Every once in a while, I’m reminded of some of the conversations friends and I had during our very early years as Christians—ones marked more by ignorance than any particular insight into the things of God. One of the most common phrases I remember coming out of our mouths is, “When I get to heaven, Jesus and I are going to talk about [insert issue here].” This was almost always uttered with that certain arrogant tone that makes you want to flick someone in the forehead (even if it’s you).
This weekend’s message at our church brought this foolish talk to mind once again, and I found myself wishing I could travel back in time to share the following truths from God’s Word with my younger self. I would tell past-me to read the following verses (among many others) and consider the implications:
Who has measured the Spirit of the LORD, or what man shows him his counsel? Whom did he consult, and who made him understand? Who taught him the path of justice, and taught him knowledge, and showed him the way of understanding?
2 Chron. 20:6:
“O LORD, God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In your hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand you.”
It is God who executes judgment, putting down one and lifting up another.
Whatever the LORD pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
“Before I [God] formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
…all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and [God] does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?”
So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.
The Lord determines our days; He executes judgment; He appoints our purpose (whether a prophet, pastor or pastry chef); He brings low and exalts. He does whatever He pleases and no one can say to Him, “What have you done?” No one can give Him counsel, nor is anyone qualified.
It is arrogant and foolish in our thinking that we have any authority over Him. That I—or any of us—had the audacity to flippantly suggest that I could question Him… Had I really understood this back in those early days, I hope it would have turned my grumbling into prayerful questions. From “we’re going to talk about this,” to “help me to understand your purposes in this.” When we get to heaven, we will have questions, but we won’t be arrogantly demanding answers.
Sometimes we (especially me) need a reminder on who we’re talking about when we talk about God. We need to remember who’s in charge—because it’s not us.