There is a cloud hanging over us called modernity. We’ve been lulled to sleep by Google, GPS, and smart phones. There is literally nothing that is not available to us. If we have the resources we can travel anywhere (even space!) and have anything. But this is deceiving. We think we have become our own masters but in reality we have become more enslaved. We suppose that since we have higher-order thinking skills we are not slave to our animal nature, but I believe Scripture bears out that our animal nature is what is most prevalent in us. If provoked we will retaliate, our appetites determine our course, and relationships can be cast aside at will.
With God this is not the case, however we have become so enamored with our supposed superiority we have sought to craft God in our own image rather than seeing ourselves as made in his. It is the folly of the first men. God is not like us, however. He is absolute authority and perfect love at the same time. He is just and merciful. His anger is righteous while ours is arbitrary. His love is complete while ours is fickle. He is the one true rock upon which everything finds its foundation. Even the most majestic mountains on earth will one day crumble. If we would find salvation we must leave behind everything we thought we knew and cling to the only one who is. His covenant name even declares this: YHWH, I Am.
The Sermon on the Mount lays out the theology of Jesus perfectly, setting the stage for his miraculous life, death, and resurrection. God will not be defined by our attempts to capture his nature. He is completely other. Jesus implores us to look through the veil that clouds our judgment, that seeks to capture and divert our attention from the Maker of all things. He beckons us into deeper relationship with God Almighty. We have not made God to be like us, instead he has fashioned us in his likeness. It is an easy thing for us to forget that. The veil would attempt to obscure our view and focus our attention on those things which are temporary.
For all the progress we claim to have made as a people, we still have the same problem of the first man. We think we have control. Clearly we do not. Even in scripture we see the essence of control and the fear it brought to the disciples. When confronted by a raging storm, the disciples were terrified while Jesus slept. Then, roused from his slumber, Jesus spoke to the storm and commanded the winds and seas to be calm, and they were! This is control. This is power.
Would that we could see God for who he is! If only we would turn our backs on those things we think are substantial and meaningful to seek the one who is significant. I’ve mentioned a couple of times that we were created in the image of God. This is significant because we were created for intimacy and relationship. We see an example of intimacy within the Godhead itself. The Father, Son, and Spirit commune with one another in perfect relationship and glory in the fact that they are all God. In like manner, we were created to also glory in God, for he is worthy. We were created to value God because he is valuable. We exist for the purpose of worship.
That concept is misleading to us, though, because we are human and temporal. I think when we hear those words we immediately conjure up an image of a large arena with hundreds of millions of people in the stands singing with hands lifted high and God standing at center court. Worship is a bigger thing, though. Our very lives are meant for worship, yet we have different talents and abilities. We have different likes and dislikes. We have passions that drive us to create, to manage, and to do. Why? Because we were created in the image of God. God creates, he manages, he does, so we should do so, too.
Your desires and abilities were given to you by God for the purpose of worshiping him. That’s what’s so dangerous about the veil. It is porous, we can see through it. But like a chain-link fence or a mesh screen, we don’t get the whole picture. This is one of the greatest deceptions of the Enemy. Instead of being a joyous thing done as an act of service, work becomes despised and tedious. Instead of pursuing our passions and our skill-sets, we seek that which will provide the largest income. Rather than being happy where we are, we long for a step up the ladder. We have the illusion of control.
Oh that we might see through the veil, that we might lay aside those things which hinder and the sin that so easily entangles and run the race marked out for us not despising the fact it was set before us but counting it all joy that we have a race to run according to the talents and gifts we’ve been given!