#4 The Myth That God Is Only Into Himself
9 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. 11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
The God of the Cross destroys celebrity.
There is little room for celebrity when following The Crucified Carpenter King.
Yes, He wants you to know His will.
Yes, He wants you to know what He thinks about everything (for there is life in His thoughts). He wants you to know His thoughts. He wants you to behold His creativity.
Jesus not only pays the high cost of His life so that you might know His will, but also gives you the new nature required to walk in it.
This is the wonder of the Lord Jesus, The Crucified Carpenter King.
The conventional wisdom on the prairie is that everyone in Hollywood from “A” list stars to waiters have a screen play, “You simply must read”.
So, riddle me this: If you walk up to Steven Spielberg at a diner and say, “Hey Steve. I’ve read everything you’ve ever done, read my thing, please. I’ve read your thoughts, here are mine. Fair is fair.” and hold your hand out waiting for compensation, what do you think will happen?
Unless you are the waiter, you won’t receive a dime.
Yet this is how celebrity works. There is a creative caste. They have the resources and clout to bring every thought and whim of theirs to life on the silver screen or in the garden that is a book. We fork over our meager wages to watch or read their every whim before we even know if it is any good. Furthermore, the process is rarely, if ever reciprocated.
This is called platform.
This is called celebrity.
This interesting phenomenon exists even within the Christian Church.
Let us not even get into the swamp that is Christian Twitter except to point out that the man in the pew could teach you a thing or two, but you refuse to dilute your “following” count beyond your fellows: famous and familial.
There are conferences galore for every theological tradition, camp and denomination, not just calvinists and evangelicals.
But if your face is not on the poster, your job is to pay and listen.
That is alright, I suppose. I understand that speakers don’t want to hear someone’s life story during the Q&A, neither do I.
I understand that speakers don’t want to fight their way through the conference mob on the way to their chicken din din, neither do I.
I understand, but the world is full of this sort of celebrity, this is why I love the Lord Jesus’ style.
You do not know, nor can you fathom, even the sharpest among you, the glory the Lord Jesus put aside to walk among us dustlings.
9 “For the sake of My name I delay My wrath, And for My praise I restrain it for you, In order not to cut you off. 10 “Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver ; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. 11 “For My own sake, for My own sake, I will act ; For how can My name be profaned ? And My glory I will not give to another.
~Isaiah 48:9-11 NASB
God is certainly about dustlings and sinners as well.
13 But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the first fruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. 14 To this He called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
~ 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14
The good news of Jesus Christ is that He gave His Glory up to become the second and better Adam. The Gospel is for your benefit and God’s Glory.
15 For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
2 Corinthians 4:15
The cross of Christ destroys the celebrity paradigm.
When we go to a movie or buy a book we are paying to know the thoughts of a creator who does not know or care about us.
God, on the other hand, knows everything about us (Psalm 139) and pays His Son’s life upon the cross (Philippians 2:8) so that we might know Him. Paul fleshes this out in Colossians 1:9-14. The knowing and the walking worthy of Him are only possible because God not only delivers the Christian from the domain of darkness but transfers him to the Kingdom of His beloved Son! There is no possibility of v. 9-11 without v. 12-14.
Our God pays so that we might know His mind.