The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;
The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;
The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold,
Yea, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Moreover by them Your servant is warned, and in keeping them there is great reward.
Who can understand his errors?
Cleanse me from secret faults.
Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins;
Let them not have dominion over me.
Then I shall be blameless, and I shall be innocent of great transgression. ~Psalm 19:7-13
In this morning’s meditation, I realized I’ve never felt very comfortable and at-home calling God by His usual names. They seem so official and far-off, though I like them, it’s just that I feel an intimacy with God that those names don’t fit. I asked Him if there was another name I could call Him by, if I pleased Him enough. And He responded.
Eliha. I love you so much. <3
He knows what we are thinking because He is in every cell of our body, including our brain. As I shared in a previous post, The Image of God, God has made life with a cellular basis because that is how His perfect form is. In the sacred process of life-giving whereby He creates all beings, He attaches Himself to that being in that process, on a level so infinitely small as yet to be undetectable to human understanding, yet so invasive that we cannot ever escape from Him, our Creator.
This is why dreams and daydreams and aha! moments and intentions and intuition tell us God’s Will. It is the immanence of God in us at work, in these moments that move us. He is transcendent at all times too, yes, out there. But He is always in here as well. As Rick Warren says so eloquently in The Purpose Driven Life, God is constantly watching us-our every nuance-in every moment to see how we think, how we feel, and how we respond to events in our lives! He is also feeling us, knowing us, and guiding us from within. I find that so profound. I don’t know about you, but knowing this makes a huge difference in how I actually behave!
But it is God in Us that is our ever surveillant Master, but also our dependable safety net. He tailors our lives to His everlasting assessment of us, if we but learn to hear Him and listen to Him. This is living in His will for us, and living coram Deo, with God, in everything we do.
Years ago, I read a heart-wrenching account of a young woman lost at sea on a sailboat that had gotten caught in a hurricane somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. Based on a true story, this woman’s fiancee had apparently been lost overboard when the tumultuous storm tore him off the chains he had tied around himself and the helm, to anchor him. Realizing that they would not be able to run away from the storm or go around it, he had sent her below where it was safer, while he stayed up top to do any navigation he could. Down below, her body got thrown around, and she became unconscious for 24 hours. When she returned to the deck afterward, her fiancee was gone, and she was alone and adrift on the open sea.
She describes how she heard a voice in her head giving her commands which ended up helping her navigate to the coast of Hawaii, and saving her life. Commands like, “Open that can and eat it.” The commands were from somewhere inside her head, she knew, but were not from her. I do not recall her being a Christian or being a believer, or saying the voice was God, as I was reading her book. But now I know it was God speaking to her. Because that is how He sounds to me too. It was nothing short of a miracle how, with nothing but star reckoning, she was able to sail herself to the island of Hawaii in the great expanse of the Pacific Ocean, over a month or more period of time. And that she did not starve of hunger or thirst on the way.
God is like that in our head. He feels our aches and pains in our bodies. We don’t really have to tell Him or whine to Him about what ails us, though He is gracious when we do. He understands that life is pain. He sent Jesus to us knowing that life is pain. He doesn’t want us to always feel pain, yet He knows that we will suffer whilst here on earth, because of man’s inherent sinful nature, from the very Beginning.
But we can also feel joy and happiness and hope. That is the message of the Gospel. That is what I want to share with others. Life is pain, but life everlasting can be bliss with God. We can have bliss here if we allow God to blossom within us and take over our every cell! Open your understanding and know He is there, inside you, waiting for you to open your heart and mind and body fully to Him.
An idol is anything that comes between you and God. In the bible-days idols were represented by golden calves and naked deities, so I think it is easy for us as modern-day Children of God to think the second commandment (the second most important commandment of the 10), ‘Thous Shalt have no other gods before Me,’ does not really apply to us anymore. However, if you stop to think about how the Gentiles (pagans) of the time used the ancient idols, you can see similar behavior in our current culture.
It doesn’t really matter what you do with it, an IPOD is made to be a personal device for entertainment; to be clutched, protected, and clung to like a constant companion. It is a muse and a cherished device. It is a modern-day deity. In older generations, the TV was our IPOD.
An idol can also be a bottle of booze. A pack of cigarettes. A phone. A credit card. In all these cases, we worship something that we perceive is going to deliver us unto happiness. We might not even consciously believe that, it might be completely subconscious, but the point is, our action reaches for and intoxicates upon, the Thing, whatever it is.
Technology is our golden calf. We might not literally bow down to it, but I bet if your IPOD or phone or computer breaks, you are going to lament, contort yourself somewhat, and take steps to replace it immediately.
Do we do this with God? Do we take the same loving care with our relationship with God as we do with our personal devices? Do we protect from taking His name in vain with the same diligence with which we protect our phone from moisture? Do we keep our communication with Him as quick and responsive as our texting? Are we as enraptured by His wonders as we are by viral youtube videos? If not, we are probably serving idols in place of God.
