Isaiah 40:13, “Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being His counsellor, hath taught Him?” Verse 28, “Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of His understanding.” These verses help us to get a little glimpse into the greatness of God. He is never weary, He never faints, and we are very thankful we come before the great God who understands every situation and not only that, but He has a perfect solution for every situation.
Sometimes we are impressed by what man can do and what man has learned in the medical world. We appreciate it a lot, yet when we look into God’s word, we realise that what God can do is far greater than the greatest minds on earth. It was mentioned in testimony about going to God and maybe suggesting how God could solve a problem, and I am afraid we are all like that at times. We want God to help us and think that somehow we are entitled to make some suggestions as to how it should be. The safest approach for us is to remember that God can see way beyond the current situation we are in, and if we can be touched by His spirit, God with His great wisdom, can direct us so that our choices are directed by Him. When it comes to our spirits, what God can do and how He can bless us goes way beyond even the greatest intellect of men.
Verse 15, “Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance.” I have been in country areas where people still take water out of a well with a bucket. There are always a few drops that spill and you don’t even consider that there is any loss because you are concerned about what is inside the bucket. A few weeks ago, we asked a visiting Worker how he felt about the elections in his homeland. He said, “Well, you know, the outcome of what is happening among the nations politically is not even 1% of what God is interested in.” God is dipping the bucket into humanity and He is interested in taking out a very special people. What is outside the bucket, all the rivalry that is happening, doesn’t even make 1% with God, but just one life means such a lot to Him.
Genesis 2:7, “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” I marvel at how much is contained in that verse. God just looked at the dust of this earth, took a handful of it and formed man. God had a very clear picture of what He wanted to create. He wanted to create man with eyes that could see, ears that could hear, with feelings and the capability to think, and He was going to create it from a piece of dust. Sometimes we see a sculpture and it may be made of wax; it is a very good likeness but you cannot talk to the sculpture; it has no feelings. It is really just a little piece of dust. What made the difference in this verse is that God created something that was going to have life.
God formed man in His own image. The plan was perfect and the outcome was perfect, and the finishing touch was when God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul. When we think of our soul, we start thinking about eternity. Here on earth we are men or women, but when you use the word soul, it causes you to remember there is a soul created every time a new life is born, and God has an eternal purpose for every person. When God breathed the breath of life into Adam, he was able to communicate with God right from that time. Maybe in the beginning, God could communicate with men at a certain level and maybe that is how it is for all of us when we are born; God tries to speak to us. When we are children, the first people we hear are our parents and we know, little by little, that they are not just making sounds without a purpose.
Matthew 11:16, “But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows, and saying, ‘We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented.’” It was like someone playing a joyful tune but there was no joyful reaction. People can create a lot today but nobody has created life or anything that comes close to it. The physical part of every person is really only a very small part of what God wants to create for eternal life. Maybe it is good to stop and ask ourselves, when God tries to speak to us, is there a reaction? There could be times when God speaks and wants to see that what He tells us causes joy in our hearts.
Psalm 89:15, “Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of Thy countenance.” It is a great blessing when God speaks and there is a reaction in somebody’s heart. I have a cousin who loves hunting and sometimes he uses a long distance viewer and fires at something quite a distance away. When he gets a hit, he always uses this word with great satisfaction, “Contact.” I believe it is the same joy that God feels when His word, guided by His spirit, touches our hearts.
People are concerned about a lot of things that are not going well, but it is good to lift up our eyes and remember that there is a great God who is interested in every person who tries to be quiet enough so that His spirit can speak. Things are approved that were never approved before, and we could get all upset about it but it is good to think about God, who is so great. All the nations, with all their ideas, are like the few drops of water that drop off the bucket.
God had an eternal purpose that there would be people who would react when He speaks; people who realise that we are not just born to live for 70 or 90 years or so and that is it, nothing more. Ecclesiastes 3:11, “He hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.” In some languages it translates as, “He has put eternity in their hearts.” That is true: God has put the thought of eternity in our hearts.
When we were at the age of having a lot of questions, I suppose most of us asked, “How did people come to be on earth? Who was there before our grandparents, etc?” Mum would say, “God put man on the earth.” Then the obvious question for me was, “Who made God?” I understood that everything has a beginning and I was about four or five years old when I asked that question, and Mum answered with what is written in the Bible, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever Thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God.” (Psalm 90:2) At that age, I couldn’t understand the immensity of an answer like that, but now I am thankful that Mum didn’t say, “You won’t understand, we will talk about it later.”
