As you may recall from last time, we sought to apply the word of God to kill boasting at the heart and mind level where it begins. This week we’ll discover how God designed our eyes as the vehicle to inspire us to glory in God.
To boast in God rather than ourselves we need to open our eyes to that which glorifies God. And one of the biggest things that glorifies God is His creation!
CREATION GLORIFIES GOD
It was my first time. At the visitor center, I paid for a multi-day pass and later stepped onto a bus that drove me to the park entrance. The tall bushes and trees on either side of the road blocked my view and, consequently, muted my excitement, at least for the time being. I could only see two things ahead of me: the curving road and the back of the bus driver’s head. I sat up anyways towards the front of the seat, just in case I caught a first glimpse around each new bend. No such luck.
When the bus finally stopped, my feet hurried to the first viewing area, where I saw groups of people at a railing overlooking the vista. As I got closer and closer, my steps slowed and I tried to ground myself on the pavement. I walked to the ledge and finally reached out and gripped it!
It was my first encounter with the Grand Canyon!
Turning my head to span the horizon, I looked over miles and miles of an expanse of multicolored rock layers and deep ravines. It just went on and on. There was a stillness in the air, despite the voices I could hear around me.
Standing in the middle of time, a mere mortal, looking over thousands of years of God’s geological formation, the only thing that escaped my mouth was a breathless, “Wow…WOW!”
Walking along the dirt paths and up to the canyon ledges, I didn’t look at my phone. I didn’t want to check out the latest news. I didn’t want to talk to anyone or send anyone an open-mouthed emoji, capturing my newsworthy day or emotions.
I didn’t think much of anything else other than the marvel of nature stretched out before me and the God Who had created it.
At one point, I picnicked against a rock and gazed over the canyon for what seemed like an hour and a half in quiet praise. Far in the distance, overlooking a ledge, I saw tiny people, an inch tall, standing as if in front of eternity. Life looked so fragile, short and minuscule, next to the huge jagged faces of the canyon walls.
Do they know how small they are? Do I?
GRANDER THOUGHTS OF GOD LEAD TO SMALLER THOUGHTS OF OURSELVES
When I behold Your heavens,
the work of Your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which You have set in place—
what is man that You are mindful of him,
or the son of man that You care for him? (Psalm 8:3-4)
That trip to the Grand Canyon was a spiritual experience for me! God opened my eyes to see things from a different perspective. I knew this spiritual truth from before, but now I was face to face with it: God is big and eternal; I am tiny and here for a moment!
Isaiah also had a vision of God’s greatness that had to be compelling enough to comfort Israel through the ages, despite all their trials and persecution:
Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or marked off the heavens with the span of his hand?
Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on a scale and the hills with a balance?
Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket;
they are considered a speck of dust on the scales; He lifts up the islands like fine dust.
All the nations are as nothing before Him; He regards them as nothingness and emptiness.
–Isaiah 40: 12,15,17
GOD WOOING US
God captures our hearts and draws our attention to Who He is through the beauty of His creation. When God first created Adam and Eve, He placed them in a garden called Eden, or Delight, to romance mankind.
We can only dimly understand the beauty of what we lost, by looking at the world around us today. Despite living in a fallen creation, we still encounter breathtaking waterfalls, Great Barrier Reefs, Grand Canyons, deep pure water lakes, tropical rainforests, pink and orange sunsets, and night skies filled with swirling constellations of twinkling stars, etc.
Before there was one word of God written down in the Bible, God spoke and revealed Himself through Creation.
THE HEAVENS DECLARE THE GLORY OF GOD; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. –Psalm 19:1-4 (Caps mine)
CAN SOMEONE BE SAVED BY LOOKING AT CREATION?
The answer is “Yes!” My mom was led to believe in God, after looking at a tree as a child. She came from a Buddhist family, where there was an “enlightened path,” but not a clear concept of God, let alone a Savior for mankind. One day, she observed a tree with a different pair of eyes. She knew Someone had created it and she began to wonder Who that was. She saw the evidence for Intelligent Design, which pointed to a Creator of the Universe.
I’m so glad she did!
From there, she began to attend a nearby church, where she began to learn more about God and the rest is history.
The Bible bears witness to what my mom experienced:
For 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. –Romans 1:20
That passage goes on to say that fallen human beings suppress the knowledge of God in their love for unrighteousness. God may be speaking clearly, but mankind covers its eyes and plugs up its ears shouting, “Nah, nah, nah, NAH, I can’t hear you!” Sadly, fallen people embrace lies, because they don’t want to live accountable to a God Who created them in love.
My mom, on the other hand, did not suppress this knowledge, but stayed open and receptive to what God wanted to teach her.
CREATION SO REFLECTS GOD, PEOPLE ARE TEMPTED TO WORSHIP IT
The beauty and glory of God through nature is so powerful that people groups throughout the ages have worshiped nature rather than allowing nature to bring them to a clearer perception of our Creator.
And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars–all the heavenly array–do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the LORD your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven. –Deuteronomy 4:19
CREATION SO REFLECTS GOD, SATAN TRIES TO TURN US AWAY FROM IT
Here’s just one example. Since creation glorifies God, satan tries to focus our attention on the tiny screen in our hands rather than the beauty of what God created. He’d much rather have us in front of a TV screen or playing video games than outside experiencing God’s creation. The devil wants to “wow” us with virtual reality and the latest technology, so we get caught up in the world he’s created rather than gaze at what only God could create.
