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God of the Universe


Scrolling headlines about solar storms, I was reminded of this meme I created three weeks ago, prompted by the Spirit, who drops ideas into my mind ALL THE TIME. I have files on my phone, desk, and laptop—lists, audio recordings, scribbles, graphics. One day, like in the wee hours this morning, God prompts me to write something based on that little jot or image.

NOW, He said.

I don’t think the background image is a solar storm or the brilliant aurora borealis that are already swarming my social feeds. I think it’s a galaxy. The point is the same: God is God and is sovereign over the whole shebang. These solar storms beautifully punctuate a week of personal “signs and wonders” meaning-filled encounters only my Heavenly Papa could have orchestrated, leaving me in awe.

Solar storms and their many potential impacts should leave us in awe. Some will say "awe of nature." Yes, a nature that’s entirely under the authority of God.

Awe is “a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder.” (Oxford)

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
Proverbs 9:10-11

People don’t like the idea of a fearsome God. It helps to understand the full, accurate translation of the Hebrew word for “fear” used here, rich with meaning.

I love the way explains it:

“This is not "just" respect, but it does not imply terror or panic. The idea is one of humility, deep reverence, and submission. The basis for fearing God in this way is belief that He is holy and hates and punishes sin. Those who properly understand God's role have a clear view of reality, leading to insight and better outcomes.”

SO good.

The Ecumenical Council, Salvador Dali, 1960

Once we acknowledge that God is God and we’re not, it’s a smart idea to inquire of His suggestions for living a life that acknowledges and honors Him. I say “suggestions” because with free will, we get to choose.

I’m reminded that since these “laws of the universe”--whether we’re talking the law of gravity or the Golden Rule--are in the public domain; you don’t have to believe in God, or more specifically, the God of the Bible, to enjoy the earthly benefits of following the laws.

Whatever your spiritual beliefs, these built-in laws apply, with all the incumbent consequences, good and bad. Therein, I believe, lies the cause for the other, scary fear. There are laws of the universe, created by the God of the Universe out of infinite love.

We can like the laws or not, agree with them or not, abide by them or not. Given free will by this self-same God of the Universe, we get to choose. However, by choosing to flout these laws, we are likely to suffer their built-in consequences.

Thus, it's not so much that God punishes us; it’s us. WE punish ourselves by defying His laws of the universe. These laws, after all, are designed for our collective benefit.

Our loving and all-powerful God, at His discretion, extends mercy so we're spared the full negative consequences of our defiance (aka sin/defect/failings) or grace by granting us blessings we did nothing to deserve. Being God, He can also suspend both mercy and grace, but never His Love because God is love. And because He loves us, He disciplines us, as any good parent does. In my first-hand experience, He does this by allowing me to experience the consequences of my choices, better stated as defiance. This same parenting method applies to individuals, nations, and planets.

This applies to people who believe in God and those who don’t, because the Laws of the Universe are what they are. Period. It rains on the just and the unjust. And we all suffer the consequences of other people’s defiance of these laws along with our own.

Having said that, one of the key—priceless really—advantages for those who believe in the God of the Bible, is Jesus. Jesus is the embodiment of mercy and grace. Knowing that even the very best of us cannot keep The Law (even just those simple Ten Commandments) perfectly (or even come close), this Loving God, demonstrated His immeasurable love by providing Christ to bridge the unfathomable gap between our imperfect humanity and God’s perfection.

By trusting Christ’s perfectly atoning sacrifice, we are spared the eternal consequences of defiance, our disrespect of God, our insistence on doing things our way.

That’s Good News. AWE-some news!

Yet, though nothing ever separates us from God's love, God tells us the consequence of all sin is death.

While we’re spared eternal death in Christ, our defiance of these universal laws still carries death. For instance, the death of marriages, destroyed by selfishness, expressed in countless ways. Death of potential, destroyed by inequities, fear, or sloth, for instance. Death of ecosystems, destroyed by nature abuse. Death of economies or entire societies because of a crappy constellation of sins perpetrated by us and them, because we all contribute to the morass one way or another.

Among so many other things, our defiance also kills peace and loving harmony, so vividly demonstrated in the world these days.

If God exists and we believe in God, we want to enjoy the full benefits of this relationship, we’re wise to align with God’s will. Because He loves us and because He’s God.

As we marvel at the heavens this week and deal with whatever consequences due to solar storms, storms of our own creation, or storms stirred up by others’ choices, let’s seize the opportunity to consider God. If He exists, are we acting like it? If we’re ailing it may be because we're out of alignment with God’s known or knowable will, how do we get back on track?

No matter how we score ourselves, what or who are we trusting as the world turns and churns?

Repent (That's Steps 4 to 10 for some).

 “Then he [Jesus] placed his right hand on me and said: 'Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.'” ~ Revelation 1:17

"And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." ~ 1 John 4:16-20 (NIV)

PRAYER: Creator, You dazzle us. May these heavenly events stir us to reverence of You and Your dominion over the universe. You are awesome and holy and worthy of our worship. Thank You for a glimpse of Your power, beauty, and majesty. Help us to recognize who You are and who we are in relationship to You and others. Forgive us for the countless ways in which we’ve failed to acknowledge You and honor Your priceless gift with our humble cooperation. Thank You for loving us so much that you provided Jesus to bridge the cosmic gap to reconcile us to You. We ask it in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Thank You. I love You.💖

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