I love being outside … any time of day (or night) and in all seasons. For me there is something calming and refreshing about getting out of buildings and away from people—the less noise and confusion the better. When I’m out—really out—I begin again to get perspective on life and all the burning issues that demanded my immediate attention begin to take their proper place because I conclude if God could do all this—what I’m taking in with my eyes—then all my problems are nothing compared to creating galaxies or complex molecules. I continue to reason that I probably can tackle mine with a little help from Him. I am now relaxed and content to go back home. But I have come up short on the complete story.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. (Romans 1:18-23 ESV)
All of creation, even as big as it is, is not enough … not enough to truly calm my fears or provide me with the answers I need to overcome the hurdles of life, not enough to give me a complete picture of who God is, and certainly not enough to tell me why it is that my world always seems to be warped, upside down and trashed. I’ve heard people say that they can worship God better out on a mountain than what they can in a cathedral. This doesn’t help me. And although I see God’s power and “intelligent design” in creation, my bent is to take the truth I see in creation and smother it under layers of lies to suit my sinful desires. My heart is an idol factory producing things to be worshiped out of the things I find in this world and it is because of this I don’t know or honor the God of creation. I am a fool trading indescribable glory residing in my Creator for the contents of a landfill.
“For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6 ESV)
Fortunately for me, the God of all creation—this star-breathing God who spoke light into existence—has brought “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” into my heart. And how did He do that? It was through the preaching of the gospel by His humble servants, men like Pastor Blane Vannoy and Pastor Tim Brose. It was only then that I came to see the revelation of His glory that leads to salvation. Now it is my great delight and privilege to be able to look upon the glory of my Lord and Savior—not through the vain imagination of Hollywood or Christendom with all its “Jesus junk” (go to your local Christian bookstore for examples of this) or the fading traditions of men found in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches. All of this appears to be good and beneficial, but only appeals to my sinful affections and superstitions. However, what I find in Scripture is the real deal and by faith through the Word of God, I see the brilliant display of Christ’s glory just as He intended it. And as time goes along, “we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another” (2 Corinthians 3:18 ESV). It is in this we are to continue, until one day when we see Him face-to-face.