“For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.” (Romans 11:36; NASB)
A few years ago, popular author John Gray (Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus) released a new book: How to Get What You Want and Want What You Have. His thesis? “When you do your best, God does the rest.” In one place he reportedly writes, “Regardless of your particular orientation [of religion], when you let go after doing everything you can, you will receive what you want.”
Commenting on the book, one writer aptly notes, “Mr. Gray sells because he parrots the spirit of the age: Religion must serve us as therapy and if God exists, He is just a hand-holder who helps get you what you wanted anyway.” [My emphasis.]
All of this is simply idolatry clothed in new raiment. The idolatry is not singular but multiple. Some days it is self. Some days it is “freedom.” Sometimes it is “prosperity.”
Most days it is simply the forgetfulness of God and His position in our lives.
How then does one re-acquaint himself with God to remember Him and act as if He is alive? How does one live with increasing sensitivity to His presence in our lives? By recognizing and acknowledging that He is involved in every event of our lives.
The Scripture before us tells us to consciously and continually meditate and think on the truth that everything (car repairs, a glass of orange juice, a friendship, leaky gutters, bills in the mail, the universe and all it contains) is from His hand, sustained by His purposes, and made for His glory. And He alone is worthy to receive glory and honor for all of eternity (which is a pretty long time).
Commenting on Romans 11:36, theologian W. G. T. Shedd notes that the things that are from Him are a reference to His creative power. That which is sustained through Him refers to His providential preservation. And as all things are to Him means that He is the ultimate end of all things. And “all the divine acts and their consequences, in the three great spheres of creation, providence, and redemption…these are intended to manifest the divine excellence, and thereby to promote the worship and glory of God by the creature.”
Do you want to be aware of His presence in Your life? [Note that the question is not: do you desire God to be present in Your life? He already is. Our task is not to “get Him involved;” it is to recognize what He is already doing.] Then prayerfully and consciously acknowledge to Him in every circumstance: “Lord, You have brought or allowed this in my life for the express purpose of being glorified through it and me. You are sovereign over it and me. And You are infinitely able to sustain me through it. Cause my response to be one of God-honoring trust and recognition.”
MEDITATION: “An elementary but correct way to think about God is as the one who contains all, who gives all this is given, but who Himself can received nothing that He has not first given.” [A. W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy.]