and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Psalm 19:1 (ESV)
We can not escape God. We can deny Him-that is absolutely a choice! Yet, when we respond to creation, we respond to the creator.
O Lord, how many and varied are Your works! In wisdom have You made them all; the earth is full of Your riches and Your creatures. (AMP)
We are quite literally surrounded by the beauty and the handiwork of God each and every moment; in nature and in the interactions and relationships we have with others. Each and every one of us was created by God and for God, with a purpose and an invitation to be in a relationship with Him. We have the ability to either accept that invitation or to decline.
This invitation, however, requires a response. It is not enough to acknowledge the invitation or the one from who it has been sent.
2 Peter 1: 10 So, friends, confirm God’s invitation to you, his choice of you. Don’t put it off; do it now. Do this, and you’ll have your life on a firm footing, the streets paved and the way wide open into the eternal kingdom of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ. (MSG)
When we acknowledge the Lords invitation to relationship with us, when we respond to his magnificence and might, we are changed from the inside out. Something amazing and powerful happens inside of us and in the realm of the spirit. We are cleansed, forgiven, accepted, loved and known. We get a glimpse of what we were created to do-to be and then we spend the rest of our days trying to walk that out. BUT...this can not happen without your YES! It is not enough to say that Jesus exists; action on your part is also necessary.
2 Peter 1:3-4 says:
Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received! We were also given absolutely terrific promises to pass on to you—your tickets to participation in the life of God after you turned your back on a world corrupted by lust. (MSG)
Our response to God should be one of complete surrender and trust. The more we get to know Jesus and the more we submit to Him, we ultimately will begin to reflect Him in our everyday interactions. This will be evidenced by our lives and the lives of those we touch. . You can not manufacture this. It is an occurrence of the Spirit of God living inside of you. It is possible to do and say the "right" things in public to make yourself look good, but in the end your true character is shown and you fool none, especially not the Lord. Jesus is not impressed with those who are impressed with themselves. In fact He has some strong words for those who did this exact thing in His day. He called them white-washed tombs. Meaning they were nice to look at on the outside-but inside they were dead. There was no life giving spirit in the works they did.
You see, this brings no honor to God. Jesus is not glorified by christians who are more concerned with making themselves look good and gaining glory for their own names.
No. We are told in Deuteronomy 10:12
“And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require from you, but to fear [and worship] the Lord your God [with awe-filled reverence and profound respect], to walk [that is, to live each and every day] in all His ways and to love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul [your choices, your thoughts, your whole being]," (AMP)
and then Jesus reitirates this to us in Matthew 22:37
"And Jesus replied to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ (AMP)
Our response to God, to the sacrifice that Jesus made for us in order to reconcile us with the Father, is to love Him above all other things including ourselves; and to become the people He created us to be.
Too often we think that means the same thing for everybody. This is simply not true. God burdens our hearts toward different things and we are uniquely made and handcrafted. Although all believers should understand that there are certain blanket statements that apply to every single one of us, such as Micah 6:8
He has told you, O man, what is good;
"And what does the Lord require of you
Except to be just, and to love [and to diligently practice] kindness (compassion),
And to walk humbly with your God [setting aside any overblown sense of importance or self-righteousness]?" (amp)
This applies to the lives and hearts of every Christ follower.
But when it comes to who we are made to be, our personalities and unique life circumstances, loving Jesus and and responding to God can and usually will look differently. I have learned that when I submit my heart and emotions to the Lord, he steers me in the way that I should go. As I respond in obedience to Him, I don't concern myself with the opinions of others.
For me, learning this has been the ultimate test of loving God with all of my heart. To put him first-before my ideals, my reputation, my relationships, my convenience, my comfort, my desires. It is not always easy and I definitely do not always get it right!
Day after day, moment-by-moment, I respond again to the call to be the woman/daughter/wife/mother/sister/friend He has called me to be.