of life, on several levels.

Far too many of us have no relationship with God, a wrong relationship with God or a misunderstanding of that relationship.  That creates an interesting situation when it comes to dealing with our goals.  We have to:
  • determine our goals,
  • figure out how to reach those goals,
  • calculate the best timing to accomplish those goals, and
  • be the sole source of reaching those goals.
If any of this is done with any kind of assistance, it certainly isn’t omniscient or omnipotent.

King Saul in the Old Testament is a great example of this.  The Israelites wanted a king instead of being led by God as the head of their nation, to be like other nations around them.  So, they chose Saul.  Because he looked and acted and sounded like a powerful king.  That wasn’t God’s choice, as we know.  But He was willing to let that stand for a season.  I sometimes wonder if that wasn’t so Saul’s life could be an example for Israel.

Saul wasn’t the spiritually sharpest knife in the drawer.  Look at his life.  Even though Saul and his son Jonathan had a great love for each other, Jonathan and David had a stronger bond.  Then David was praised for slaying more of the enemy than Saul was credited for.  Not only did he feel his relationship with his own son threatened by David, but so was his throne.  In came jealousy.  To the point that he was ready to kill David.  Saul, in fact, killed a whole city of God’s priests for helping David.    Toward the end, when Saul figured out that God left him, he sought a spiritualist instead of a priest to try to change that.  And, in his last battle, Saul chose suicide over fighting the enemy.

Saul’s goal was to maintain his throne and his kingdom.  His only tool for doing that was to try to kill David and anyone who helped him.  Timing? ASAP.  And Saul really didn’t care whether God was in it or not.  Until he realized that things were hopeless without God.  Seeing he was his own sole salvation in his final battle, Saul opted for suicide instead of the possibility of falling into enemy hands.

Those are pretty lonely choices, without God, aren’t they?  Next time, we’ll look at some Biblical and modern examples of Godly results, some of which may not appear so wonderful to the natural mind.  But think with me, for a moment, on a spiritual level, about the picture at the top of this post.  From our perspective, there could be a small boat below eye level at the end of the dock.  Or not.  It’s easy enough to just take the road around the harbor without checking.  Or, if we do check and there is a boat, which choice best fits God’s sovereignty?  We can just decide or We can ask Him.  But, without God, it’s easy enough to be frozen in indecision and fear or jump at what seems the easiest possibility we see.  Based on the great gulf between where we are and where our goal is.

As I said, we’ll get into that more, next time.  But which way do you jump?

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Just a reminder: If you'd like to contribute to our first international mission trip, you can go to Send Bill to Costa Rica and donate.  In a way, the trip fits the theme of today's post.  I say that because, in some ways, it's impossible by sight.  Someone physically challenged to some extent and also having COPD is not the ideal of most missions boards.  Which may make me God's ideal missionary.  If good things are going to happen, God has to be in it.  No glorifying Bill, just God. So, again, if you'd like to contribute to that mission trip, you can go to Send Bill to Costa Rica and donate. Thanks.

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