Francis Chan does a great job describing who and what God is in his first chapter. Really it would be impossible for me to describe all he said unless I just posted the chapter on here, but I will try to paraphrase key points.
At the beginning he clearly brings to light what a self centered and distracted society we are. We are always on the go, with very little desire to stop and listen to God’s voice. How often do we take notice of His work in our lives and praise Him for it? How often do we pray and talk to Him without rushing into His presents, with reverence? On average we would have to admit that it is not often, at least that is true in my life anyway. When do I stop and become inspired and aware of the magnificence of God? The entire first chapter made me feel very small and insignificant, yet valued and amazed that God would choose me out of His entire universe to have a relationship with me.
Who and what is God? According to Chan, He is holy, eternal, all-knowing, all-powerful, fair, and just. The point that struck me the hardest is that God is all-powerful. I am somewhat of a control freak. Those that have heard where I have come from in life know that I have fought very hard to get where I am, yet I cannot take all the credit, or even most of it for that matter. Without God’s intervention in my life I never would have made it, not even close. So why do I insist on trying to control my life and circumstances? Here is a quote from the book that hit me like a ton of bricks:
Psalm 115:3 reveals, “Our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases.” Yet we keep on questioning Him: “Why did you make me with this body, instead of that one?” “Why are so many people dying of starvation?” “Why are there so many planets with nothing living on them?” “Why is my family so messed up?” “Why don’t you make yourself more obvious to the people who need you?”
The answer to each of these questions is simply this: because He’s God. He has more of a right to ask us why so many people are starving. As much as we want God to explain Himself to us, His creation, we are in no place to demand that He give an account to us. “All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as He pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back His hand or say to Him: ‘What have you done?’” (Daniel 4:35) Can you worship a God who isn’t obligated to explain His actions to you? Can it be your arrogance that makes you think God owes you an explanation?
WOW! Now slap the other side of my head so I can look forward again! PLEASE! Powerful words and verses! Who am I? Nothing, and nobody. My life is in God’s hands entirely. My dreams, desires, hopes, fears; you name it. To be honest I am almost scared to keep reading. I am scared of what else God is going to string up in my life. I am a proud, selfish, arrogant ass. (Pardon my Hebrew)
To end the chapter, Chan looks at the accounts of John and Isaiah bearing witness to what they saw when in the presence of God. It was so magnificent they almost couldn’t describe it. That gave me a longing. Not to sound morbid, but it almost gave me a desire to die, but in a good way! There is so much more than the crap lives we live on this earth and I look forward to that.
Please pray for me as I continue in this book. I know some unpleasantries are ahead.