"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me." - Galatians 2:20

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Friday, October 25, 2013

* AMAZED OR DAZED ?

Isaiah 40:26 (NIV 1984) "Lift your eyes and look to the heavens:  Who created all these?  He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name.  Because of His great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing."

Several amazing sights were visible in the clear night sky.  As dusk came, the students filed in line to have a peak at the galaxy known as Hercules.  We climbed the ladder to view this sight through a lens that illuminated this phenomenal work of creation.  The next telescope aimed at the planet Saturn.  We could see its rings and four of its moons. 'Spectacular' hardly describes what we witnessed.

Not long ago my 3rd grade son's class went to the Bruneau Sand Dunes for a field trip.  This state park is known for its science observatory and evening astronomy shows.  It possesses Idaho's largest telescope for public viewing.

This experience caused me to pause at the sheer wonder of God's amazing creation.  The naked eye can see a lot, but to have a glimpse into a galaxy beyond our grasp is simply breathtaking.  God omnipotence is enormous.  His creation is not contained by human understanding.  Even the Hubble telescope is not big enough to capture the innumerable galaxies that exist.

For example, the Milky Way Galaxy contains billions of stars.  Even if we counted one star per second, it would take 2,500 years to count them all.  Author and speaker Louie Giglio says the stars are like a billboard that show us everyday how amazing God is.  They show off the glory and splendor of our Creator.

Did you know that the speed of light travels at 186 thousand miles per second?  Imagine in the beginning when God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.  Bam!  God just spoke it into existence.  Now, that was some lightning bolt!

God holds the universe in the palm of His hand, while our understanding of His greatness fits in the palm of our own.  His magnificence cannot be gauged or calculated.  It exceeds any instrument of measure.  Our humanness prohibits us from fully grasping Who God is.  If we could fully fathom all of His glory, it could diminish our view of Him.

Acknowledgment of God's grandeur is important.  Will we be amazed or dazed by it all?  Realizing God's "bigness" forces us to recognize our "smallness."  Compared to Him we are nothing.  Giglio calls this, "significant insignificance."  Admitting our true position properly postures our heart before Him.  Despite our humanness and tininess, we are significant to a magnificent God.

The reality of who God is transcends into our lives.  Knowing He is our EVERYTHING establishes our security in Him as people of God.  Our identity and significance stem from the Creator of the Universe.  This truth radically influences how we live.  Because we trust in Who He is, we can entrust all our worries and weaknesses to Him.  He is big enough to handle all our struggles and shortcomings.  Seriously, we're talking about THE omnipotent God!

Sadly, we can fail to uphold God and His creation for what they demonstrate.  Instead of being amazed we become dazed, barely cracking a smile, let alone joy and awe, for the beauty of His matchless artwork.  What happens is, the very sights we're used to simply become so normal and expected that they're easily taken for granted.  We neglect to remember the intricate details of existence and the pleasure meant to be experienced through them.  Creation and all its beauty within is God's gift to us and is a visible picture of His power and undeniable reality.  

When was the last time a sunset, mountain landscape or beach forced us to pause and utter words of worship?  When has the sight of a newborn or death of a saint caused us to praise the miracle of life?  When has rain on our roof, chirping birds or changing fall leaf colors lifted the crease of our lips?  When has grimmy fingerprint windows, loud children and family fun brought laughter that echoes through the walls of our home?  When was the last time we just starred at the stars, wondering their names and drinking deep the phenomenon of His masterpiece?

Just as He named the starry hosts, God knows each of us by name as well.  Even better, He invites us into a relationship with Him.  God gave our sin to His Son, in order to give us redemption and real life.  Only an infinite God, superior than our finite ability to comprehend Him, could extend such an offer.  This is indescribable . . . and this, more than anything, should amaze us, not daze us.






Heart Work:
Pause and examine the intricate details of God's creation: a flower, an animal, your child, a garden, sunrise or sunset, or stay up late on a clear night and gaze at His stars.

Intentionally appreciate the work of God's hand.  Give thanks for the things that bless you.

Heart Exam:
What keeps you from noticing the details of creation?

Would you presently describe your response to God's majesty as 'amazed' or 'dazed?'

How does God's display of power through creation strengthen your faith?  Why is this important to an unbelieving world?

Heart Transforming Word:
Genesis 1:1 &16, (NIV 1984) "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  God made two great lights-the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars."

Isaiah 6:3 "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory."

Isaiah 40:25 " 'To whom will you compare me?  Or who is my equal?' says the Holy One."

Psalm 19:1 "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands."

Psalm 33:6-7 "The Lord merely spoke, and the heavens were created.  He breathed the word, and all the stars were born.  He assigned the sea its boundaries and locked the oceans in vast reservoirs."

Psalm 108:4-5 "For great is your love, higher than the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies.  Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, and let your glory be over all the earth."

Amos 5:8 "He who made Pleiades and Orion, who turns blackness into dawn and darkens day into night, who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out over the face of the land - the Lord is his name."



* "Indescribable" DVD by Louie Giglio.
Copyright 2011 by Hester Christensen.  Edited 2013.  All rights reserved.