the spice box_The LORD, he is God!
By Sharon Robertson, Lt. Colonel
Cooling temperatures, autumn colors, shorter days, changing weather patterns—all remind us that winter is on the way. While expert meteorologists and “The Farmer’s Almanac” strive diligently to give us accurate forecasts derived from their interpretations of scientifically gathered data, none of us really knows what surprises nature has in store for us. We only know that difficult times may lie ahead, and we want to be prepared.
Though we hope for the best, winter can be capricious: beautiful, delightful and exciting one moment; threatening and deadly the next. That is the nature of this world of ours: bad things happen, not because our generation has sinned more than any past generation, but because that’s the way it is. If we are prudent, we pray for the best and prepare for the worst, and we don’t blame God when the going gets rough, because we love him and know that we are in his providential care, no matter what the circumstances. We trust that he will abide with us, and deliver us from the storm—more or less. God is our comforter, and we serve him out of what? Love? Appreciation? Gratitude?
There are times when we treat God like a security blanket, wrapping us in its warm folds, keeping the cold, threatening world away. We appreciate God’s reassuring presence and comforting promises, and are properly grateful for his abundant blessings and favorable answers to our requests, but we need always to keep in mind that God is under no obligation to you or me, and favorable answer or not, our obligation to him is always outstanding. Our devoted service (i.e. our worship as lived out day by day) is given as the service of a love-slave, one who serves out of love and consideration for the welfare of the Master, not because of the rewards (or answers to prayer) that he might give.
Yes, God is good; yes, God is loving; yes, God answers prayer; but those are not the reasons we should serve him. The real reason we ought to serve God is not for what we can get out of the relationship, but simply because he is God, and without him there is nothing. Nothing! Zilch! An absolute zero. He is not dependent on our beliefs; he does not exist because man needed him and, therefore, developed a concept of a god. By the grace of God he has revealed himself as he is, and because we know that, we owe him our devoted service. Because he made provision for our salvation through Jesus Christ, we are doubly in his debt; we owe him our humble, devoted service.
Winter is on its way. It may bring with it times of blessing and joy; it may bring times of suffering and even death—but whatever it brings, it will bring times of service and sacrifice; it will never bring that moment when disappointment or sorrow or bitterness or any other human condition can be allowed to sway the Christian servant from his calling to serve the Lord, because the LORD, He is God. It is He who hath made us, not we ourselves; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture (Ps. 100:3 KJV). We wouldn’t want it any other way.