This morning I was listening to WAY-FM while showering and their verse of the day was Romans 8:28: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
This verse is so often quoted as a platitude, but is that really the correct syntax?
I know that Greek and Hebrew scholars toil thoroughly at deriving the right balance of literal and conceptual meaning, but maybe they too are swayed by their desire to polish a bit. Although considerably less unpalatable, maybe a more realistic syntax is “And to those who are called, we accordingly know that God causes all all things to work together for the good of His purpose.”
Realistically speaking, isn’t it a bit egotistical to think that our benefit is somehow more significant than God’s master plan?
What are the iron chariot in our lives? To what extent do we deny ourselves our birthright?
In Judges 17:16 we read that the descendants of Joseph were too numerous to reside only in the hill country “but all the Canaanites in the lowlands have iron chariots.”
But Joshua responded “Clear as much of the land as you wish, and take possession of the farthest corners. And you will drive out the Canaanites from the valleys, too, even though they are strong and have iron chariots.”
Our iron chariots aren’t obstacles; they are the objective such that when we are strong enough to defeat the chariot we will be strong enough to exercise dominion in the promised land.
After many years I finally understand that a person’s faith is a private matter…something that is lived, something that is observed, but not something that must be constantly put in people’s faces with bumper stickers and email signatures. I was raised very fundamentally and that was all I knew; that was how I was told it was supposed to be. It did not accommodate differences and was judgmental. Since then I’ve learned the value of appreciating and loving people for who they are, and my life has been enriched by those of different beliefs, backgrounds, and lifestyles whom I have been privileged to call friend.
At this stage in my life, the last thing I want is to make a person feel alienated because of what I believe. I am a Christian, and that identification will be reflected in how I interface with the world. Its presence in this site is unavoidable, though I have tried to attenuate its overtness. My intent on this site or in anything that I do is not to browbeat or condemn. Christianity (as I understand it) obliges a public declaration as a core tenet of the faith:
Matthew 10:33 – But if anyone denies me here on earth, I will deny him before my Father in Heaven.
Romans 1:16 – I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for it is the power of God unto salvation for all who believe.
I can only say that I am a human that needs and believes in a super-human God. I may often fail to live up to the expected standard. I, like everyone else, am on a journey, but if I cannot be transparent about this, then I am a fraud. I think this is what the ninety’s alternative rock band dc Talk was attempting to articulate with their song “What If I Stumble?“