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Green Pastures and Still Waters

Do you ever struggle with stinkin’ thinkin’?  You probably do even when you don’t know it!  We are certainly more than thinking machines but our thoughts affect the way we live.  Ideas about what life is about and how to live are coming at us from many different sources.  They often disagree and while it’s confusing, we all pick some ideas and use them to live.  There are no originals, we are all living out one worldview or another that has already been tried.  We know from reading the Bible that there is an unseen realm that is purveying a world view void of God and His ways.  Some of the ideas are so deeply imbedded that we can’t even see them for what they are.  Once those ideas are exposed, it is very hard to change our mind about them, especially if we have argued and defended that idea.  You have probably heard it said of someone, “their mind is like concrete, thoroughly mixed and completely set.”  That’s a dangerous place to be.  The very first matter to address in spiritual formation (or discipleship) is an openness to change one’s mind.  Jesus said, “Repent, the Kingdom of Heaven is present.”  In our text for Sunday, Paul wrote, “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”  Renewing the mind is even more difficult than getting in shape.  It requires Holy Spirit power, the hammer of the Word of God and a willingness on our part to truly see that Jesus knows the way, and then trust Him.  Let’s be a people open to the Spirit’s work on our “noggins.”    

“God in the Dock,” is an essay by C.S. Lewis.  The dock being referenced is not a place for fishing or securing a boat.  He is referring to the place where the accused sits or stands in a courtroom.  Lewis wrote, “The ancient man approached God as the accused person approaches his judge.  For the modern man the roles are reversed.  He is the judge; God is in the dock.”  In other words, rather than humbly approaching the bench, modern man puts God on trial and demands He defend Himself.  At question here is whether God has to answer to man for His actions.  Does God seek counsel?  Does He owe any of us an explanation for what He does?  Does anyone have a full comprehension of the mind of the Lord?  Lord willing we’ll survey Romans 9-11 on Sunday.  It appears that some of the Jews had God in the dock.  Paul’s explanation of the gospel and his commitment to take it to the Gentiles proved to be a catalyst for some questions about God’s faithfulness.  Paul’s response was lengthy, about 90 verses of history and logic.  This section ends with a doxology reminding us of our place in this world.  God doesn’t answer to us but He loves us, wants us and offers us life.  Meditating on His goodness can keep us from asking God to defend His actions.  “For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever.  Amen.”