Not long ago a young pastor posted a photo of their church sanctuary saying, as best I remember, "God wants to wreck us here in the morning."  Two thoughts emerged in my reading that.  First, when we truly come before Him in worship, He most definitely desires to "wreck us."  Secondly, I believe few of us are desirous of being wrecked.
     In Isaiah 6:5, Isaiah, in his encounter with the awesome wonder of God, says, "Woe is me....I am ruined."  Ruined in the Presence of the Lord.  There can never be any other result for anyone who has such an encounter with Him.  To see Him, to encounter Him, to know Him, is to be ruined.  The Father told Moses that "No one may see Me and live," and He spoke truth.  We cannot see Him and continue to live the same self-absorbed, pleasure obsessed, lovers of this world lives.  That, along with our outlaw nature must die, so that we may truly live.  Such an encounter is, I believe, alien to most of our church gatherings, where we sing a few hymns, or a snappy chorus or three that may touch our emotions, but not our hearts.  We may hear a message that brings conviction, but not transformation.  We call it worship, but really, we've just attended a meeting.  We go out as we came in....the same.
    Oswald Chamber said that God's deepest desire is to reveal to us who He is.  Devotional writer Chris Tiegreen writes, "When we really understand who God is, the natural response is to offer Him whatever we can get our hands on....and all we have is ourselves......If we have not yet gotten to that point of laying ourselves on the altar before Him - without reservation - we have not yet encountered the living God."  We've not been wrecked.  We've not been ruined.  Make no mistake beloved, He most definitely desires to ruin us.  To ruin us for all that works in our lives to hold us captive to all in life that is not Him.  Jesus said "What does it profit a man if he would gain the whole world, but lose his soul."  Saul of Tarsus encountered the risen Christ on the Damascus road.  This encounter transformed him, he was ruined forever as to who he had been, made new by He who is.   Saul of Tarsus was now the apostle Paul.  There can be no other result for anyone who has truly seen Him.  Have you yet seen Him?
    I heard a panel of "talking heads" recently ask the question "Is America becoming more religious?" citing the number of movies and cable programs that feature religious or spiritual themes.  What we miss in the question is what it means to be religious.  I've heard religion defined as "man's ideas about God."  My ideas, your ideas about Him are meaningless when they're based on our own understanding.  These "ideas" need to be ruined, wrecked, so that our understanding is replaced by His.  Human reason and logic will never encounter God, but a heart that is truly drawn to Him will.  If you have such a heart, beware, for it will surely lead to an encounter with Him, and encounter that will ruin you for the world if you embrace Him, but ruin you for Him if you reject Him. 
Out of the wreckage of the first comes true life, from the second, death.  Which will you have?

Pastor O


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   May 2019   
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