Do you SeeÂ the Great?
Have you really thought about how great and good God really is? Do you ever gaze up into the sky and think about how much bigger He is than we can possibly imagine? Charlie Brown, Lucy, and Linus are lying on the ground and looking up into the sky. Lucy says, ”If you use your imagination, you see lots of things in the cloud formations. What do you see, Linus?” Linus responds, ”Well, those clouds up there look like the map of the British Honduras on the Caribbean. And that cloud looks a little like the profile of Thomas Eakins, a famous painter and sculptor. And that group of clouds over there gives me the great impression of the stoning of Stephen. I can see the Apostle Paul standing there to one side.” Lucy proudly agrees, ”That is very good. What do you see in the clouds, Charlie Brown?” Charlie Brown replies, ”Well I was going to say I saw a duck and a horse, but I changed my mind.”
What do you see when you look up into the sky? Do you see God? Do you see a God that is great, greater than all things? The Psalmist in Psalm 19:1 looked up into the heavens and declared that He saw God as he said, ”The heavens, proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship.” (NLT) Just how big and great is the glory of God?
This week our focus verse attempts to answer the great and pondering question of how great God is. We look to Habakkuk this week as God addresses Habakkuk’s complaints. We learn in those words just how big God is and that we must revere Him as such. God also tells us that one-day people everywhere will acknowledge His power. So what started this whole conversation between God and Habakkuk?
Habakkuk has a few complaints about how life was going in his world. In reality Habakkuk has a lot of complaints as he begins his book with ”How long, O Lord, must I call for help?” Habakkuk felt God was just not listening. He sees violence everywhere and the evilness of the world around him. Do you ever feel like that? All it takes is turning on the evening news and violence and seeming evil throughout the world bombards us. It is easy to think that God is just not listening but if we continue to read Habakkuk we quickly learn that is not the case.
God is great and He is in control of the world despite the way the world may seem. This is not the time to doubt Him but the time to be fully aware of His great power and glory. We learn that one day everyone on earth will recognize just how great He is. He does fill the earth, the skies, and water with His presence as He fills us. Where is God? God is everywhere and if we don’t hear Him then maybe our focus is not on Him.
For as the waters fill the sea, the earth will be filled with an awareness of the glory of the Lord. Habakkuk 2:14 (NLT)
Making the Great, Known to All
Are you focused on our great God? What about those around you, how focused on God are they? Maybe they don’t even know God. Are believers to just sit around waiting on God to come down and blast the world with all his great glory? Paul tells us in Colossians a very clear no, God has another way to fill the whole earth with His great glory. God’s plan is through you and me, His church. Â But the hope of glory is that Christ is in you, in us. This is how God will fill the world with His great glory. This is part of His great plan.
So how is this plan going to be implemented? It begins by recognizing that God is in control and over everything. This is seen in how we live our life in reverence to God because we are fully aware that there is none more great or powerful than the Almighty. This is living a life that we know to be true, focusing upon God, and living a life for Him instead of ourselves. We must change our lives and start living knowing that God is greater than all. Selfish living has no place in God’s plan as it weakens our faith and our focus.
It is said that John Perkins, Christian civil rights leader, author, and founder of the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA), learned the Lord’s prayer as a boy and one day he asked his teacher what heaven looks like. The teacher answered, ”It is where people from every nation, tribe, and tongue praise God with one voice.” He left school that day and looked down the road to the all-white church and then down the other way to the all-black church and said, ”These Christians don’t really believe what they pray.” John went a different route and dedicated his life and ministry to seeing God’s kingdom done here on earth as it is in heaven. If we want to fill the earth with the glory of our great God we must reflect His teachings. Our lives must show the character of Christ through love, forgiveness, mercy, sacrifice, holiness, and justice. When our character mimics the character of Christ the glory of a great God will fill the earth. It is a Biblical response to the world that we must have and not a human one.
We must transform ourselves as Romans 12:2 tells us. We must react differently and our lives should be filled with difference and not indifference. We cannot however do this alone and God knows that so He sent us help through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and the sending of the Holy Spirit. Everything we do in our life should reflect the glory of God.
J.S. Bach, the great composer, said, ”All music should have no other end and aim than the glory of God and the soul’s refreshment: where this is not remembered there is no real music but only a devilish hub-bub.” Bach headed his compositions: ”J.J.” ”Jesus Juva” which means Jesus help me.” He ended them ”S.D. G.” Soli Dei gratia” which means ”To God alone the praise.” (Stowell, 1985) If we expect the world to fill with the glory of God, we cannot lead separate sacred and secular lives. Instead we must follow the words of the Apostle Paul in Colossians 3:17 ”And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”
Let your light for Christ shine to the world as Jesus told His disciples. (Matthew 5:16) Don’t hide the light under a bush or let the light go out as the children’s song goes. There was a little girl who came home from Sunday School right after learning this verse and asked her mother what it meant. Her mother replied, ”Well, it means that when you are good, kind, thoughtful, and obedient; you are letting Christ’s light shine in your life before all who know you.” The very next Sunday during class, the little girl got in a bit of a challenging situation with another child and created such an uproar that the Sunday School teacher had to go and find her mother to get her settled down. When her mother arrived she said, ”Darling, don’t you remember about letting your light shine for the Lord before others?” The little girl blurted out, ”I have blowed myself out!”
Don’t blow your light out in front of the world, instead bring His light to all both as an individual and as part of the church. We must show the world the church is not a social organization that exists only for fellowship with other members. We are to do more than sing, preach, and worship. Jesus calls us all and the mission is all around us. He promised to be with all believers until the end of time and He doesn’t expect us to fill the earth with the great light of God alone as the Holy Spirit is with us guiding and directing us along the way.
Habakkuk asked God why evil seemed to succeed while the righteous suffer. God answered that they don’t, not in the end. Habakkuk saw his limitations in contrast to God’s great and mighty power over the world and all of its events. God will do what is right and it is through knowing this that we can share the good news and hope in the often very confusing world. Know clearly the greatness and glory of God and let the light of His glory fill the earth as the waters fill the sea.
Love in Christ,
God will guard you and keep you in constant Peace, as you focus your mind on Him. (Isaiah 26:3)
Credits: Harrington, W. F. (2006). The Love That Brought Him. Carol Stream, Illinois, United States. Retrieved from http://www.preachingtoday.com/sermons/outlines/2006/november/lovethatbroughthim111306.html Stowell, J. (1985). Kingdom Conflict. Chicago: Moody Publishers; Revised edition (October 9, 1996).
What are your thoughts? Join Us in Discussion
Do you live your life knowing the greatness and glory of God? Do others see the glory of God reflecting His light through your life and actions? Join us in discussion in sharing the glory of God with the world.