Many years later, when I started to read the Bible, I found those words and it was like they came alive because I had heard them before, “From everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God.” There is so much that we don’t understand. Deuteronomy 3:24, “O Lord GOD, Thou hast begun to shew Thy servant Thy greatness, and Thy mighty hand.” Moses was getting near the end of his life; he had so many special experiences with God and he lived longer than most of us can probably expect to live, and that is what he said near the end. I am thankful that, little by little, God has given me that same feeling and I am starting to realise how great God is and how limited our ideas are. Sometimes we have a good idea and we try to get into God’s presence and He shows us there was never any need for a new idea; He had the idea already and God’s idea is good. When God created man, He wanted to communicate with him and we read of times when God spoke. In the story of Adam and Eve, a barrier came into the picture because of listening to the wrong voice. When Eve listened to Satan, she also answered with God’s word. Genesis 3:3, “God hath said, ‘Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.’” It is wonderful if that can be our answer when a choice comes up and we wonder about it. Eve had it very simple and straightforward but then Satan threw out a few words and it caused her to listen to him, and we all know the end result. She began to look at the fruit and thought about what Satan told her, that it would make them wise and they would be like gods.
We don’t know how long it took Satan to convince her, but it didn’t take long to change Eve from a person who was very firm on God’s words to not taking notice of them. It would be terrible if we had true, safe words, but then because of listening to wrong ideas, we would get to the stage where even those very scriptural words didn’t seem to matter anymore. The only way we can continue enjoying God’s promises is to feed on God’s word. I appreciate what we heard in testimony, that what is pure in us will be stirred up here. We are thankful that God can do that but it doesn’t happen without a bit of effort.
I was sitting here yesterday, looking around at God’s people and thinking, “I am a stranger here and yet when I look at God’s people, they look the same as anywhere else in the world.” That didn’t just happen automatically. Then someone mentioned the preparation work and we can look outside and appreciate that everything is tidy, and that didn’t just happen automatically. I remember a story about a man who had a nice lawn and he was going on holidays for about a month at a time when grass grows fast. He asked the two boys who lived next door to take care of mowing the grass and they agreed.
When he returned after a month, everything looked the same as normal. Then he drove around the side of the house and there was something strange in the lawn. The boys had left a little strip that they didn’t cut and here was this strip of grass, maybe thirty cm. high. He wasn’t so happy and he asked them why they did it. They said, “We just wanted you to realise what it would be like if we didn’t do anything.” Maybe we can come into a gathering like this and think it is all normal but to be able to enjoy all that we expect to enjoy, there is a work going on and it is only because of God’s spirit working in each life that we are all here.
Sometimes our enemy tries to discourage us. We look over the past year and feel we would like to forget it. We can be thankful that we are here because if we hadn’t been seeking God maybe we wouldn’t even be thinking about God; we would be like that patch of grass that was growing wild. God made Adam a living soul and it is like Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3) God made man with the capacity to see things and weigh it all up and come to a conclusion, and God looks down and realises that most do draw their own conclusions and they don’t include Him. We marvel at the way God has created us but unless the experience of being born again happens, we cannot even see the Kingdom of God.
God shows us how great He is and how limited we are and maybe God will ask us to do something and we won’t see any point in it. In John 13, when Jesus came to wash Peter’s feet, Peter could not see any reason for it and he actually used the word, “Never,” but Jesus said, “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with Me.” One thing Peter wanted was to be with Christ and when he realised it was the only way to be united with Christ, then he wanted the washing. Sometimes God shows us something in our lives that He would like to be different and we have the same reaction, we feel it is not a hindrance to us being Godly, but often, God wants to see if we will pay attention and obey Him. When we were children, our Mum used to ask us boys to help clear the table and wash the dishes. Sometimes, she would use a certain china set and she would not allow us to carry it or wash it. It was one that her mother had received as a wedding present and it was very precious. I suppose she wasn’t sure if we would be careful enough and we didn’t understand how precious it was, so it was out of bounds for us. God wants to give His spirit to people but God first wants to see if we can be counted on to do things the way He tells us. One of the greatest weaknesses of human nature is when we are given instructions, we think most of the instructions are good, but we can change things a little. God wants to see people that He can count on to do things exactly as He asks.
God said to Abram, “Walk before me, and be thou perfect.” I suppose all of us shy away when we are asked to do something and it has to be perfect, but I realise that even small children have the capacity to understand what is being asked of them and if they want to, they can obey perfectly. Yet we, with our human reasoning, understand what has been asked and something in us rebels and instead of wanting to please God, we don’t want to do the thing exactly. All of us have been given the invitation to live on this earth in such a way that God can look down and be happy with us.
In the New Testament, God was able to say, “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” It would be wonderful if God could point us out to someone that we did not know, who was wondering if God’s way does exist on the earth, and if He could say, “Watch that person because I am the God of that person.” If God’s spirit is dwelling in us, His spirit will be able to speak to people about what they see in us and He will be glorified.