(& God is Life)
That statement can be taken so many ways. We all “know” that "God is Life". That He Himself the source, the creator - of all that we know to be “living”, of the whole concept of life itself - and that there can be no life without Him. And so, if God made and IS Life, then in that sense of the word “Life is God”.
But that is clearly not what most people mean when they use the word “life”. For example, “Life is a beach, and then you die.” Or, “My life is just so hard right now!” Or, “Life sucks!” Or “Life is great!” Or, “Get a life!” Etc. Etc. The word life is usually used, as per the examples, to describe our circumstances, our culture – or way of living, or a particular “lifestyle”. It is all about us, and the way we function and exist. And too often, the God of Life, the God who IS our life, gets lost in our ever rolling shuffle!
But the main reason that life often “sucks”, is that we unwittingly make it into our god. And, as anyone who is paying attention can tell you, it makes a really lousy god. WE make really lousy gods! We are inconsistent, wishy-washy, weaklings! And gods - even the made up ones - need to be all powerful, and able to come through on the saving from trouble bit!
Of course we'd like to think that we do serve the real God – and we do, after all, make socially acceptable efforts toward that end. That is when it is socially acceptable! Those who do "believe' work hard to “give” Him His “due diligence” every Sunday of our lives, and in addition, if we are really dedicated sorts, He even gets most Wednesday evenings as well! And that few hours of out of “our” busy lives, seems like a noble sacrifice to most. The really radical “religious nut-cases” may even have strict prayer, fasting and/or Bible Study regimens which they adhere to daily. And some "give it all", forsaking regular careers to go on the mission field to preach or teach. They are the truly "set apart ones" – especially in the eyes of those who think that their weekly showing up for “service” is a big deal!
Why it is called “service”, however, I am unclear. Since most go to be served – not to serve. But then there is the taking of turns, I suppose that counts. Some may act as ushers, or “Sunday School Teachers” or “deacons” - whose job seems to be nebulous, consisting of doing whatever the “Preacher” doesn't want to do. When the job of “deacon” was originally, supposedly, seeing to the needs of the congregation – especially widows, orphans, and elderly, who couldn't take care of themselves! Now those are rarely regarded by the Church at all now days. And instead they are cared for by "the state" or "the government"! And yet we expect tax-exempt status? Hmm.
Those areas of care, however, if regarded at all, now mostly fall to the widows of the church who are still able to go, or other willing women in the church who feel it their saintly duty to contribute to "those less fortunate". Ladies to whom the leadership would never consider the giving of any “real authority”, but who won't hesitate to lay on them any real work which they deem as beneath their exalted selves!
Things have definitely shifted since the Bible I read was written! Not for the better! It is all ludicrous, laughably so. And the world stays doubled over in derision! Unfortunately it isn't just that “they don't understand”. It is more so that we are badly deceived concerning our real motivation behind what we do, and why we do it! We don't see many “Stevens” out there – dedicated to service, “full of grace and power”, willing to die preaching the Good News of Yeshua the Anointed One, and His atonement! What I have seen are a lot dictators, who shroud their bullying in a lot of religious pat answers, and who hide behind those they are meant to protect. I have seen a lot of deceived men who exploit the dysfunction of those whom they have signed on to help. I have seen the utter misuse of relationships, funds and scripture - more than I have seen what Paul called "True Religion". But this shift I think is due to the misconception that we are the gods of our own life. "The masters of our own destiny", etc. That is true ONLY in the sense that WE ARE FREE to CHOOSE whom we will serve! BUT - once the choice is made we will become the servant to something or someone. There is only ONE who is worthy of that trust, and who will not immediately and thoroughly abuse it! The God of all LIVING!
Somehow, some way, we MUST get ourselves off the thrones of our lives and put the real God back in His proper place! If we ever want our lives to count for anything, if we ever expect them to come to order, if we ever expect to see His will done in this planet – then we MUST learn to LIVE for GOD, and STOP trying to live AS GOD! We must humble ourselves to His wisdom, and show proper gratitude for the love and the LIFE which He has so generously granted us! We must stop trying to “get a life” which suits our ever-lusting flesh, and begin to live the Life which we are given in God – which we sold, but which was ransomed for us by our champion, Yeshua the Anointed One! We must learn to receive His LIFE. It is healing to all who find it! This world is not the sum total of our existence, it is only a necessary vessel to transport us through to His Glory. That is where we find our life. And that is when we begin to really live!
My prayer today is; “LORD, show us Your Glory! And help us to live in it! Be the God of LIFE, so that we may live the LIFE of God! Amen!”