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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Why Nothing Makes Sense

Image from workstride.
If you haven't read Ecclesiastes yet, you should now. The Teacher (King Solomon) experimented on life and found out that nothing really makes sense in this world, even things we do for God if he's not in it. It's amusing to find Solomon (whom God gave great wisdom) saying, "Do not be overrighteous, neither be overwise-- why destroy yourself?

In this meaningless life of mine I have seen both of these: the righteous perishing in their righteousness, and the wicked living long in their wickedness. 16 Do not be overrighteous, neither be overwise—why destroy yourself? [Ecclesiastes 7]

But it wasn't Solomon alone who saw it. Many other Old Testament prophets also did. Jeremiah was so pissed off with his life at one time that he wished he were dead at birth. He even felt "deceived" by God. Elijah, after performing great signs and wonders against Baal's prophets on Mt. Carmel, wanted to die because he felt everything was useless. Paradoxically, the more you know God and go closer to him, the more you see how nothing makes sense in this world, sometimes even in ministry. 

Peter warned everyone to "save yourselves from this corrupt generation." He wrote in one of his letters how, "The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare." Regardless of man's achievements, they are all nothing and pointless to God. You think you have lots of accomplishments? Wait till God demolishes all of them so you'd know that no one is great except God alone and nothing is good except what He has done.

And here's Peter's conclusion:

Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives.

In short, we ought to be people who see everything as God sees them.

All will be wasted because nothing here makes sense. Here's how Isaiah put it:

See, the Lord is going to lay waste the earth and devastate it; he will ruin its face and scatter its inhabitants—2 it will be the same for priest as for people, for the master as for his servant, for the mistress as for her servant, for seller as for buyer, for borrower as for lender, for debtor as for creditor. 3 The earth will be completely laid waste and totally plundered. The Lord has spoken this word. [Chap.24]

And not just them, Jesus also confirmed it.

What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? [Mark 8]

The world is a cheat. It's a big lie. Nothing makes sense here. You try to make a name for yourself here and you suffer big loss. It's bad investment. And sadly, many churches today go for this. They want to be great here. They want recognition and acceptance so they try to be the best church denomination. You do this and you build your house on sand. Yup, you may become popular and recognized and successful in this world. But what shall it profit you in the end?

No wonder Jesus' glorious church, which is without spot or wrinkle, has no permanent address here or "headquarters." In fact, you hardly see it even in churches. And many Christians and pastors pay less attention to it (if any) because they don't see it themselves. So they pay attention more to their churches and that's what they build and develop. But Jesus' glorious church is located in His Kingdom, and his invisible yet visible Kingdom "is not of this world." He said it's "from another place," [John 18.36]. Because nothing makes sense here. If you're going to build anything for God, it should not be here. Build it in the Kingdom.

That's why you find lots of churches advertising their ministries and displaying their good deeds. You'd do so if you're after recognition in this world. But if you believe in Jesus, you'd do them in secret. And your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. Oh, but many churches don't believe this anymore! They want to be mega churches and they want it now. So they promote themselves. That's how you build in this world.

If you want to build in the Spirit, you'd do everything according to what Jesus says. No wonder he did his miracles in remote places. And in some instances he hid immediately from the public. He even warned some people not to tell who he was. I don't see this anymore. Everyone wants to be known and to be great.

Well, if you're going to be great in this world, let God do it. It's possible. I know some great servants of God who built a lot of ministries but remained meek. But you see, it has lots of risks. God, at one time, allowed Israel to be great. But Israel became proud and forgot about God.

Jeshurun grew fat and kicked; filled with food, they became heavy and sleek. They abandoned the God who made them and rejected the Rock their Savior. [Deuteronomy 32.15]

And...

When I fed them, they were satisfied; when they were satisfied, they became proud; then they forgot me. [Hosea 13.6]

Your career, position, titles, degrees---anything you value in this life makes no sense. You'd probably say, "So, why not gain Jesus and the world?" It's safer that way, right? But Jesus said you cannot serve two masters. You cannot be great in this world and in heaven, too. This was why Jesus chose to be born a nobody and live the life of an ordinary guy. He should've chosen to be Caesar's son and be godly at the same time to gain both God and the world. But it doesn't work that way. Friendship with the world is enmity with God, says James.

God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son to die for it. But he did so to save it, because it was wretched, corrupt and useless. He didn't "love" the world because it was worthy. It was like Israel while it was in Egypt in Moses' time. Anything they built there only strengthened their enemy. They had to build in the Promise Land. They had to get out---which they hated doing. They loved Egypt. And until the Kingdom of this world becomes the Kingdom of the Lord and His Christ [Revelation 11.15], it's useless to build anything here. Meantime, we must build only in the Spirit, only in His Kingdom on earth.

If you love this world and do ministry, you build nothing but temples that can be destroyed literally. So, when Jesus said "Destroy this temple and in 3 days I will raise it up," the world lovers thought he was talking of their temple. They had no idea, whatsoever, that it was his body. And even today, those who do ministry but build in this world think it's still all about literal temples. They build a lot of temples that can be destroyed literally.

For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God's presence. [Hebrews 9.24]

We must build in heaven itself, just as our Lord did then and does today. This is possible through Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit. And to do this, you must see why nothing makes sense in this world. To make sense of anything, it should be done with God and in his realms alone. Make sure nothing you do for God is tainted by the world and its ways and standards.

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