The truth about God is evident. Look around at the world and the sky- everything made by the hand of God compels you, in your heart, that He is real- that He exists. You can clearly see that He is good, awesome, intelligent, he loves beauty. Look at the Universe. Look at the beautiful elements of nature. You know it, deep in your heart.
We all know it. But we refuse to humble ourselves and submit ourselves to the One who Made Us.
And because of that- our minds become dark and confused. We claim we are “enlightened” but we are actually becoming fools- because the further we turn from the Righteous, Good, Wise God, the more we turn to wicked, pale, vile things.
And what God does is this- He lets us go. When we turn away and reject Him, he lets us walk away. We trade the Truth for the lies that seem more attractive. We trade our safe place in his plan for our own sinful desires- and he lets us. Our punishment is that he lets us have our choice – we suffer sin and violence and wretchedness and sorrow because we, and all humanity around us, is choosing our own ways- and we reap the greed, the violence, the sorrow- from each other.
We are backstabbers, cheaters, gossipers, quarrelers. We envy, murder, abuse. We are proud, miserly, boastful. Heartless, merciless.
We feel bad about our own sins and so we look around at others and say their sin is worse. We point our fingers at “uglier” sins- looking for the worst to condemn so we can puff ourselves up. But we are all the same. We are all condemned, because none of us, not one of us, has walked in integrity and justice and mercy and goodness and love- none of us.
But God is not only a God of intelligence and beauty and awesome power. He is also a God of righteousness and judgment.
You ask- if he is righteous, if he gives judgement- where is God when bad things happen? Why does God not intervene and stop the suffering of the earth?
It is because now, for now, it is the time of man. We are living in the in-between – when the will of man is supreme. Men are allowed to choose and their choice is- well, as you see. Raping the earth, beating their neighbors, and excluding whomever they can. The young and the poor and the powerless reap the sins of the entitled and powerful. It is not right.
But the Lord is a God of justice. There will be a day of judgment. There will come a day when he will say, “Enough.” When he will no longer allow the wretchedness to continue. For now he is being ridiculously tolerant- far beyond what we deserve- because he knows that there are some, always, that will turn to him.
But there will be a day, and not very long from now, when his righteous judgment will come. He will judge everyone, everything. Every action will reap its reward. Every secret thing will be laid bare.
But listen! What can we do? We can only turn to Him now, and repent of our sinful ways. We can never repay- we can never do enough good to make up for our wickedness. The only thing we can do is to learn and know this: That the Son of God came and chose to bear our punishment in our place. Only by humbly accepting that his life was the ransom for yours can you find a robe of righteousness that will let you stand before the Great and Awesome Judge.
And then- what can we do? But live a life that shows that we are bought with a price. When you have repented and run from your own sinful ways, you live a life of gratitude- spent doing here on earth what Jesus would have done- speaking for justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly with your God. Then you will have nothing to fear when the Day comes.
I hear a voice of refute that says- we are not so bad. We are not so wicked. There are altruistic and good people- and I am not as bad as some. But listen! There may be, out there. But I am talking to you. I am saying: When you hear the voice of conviction, don’t brush it away with modern talk about “false guilt.” If you hear the Voice of God pulling at you, be aware that you are blessed to be called! Don’t turn him away! He is a good Father, not willing that any would perish. He is the Lover of your Soul. He is the Perfect Friend, the One who knows you and Satisfies You- and you will find rest for your soul.
And that thing? That sinful thing that you are afraid to give up? You’ve heard that the bible doesn’t like it. You know that Christians condemn it. Let me tell you. Is it possible that you are just afraid that you can’t give it up? I have had that fear. I’ve thought to myself: If it depends on me to fix this, I’m doomed. And so it’s easier to believe that God, if there is a God, doesn’t need me to “fix it.” That he is cool with it.
But beloved, this is not the way of Truth. The truth is that the Lord wants good for us. Wholeness and healing and Life, and things that lead to life. When you go his way, you’ll have to lay down things you have treasured. Some of them he will give you back again. Others He will wash from your hands. But whichever it is, trash or treasure- it is safe in his hands.
And you won’t have to “do” it, you know. He is the Master Gardener, and you are the precious tender seedling. You have no need of pushing out a tomato or forcing a leaf to grow. You only dig your roots into the truth, and stretch your face towards the Son, and say, “Lord, not my will, but yours.”