This morning, we continue to learn and grow in our understanding of how God brings revelation to us. After all, just one single revelation from God can radically transform our lives, our communities, and even the entire world.
We learned about God revealing Himself through His word and how important it is to dedicate time to just pursuing the Presence of God just like the students of Asbury college are doing now.
We learned the powerful reality of what happens when we choose to pray in the Spirit making perfect intercession. We also learned about how God, through the Holy Spirit within us, often speaks to us inside our minds through our thought life and imagination. We often call these dreams or visions or even just hearing the voice of God.
This morning, we turn back to the beginning as we see how God pours out His revelation and speaks to us through His creation. We call this general revelation. This general revelation breaks all barriers of language or education or wealth or access to a Bible translation or anything else that can prevent understanding between God and man.
However, God can certainly also speak specifically to us through what He has created. Just ask Moses about the burning bush or Balaam about his donkey.
God can also just show up in creation like Jesus in the flesh or the Holy Spirit descending on Jesus like a dove when He was water baptized or those in the upper room having tongues of fire on their heads and the sound of a mighty blowing wind when the Spirit was poured out at Pentecost. God’s creation can reveal Him quite specifically as well!
Psalm 19:1-4 (A psalm of David.)
1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
3 They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
4 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
God’s creation reveals so much about Him that we so easily miss because it has become so common to us. His invisible qualities are clearly revealed through His visible creation all around us.
…since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
In the beginning, God spoke and created the entire universe all around us. He spoke and in six days created everything that we experience with our senses and even those things which we are still exploring and discovering.
He then rested on the seventh day as a rhythm and pattern for us to follow later commanded as the Sabbath day.
We very literally depend on the word of God for our life every day. Every single aspect of our lives are sustained by what God spoke. God’s word upholds us. Whether we acknowledge God’s existence or His power and authority or not, it doesn’t change the reality that we live by His word in the most literal sense.
John stated it very poetically this way:
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
God spoke and created everything with one exception – mankind. We were literally made different from the rest of all of creation.
26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
27 So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
5 Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground, 6 but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground. 7 Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
Different from the rest of creation, we were not created by the voice of God. God stepped into His creation and personally shaped and formed mankind with His own hands and breathed His own breath of life into his nostrils. We were created in the image of God and were given authority to rule over what He created.
When we look in the mirror, when we search within ourselves, when we interact with one another, we are seeing glimpses of God.
We are like icons. We are an image representing who God is. We are not God, Himself, but an image of Him. We are a unique part of God’s creation; reflections of who God is. We are each certainly fearfully and wonderfully created; knit together by God in the womb of our mothers.
We, ourselves, are a revelation of God.
Within creation, God set predictable patterns and rhythms and times and seasons.
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
Here in the great state of Pennsylvania, we see the beauty throughout fall as leaves reach the final season of their lives and die throughout winter. Then, how the fallen seeds throughout that season burst forth in brand new life as spring arrives. God is able to bring life from death and has set apart times and seasons for everything.
The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
We see the paradox within creation as things are always the same and yet always different. Every day the sun rises and the sun sets and yet every single time that it happens, the painted sky is completely different. Never once is it exactly the same even though it happens in the same way every day.
Every day, people are born. They are so much alike and yet so different. Not any two people are the same from the beginning to the end of time. Even identical twins are different from one another. The same and yet different.
Consider the countless flakes of snow that fall in the winter and how no two of them are exactly the same. Their chemical makeup is exactly the same and yet the crystals form completely different shapes so beautiful and intricate even if it exists only for moments before melting again and even if it is never seen by anyone. The same and yet different.
God’s creation revealing Himself. Always the same and yet always different.
Just as God is constant; the same yesterday today and forever, and yet He rarely acts the same way twice. God provides for our needs and yet one time it is a coin in a fish’s mouth, the next time it is a raven bringing meat, the next time it is a jar of oil that doesn’t run out, the next time it is a few loaves of bread and fish that miraculously feed thousands, the next time it is speckled or spotted sheep, and so on. Constantly a provider and yet providing in different ways.
Within creation, God has set boundaries. Everything exists in an orderly fashion each reproducing after its own kind. So much order exists that we have been able to develop genealogies and classifications and taxonomies. God is orderly and a planner and One who wisely separates and distinguishes and sets boundaries.
There are boundaries between land and ocean, between the vacuum of space and our atmosphere, between our planet and the sun, around the membrane of a cell, in our throats to direct air to our lungs and food and drink to our stomached, and so on.
When these boundaries are honored, all co-exists in harmony and balance and life is sustained. When these boundaries are crossed, chaos breaks out and life is lost.
He also intentionally set apart boundaries for nations.
26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.
Everything in all creation points to Jesus.
15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
Of course, none of us were there at the beginning to see all of this take place, so it is by faith alone that we can accept and understand these truths. Though we were not there at the beginning, we can see the Creator in all that He created. The evidence is all around us and even we, ourselves, are evidence of His workmanship.
By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
By faith we understand that all was created as God spoke and that we were created in His image. Our words hold more creative power and authority than we realize. No, we are not God and we won’t accidentally speak an entire universe into existence. However, our words do create more than we may realize.
We speak into existence atmospheres of grumbling complaining or eager excitement. We speak encouragement and hope into lives or discouragement and doubt. We speak to create boldness and courage or fear and hesitation.
Our words reveal our faith; what we truly believe.
2 Corinthians 4:13-15
13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
Hopefully, we become a little more intentional about speaking words that agree with God’s so that His grace reaches more and more people that causes thanksgiving to overflow and result in glory to God!
Here are just a few proverbs about the creative power of our tongue to keep in mind:
The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone.
A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and a flattering mouth works ruin.
There is so, so, so much that can be revealed about God through His creation and He can certainly speak to us through it in a lot of really unique ways.
So, keep your senses alert as you are seeking after God because He just might be pouring out His revelation to you through His creation around us!