Monday, July 7, 2008

In Search Of Truth


Looking At Truth In "Spirit Blade- Chapter 3"

In this chapter, Raan expresses his understanding of God in the song, "All And Everything". We've included the words for this song here:

What you are is what I need. Where I go, you must lead. When I hunger, you will feed. So I will turn to you. I will turn to you.

What you saved is what I give. Why you died is why I live. When I fail, you always forgive. So I will turn to you. I will turn to you.

Chorus: You are all I've ever wanted. You are all I'll ever need. You are all I'll ever dream of. You are all and everything to me.

When you speak, I will hear, and with your words, banish fear. For when I'm weak, it's then that you're near. So I will turn to you. I will turn to you.

Who you are I want to know, and in your shadow yearn to grow. And though there's pain, it's present so that I will turn to you. So I will turn to you.


Merikk: Could it be that you are all I've ever wanted? Could it be that you are all I'll ever dream of?

Raan: You're everything to me.

(copyright 2006 paeter frandsen)

Because God has given us the ability to reject his instruction, people are able to do things that bring evil and pain into the world. But God can even use bad circumstances to express his love for us. Although our freedom of choice means that God will not instantly fix the problems in the world whenever they arise, God cares about those who are in pain and suffering.

Exodus 3:7- Then the Lord told them, "You can be sure I have seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of deliverance from their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering."

Psalm 22:24- For he has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.

Psalm 34:18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those who are crushed in spirit.

God can also use painful experiences to bring us closer to him, or to enable us to give others comfort when they are in pain.

Romans 5:3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us-- they help us learn to endure. And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation.

2 Corinthians 1:4-5 He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. You can be sure that the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ.

After Raan's song, we might ask ourselves, How can God possibly be 'all I've ever wanted'? What is God like?

For some answers, we'll have to delve into Theology a bit. This might sound like an intimidating word, or one for stuffy, closed-minded religious people. But "theology" just means, the study of God. Learning more about who God is can be exciting and inspiring! We'll just touch a little of theology right now to give you a taste.

Romans 11:33-36 (New Living Translation) O what a wonderful God we have! How great are his riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his methods! For who can know what the Lord is thinking? Who knows enough to be his counselor? And who could ever give him so much that he would have to pay it back? For everything comes from him; everything exists by his power and is intended for his glory. To him be glory evermore. Amen.

From this section of Romans, we can deduce that God is someone we'd want to be with("wonderful"), he's more intelligent and wise than any human, and his resources are beyond any human's. He is the originator of everything, the sustainer of all physical and non-physical reality and the purpose of everything.

James 1:17 Whatever is good and perfect comes to us from God above, who created all heaven's lights.

Although we can twist enjoyable things into evil, everything good we are able to experience ultimately comes from God. Raan recognizes this when he says-

You are all I've ever wanted. You are all I'll ever need. You are all I'll ever dream of. You are all and everything to me.

Are people basically good? If left to our own devices, will we naturally tend toward good, or evil? Raan seems to think that we tend toward evil and selfishness. Not a very popular idea. But we might ask ourselves a couple of questions as we process this.

1. If our natural tendency is to do good, why is it easier to be selfish than it is to be selfless?

2. If it is everyone's natural tendency to do good, why do we see self-sacrifice (in the everyday sense) as such a rare and noble attribute instead of commonplace and ordinary?

Raan probably developed his view of this issue by looking at what the Bible has to say about it, so let's do the same thing here:

Genesis 1:27- So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Ecclesiastes 7:29 I discovered that God created people to be upright, but they have each turned to follow their own downward path.

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

Isaiah 64:6 We are all infected and impure with sin. When we proudly display our righteous deeds, we find they are but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall. And our sins, like the wind, sweep us away.

Psalm 14:2-3 The Lord looks down from heaven on the entire human race; he looks to see if there is even one with real understanding, one who seeks for God. But no, all have turned away from God; all have become corrupt. No one does good, not even one!

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned; all fall short of God's glorious standard.

It would seem that because God desired to create us, and desired to create us in his image, that we would have value to God. Having a tendency toward evil doesn't remove our worth to God. But it does disrupt our relationship with him. We may do good based on our own standards. We might be good compared to other humans. But the standard is not Hitler, Mahatma Gandhi, Britney Spears, Mother Teresa or any other human. The standard we fall short of is God's. To even BEGIN to understand God's goodness, we need to imagine the possibility of genuine perfection. Goodness beyond anything we've seen and even beyond what we can conceptualize. We have to redefine words like "good" and "evil" the way God sees them, because he's the one who understands them the best!

Before we become too depressed, sulking in our failure to meet God's impossible standards, we should remember that God KNOWS we can't do it, no matter how hard we try, no matter how sincere we are in our efforts. If he lowers the bar, he'll have to deny what is right and abandon justice. But that's contrary to his perfect character. So instead, he gives us the solution through Jesus.

Jesus, whose worth is infinite, was able to pay the penalty for all of our mistakes, past present and future. We'll get into the details of this another time, but for now, know that God loves you, values you and wants a restored relationship with you, no matter what you've done in the past. And he's willing to pay the price to see that happen!

Have a great week and enjoy Chapter 3 of "Spirit Blade"!

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