Monday, March 21, 2016

Shrugging at God

"Sin shrugs at God." -- Tim Keller, The Songs of Jesus

"Why can't things be the way they used to be?"  Maybe this is a question you've heard before.  Or it's something you've uttered. Why are people walking away from Jesus?  Why is the culture more hostile towards God?  I can appreciate this sentiment.  When I was growing up, I felt like there was a lot more morality and love for God in our country.  

The irony of this is that I was very moral outwardly, and yet very much opposed to God.

Self-righteousness.  Pride.  They were deadly hooks that I still wrestle with to this day.  And they covered my "secret" sins.  Pornography addiction.  Gluttony.  Covetousness.  Gossip and slander.  

It's easy to forget that, apart from Christ, I also was an enemy of God.  Yet, life and culture felt much tamer back then.  Why?  

"I have a message from God concerning the sinfulness of the wicked: There is no fear of God in their eyes."  (Psalm 36:1)

Did you catch it?  Sin is the absence of the fear of God.  While morality is included in that, it's not the definition of what sin is.   Sin is first and foremost a desire to seat yourself on the throne of glory rather than place God there.  When God says He is meant to sit there, we shrug.   It's why the gospel often loses so much appeal.  Why would we need the gospel if sin is solely about the line of right and wrong?  Soon, we start to miss who defines right and wrong, which devolves into the same issues you see in the book of Judges: "Everyone did what was right in their own eyes."

Sin is not just about right and wrong, but about who defines what is right and what is wrong.  And if God is God, then He gets that right.  That's the only way we can rightly apply the gospel.  We need a savior not just from Hell, but a savior from sin.  We need to be rescued from ourselves.

Our culture is being exposed.  Exposed in that we want people to go to heaven but not be reconciled to God.   And because of that, we've created a culture where both "bible-believing" Christians and secularists can miss the true horror of their actions: we look at God, and we are unmoved.  We look at His glory and grace, and we are apathetic.  We see His commands, and we question and explain away.  We shrug at God.  How deceived could we be?

God is worthy of honor, worship and praise.  He is deserving of awe.  And when we see Him (and we all will), every knee will bow.  This is where we need to focus.  There are a lot of issues that are pressing.  A lot of thoughts on what you and I think is right.  But we must bring our gaze back to the Lord.

We must return to God's Word

We must confess our sin

We must gaze upon the Savior

We must allow His glory and grace to change us