CREATION SO REFLECTS GOD, SATAN LIES ABOUT ITS SOURCE
Mankind may suppress the knowledge of God through their wickedness, but the devil helps them along by trying to convince everyone of false concepts like the “Big Bang Theory” and “Darwin’s theory of evolution.”
Do you realize that the Earth is just the right distance from the sun with the right mass, composition and tilt to sustain life? Did the “Big Bang” do all that… really?
Here are two resources that state amazing facts about the Earth, which inevitably support the intelligent design of a Creator:
An article about how the Earth perfectly sustains life: https://answersingenesis.org/astronomy/extrasolar-planets/just-right-for-life/
Planet Earth: Plan or Accident? https://www.icr.org/article/planet-earth-plan-or-accident/
When I consider how the Earth is perfectly set up for life, unlike the rest of the planets that can’t sustain life, it’s so much easier to believe God created this planet just for us.
Moreover, the intricate design of our bodies is enough to believe in Intelligent Design. Creationists highlight the complexity of the eye as a prime example.
Also, if we were animals created from a random set of circumstances and impersonal forces, then why does each person have their own unique set of fingerprints? Does random “evolution” care about how each person has been uniquely created?
The more we delve into Creation with honest and humble hearts, the more we see evidence for Intelligent Design! The more we see the incredible love and wisdom of our Heavenly Father!
And, yet, despite how many natural facts prove the concept of a Creator God, we don’t put our faith first and foremost in these discoveries, but in God’s Word! And, as always, we need to remember that “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17)
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. –Hebrews 11:3 (Caps mine.)
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness, to rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, and over all the earth itself and every creature that crawls upon it.”
So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. –Genesis 1:6, 27
GENESIS 1: HOW WAS THE EARTH CREATED
Living in today’s world, it’s so important to digest Genesis 1, along with the rest of the passages that describe God as Creator.
After God created all the different categories of life: plants, birds, sea creatures and land animals, He applies a hard break. In other words, none of these other categories of life were created in the image of God.
When God finally creates mankind, He creates them in His own image, totally other than the fish of the sea, the birds of the air and the animals that roam the land! In fact, God calls human beings to have dominion authority over every lower life form. Make no mistake about it, we are not animals, but exist in a completely different category! It doesn’t take a biology degree to tell there’s a vast difference between human beings and animals.
God also uses a very important phrase after he creates each category of living being. He clearly states that they were all created to reproduce after their own kind. In other words, one species CANNOT EVOLVE into a totally different species! He uses this phrase repeatedly ten different times in a single chapter to describe the pattern of created order.
God must have anticipated how satan would try to use “the theory of evolution” to destroy the truth of where we came from, going all the way back to Genesis 1, to Creation and to His identity as Creator God!
How do I know these attacks are happening? Consider the current debate in our society over how many genders there are. Once again, our eyes can help us here. Even without any knowledge of the X or Y chromosome that determines gender, we can plainly see there are only two genders: male and female.
So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. –Genesis 1:27
TAKE THE “ANCIENT PATHS” AND YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS
This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. –Jeremiah 6:16
As Christians living in our times, we are each at a crossroads. We will either flow with the general trend of society OR we will ask for and return to the ancient paths.
It’s my conviction that to glorify God we need to go back to the context God originally created where praise would arise!
Words like “modern” and “progress” as commonly used by people in the world these days suggest a positive movement towards greater enlightenment. But, in reality, much of this movement is away from the ways, character and glory of God.
At this point, the all-important question is “How will we go back and live lives as God intended?” If you want some suggestions, look below in the Application section.
Of course, there are always more ways one can apply God’s truth, but these are some things I encourage you to consider.
- Do a topical study on creation and God as Creator. If you want to know and understand God as Creator in the face the deception in our current society, then take the time and effort to feed on the word of God in this area.
- Plan a trip to a national park! Go to a place where God’s creation is the main attraction. Make it a point to unplug while you are there.
- Take extended times to walk on the beach, watch a sunrise or sunset, lie down on the grass and look up at the clouds, have a picnic in the park, etc. The point is to take in nature as a lifestyle change. Get out of the house and experience God’s creation!
- Do a deep study on Genesis chapters 1-3. I had already done this study by the time I visited the Grand Canyon. It prepared me to open my eyes and encounter God in a new way while there. That study changed my life.
- Do your own research on creationism websites. Arm yourself with the facts from those who’ve studied this subject for decades! The websites answersingenesis.org and icr.org are good places to start!
- Plant a garden.
- Make a commitment to believe the word of God above all else and study it more in light of the times we’re living in. (Romans 3:4) Fortify your faith!
- Minimize your use and dependency on technology, not only for work and personal use, but also as a source of entertainment. Don’t let your eyes be captivated by the virtual reality on big or small screens, when there’s a world of wonder waiting for you to richly experience. It was created for you in love.
- Meditate on Isaiah 40 and other passages like it. Find all kinds of ways to boast in the God of creation!