Technology which is a vehicle for communication and connects people together, such as certain aspects of the internet and phone, are not all bad, but we must use them with caution, knowing they could lead us into temptation and subsequent idolatry. Usually God does not want us to be tempted at all, and commands that we avoid temptation by eliminating all of it from our lives. As He illustrated when the ancient Hebrews settled in the Promised Land of Canaan, He demanded that all the pagan tribes be destroyed, lest they lead His chosen people into sin and idolatry.
Even though we might think we are far removed from worshiping golden calves and sacrificing our children to gods, we are actually the very same now. We let our children go away from our protective arms from the time they are born, so that we can make double the money, one of our favorite gods. We elevate our false egos that make us worship ourselves and each other, because since we do not believe in God, we make ourselves or someone else god. We pay homage and adoration to stars, and look up to them. We clutch cold shiny metal that portrays any image we crave to see, and in the imagination of our own hearts, we think that it is good.
Television was when it really started taking hold, the drugging of modern society with technology. I realize it began well before with the radio, and before that with the telegraph, and before that with the discovery of electricity. But with the invention of the television, the perfect mechanism was created to inject, via electricity, mass amounts of eager people with passive entertainment, in as large a dose as desired with no consideration as to its consequences. Never before had the masses been able to obtain sedation in this way; sit down, press a button, and walah! instant visual stimulation for as long as one wanted. No age limits were imposed, no warnings given, no thought to how this seemingly innocuous box could and would negatively impact our future society at every level.
We still do not see it. Because we have been lulled to sleep as is so typical of the devil. Technology fueled by its sister Science, has leaped forth exponentially with gadget after gadget vying for our attention and money. Kind of like how those graven images of old were so hated by God and is what the 2nd of the 10 Commandments is all about. Anything that wedges itself between us and God is an IDOL. We work to pay our cable and cell phone bills, considered necessary expenditures in our modern economy. Even the parents of 10 year olds feel like their children are ill-equipped for life if they are not toting a phone. Add in ipods and ipads (and their equivalents), and it is obvious we are more obsessed with technology than ever before.
It used to be considered a marker of prestige if one had indoor plumbing. Then that mindset gave way to every family above the poverty level needing to have access to electricity. Once electricity was in the house, there was no stopping ‘progress’ then. What an inventor’s dream! Soon every family owned a radio and a television. Even if one could make a weak argument for technology in that it fostered a healthy family pasttime, that argument implodes on itself now with the advent of the smart phone and the ipod. What kid is content with only watching television with his family? If they are not constantly toggling back and forth, trolling facebook and reddit, they might miss some important tidbit of Information, the holy grail of modern life. And parents are no exception. Texting and news must pour forth uninterrupted, even while doing any other activity, including driving, and eating, and even during holidays with friends and family! Each person has abandoned his nuclear family and become a world unto himself with the aid of electronic embellishments.
But I even need to go further back. Back to Science. Essentially explored as its own concept beginning in the 4th century BC by Aristotle, the father of scientific thought. For him and his students, God was Science. This carved out a diametrically opposed way of believing only in God to believing in the world. It also gave a valid outlet to those Gentiles who might practice paganism by having something worthy to put their belief and faith in! Instead of praying to the fertility icons of Ashoreth and Baal, which were so plentiful in those days almost every family had many of them (sound familiar?), they could now scientifically study the seasons and understand agrarian methods, informed by science. It is easy to see here how Science literally replaced idols, and is an IDOL itself.
The Old Testament had been written down 200 years by that time, and Moses had led the Chosen People of God out of Egypt in or around 1300 BC. So it took about 1000 years for the negative and evil forces against good and God to amass themselves and gain a foothold with what would prove to be the best vehicle for the Enemy’s advancement, even over lustly tempations and money: the pursuit of Knowledge. As time goes by, it is apparent that Science is growing not only stronger, but not unlike a bad virus, is able to mutate and adapt to its surroundings, evidenced by it gaining more and more of a foothold in our youth! By the time our children are adults, they have been so thoroughly bathed in technology and its dopaminergic effects, they are not only sold on it, but they are its most loyal advocates.
Breaking the 2nd commandment is so so terrible to God, but where this technology is leading us is so so terrible to us… Remember Adam and Eve? They were kicked out of the Garden of Eden for eating of the Tree of Knowledge, lest they would obtain God’s power over Life. In the book of Jeremiah, there resides a seemingly hidden prophecy of what will happen if we continue on this quest to obtain God’s Knowledge. We will be annihilated from the face of the earth.
He has the power to stop the universe from expanding into nothingness. He has to power to delay the Endtimes as He wishes, based on His grace and our behavior. However, if we continue on our current course, God will allow our own evil pursuit of Scienctific Idolatry to wipe us out with its own bastard creation, Technology.
We just cannot see that this is where we are heading. And make no mistake: God is very displeased about our itinerary.
God said, “Ask! What shall I give you?” And Solomon said: “Now, O LORD my God, You have made Your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted.
Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”
And the speech pleased the LORD, that Solomon had asked this thing. Then God said to him: “Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked long life for yourself, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice, behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you.
And I have also given you what you have not asked: both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days. So if you walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.” ~I Kings 3:5-14
God lavishes us with more abundance than we can imagine if we but draw close to him with a humble heart~