High and Exalted
Friday, February 4, 2011


“For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.  To Him be the glory forever! Amen.”  Romans 11:36


                In my last article I attempted to make the case for the importance of how we view God, and the importance to the devil and his minions to convince us of a lesser view of God.  Eve fell into corruption when Satan was able to convince her of a lesser God.  Peter suffered terror and grief because of his lesser view of Christ.  And that is carried out manifold times in the hearts of Christians every day.  When we allow ourselves to think about God as being less than He is, then our own lives and the lives of those around us are sorely stricken.


                My writings are always a product of my readings.  Most writers, even Augustine and Calvin, say that they write as they learn and they learn as they write.  In other words, the more we write (which comes from learning), the more the intensity of our own learning.  When I don’t write, my spirit begins to shrivel up – not because I am not writing, but because I am not learning.  Peter told his church – we become slaves to whatever masters us. (2 Peter 2:19)  So if we allow ourselves to be mastered by a lesser view of God, then we become slaves to that view.  But when we set about to learn about God and become a slave to that learning, we become mastered by the One, “who is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ever ask or imagine.” (Eph. 3:20) 


                Now let me bring this to a real practical level for you.  Paul wrote his famous doxology (above) in the 11th chapter of Romans.  It erupted out of his inner being as he was thinking about God and His marvelous mercy.  This happens often in Paul’s writings but the end results are nowhere more graphic than in this passage.  He praises God, “Oh the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God. . .” and from that praise comes an insight into the true God, “For from Him, and through Him and to Him are all things. . .” and from that understanding comes a lifestyle, “To Him be the glory forever. Amen” (Rm. 11:33-36) and from that lifestyle comes commitment unlike any we have ever witnessed.  “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God. . .” (Rom. 12:1)


                The exploits of Paul are well known.  Five times he received the 40 lashes minus one.  He frequented the prisons, was beaten with rods, stoned and left for dead, was shipwrecked (twice), and in constant danger from bandits, heretics, and wild animals. (2 Cor. 11:23-37) But Paul radically changed the world for Christ.  Thirteen or fourteen books (according to which theologian you follow) of the Bible were written by him.  The frontier of Christianity was stretched to 4 continents by his evangelism.  Untold billions of people are living eternally with Christ because of his teachings and faithfulness.  The world is exponentially superior to what it would have been without his commitment to the reality of God.  And all of that is simply because he saw God in the highest possible way.


                Or take David for example.  Yes, he had moral failures, but no king of Israel ever achieved the heights of David.  No king was ever revered by the people more than David.  No king ever was victorious in so many battles as David.  In the Psalms as we read his writings and musings on the character of God we can plainly see why.  Take the 96th Psalm for example:  “For great is the Lord and worthy of praise (to Him be the glory forever) He is to be feared above all . . . Splendor and majesty are before Him; strength and glory are in His sanctuary.”  Notice the high and exalted view of God, mirrored by Paul.  And take note too of the results – “Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad, let the sea resound, and all that is in it; let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them.  Then all the trees of the forest will sing before the Lord, for He comes.”

                 I wish I could be more articulate so that you can see.  When God is exalted by His people, the world is a different place.  Dallas Willard wrote, “A lesser view of God always gives deference to evil.”  So when we see evil abound in the world, be assured that the people through whom evil is perpetrated are not people who sit around daily and ponder the grandeur and greatness of God.  But when God is highly exalted by His people, the world moves away from evil towards righteousness (“He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in truth.”)  So friends, if you tire every day of reading of killings in Post Offices, factories, and businesses; if you are deeply perplexed by parents who abuse and kill their children; if the plight of single moms stirs your soul; if riots, murders, disrespect of property rights, and licentious living bring tears to your eyes, please remember this.  All these things occur because of a lesser view of God.  And when we allow God in our own hearts to be less than He truly is, we are giving deference to evil.

Kingdom Road Ministries
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