Friday, July 16, 2010

God and Time

Author: Katie

This question was asked to me via a friend through email...

"Present, past, future... If God is outside of time, can we pray for things in the past?... Can I still pray for God to heal [a broken and dissolved] marriage, or to heal [a sick relative] from 30 years ago?"

Here are my thoughts in response to my friend's question....

It's not a matter of "if" God is outside of time. I don't even think that's an accurate way to state it. God is not "outside" of anything. God IS. He is the God of time...therefore He is not in or outside of the present, past, or future...but He is the ruler over it. If He wanted to change the past, He could. He doesn't have to travel there to do it either. Picture it like this...He is standing in the center of a circle. The circle is time. He sees it all and can pop in and out as He wishes...but He stays in the center and observes. He knows the future...and sees everything in the past...but He is actively involved in what we know as the present. God is the Author of time and we just have to believe it...not understand it. There are some things we can not and never will be able to wrap our minds around and we can make ourselves crazy trying to explain the unexplainable.

For me...I know I am supposed to pray. I know it's not because God needs it. Prayer is not a manipulation tactic. It's not to make a wish come true. Prayer is for me. It helps to create an awareness of my own concerns and my own heart...and it keeps me in communication with God. Without that communication, I cannot make it through life. When I talk to God, He talks back. I grow and am strengthened for battle. He already knows what I am going to say and He already knows the answer to my prayer. He already knows and has already met my need (I just haven't arrived there yet). He already knows the outcome of the situation and His plan to carry me through.

Prayer makes me aware of His presence and His work in my life. Prayer keeps me in communication and fellowship. Prayer does change changes me. It changes how I respond to people and life's situations. Praying for others teaches me to be others focused. Then, when I see God work in those situation, it gives me testimony and it glorifies Him. I am not going to pray for something in the past to change because God is Lord over the past and He allowed things to unfold as they did because it made the present what it is...and since He is in control of all things...the present is exactly how He has ordained it to be...pain and suffering, happiness and health, joy and sorrow, it is what it is by His authority.

He gave us free will from the beginning. It is what we do with that gift that molds the events in life...and we are all connected by that free will and affected by that free will and the connection goes all the way back to the deception in the garden. God allows us to experience consequences because He is perfect and works through those consequences. They are not bigger than Him.

So, in a manner of speaking...the forbidden fruit that brought sin into the world is the past, present, AND future. It is sin that makes life ugly and spreads like a disease...a fire out of control. Everything we do impacts everyone around us. It goes further than we can imagine. Do you think that if Eve could have seen and understood the consequences of eating the fruit, that she would still have done it? If she could have seen the world today as a result of her decision to turn her back on God? Her sin didn't begin with eating the fruit...but with putting self above God and Adam (others)...that is the fruit that poisons us all to this day. But we have a merciful God who has always had a plan to provide for the forgiveness of sin and our reconciliation to Him.

Before Eve was created, God already planned to send the Redeemer...because prior to Eve's sin (the past) God was. He was there when she turned from Him (her present)...and during Christ's birth death and Resurrection (mankind's future). It is all present for God because He is all in all and everywhere. He is perfect. He is Holy. He is just. He is merciful. He is righteous and all powerful. He is God. He is the Author and Creator of all life. I want to know Him more and I am more concerned with growing in faith and trust than having it all make sense tied up in a pretty little package of human logic. His ways are not like mine and my human logic is quite opposite of His. So I trust His because He is perfect. I know He will guide me. He has never failed to do that. I know when I am obedient, His blessings fall...even and in spite of suffering that may be a part of it. He is still God over my circumstances and I trust Him. He talks to me when I read His Word and when I pray. I know I will never figure out his "mind". His thoughts are so far beyond my I don't try to make sense of what will never make sense this side of Heaven. I just want to know His heart...and I want my heart to be like His. Then my heart will direct my mind and my thoughts will be of Him and others...not me. That's what matters.

The Holy Spirit will guide me into Truth. He will teach me what I need to know...on a need to know basis. I accept that there are questions I will never be able to have answered. I accept that there are answers I will never be able to comprehend in my human finite mind...and I am okay with that...because I know my Father knows the answers and my life is in His hands. Faith like a child...that's what I desire.

In a nutshell, we cannot change the course of History. God is not going to change it because He was in control when it happened...why should He change it? He allowed it for His purpose and for His glory...and for our good. (Those are His words not mine.)

Therefore, from a Kingdom is perfect part of His plan as it stands (even as ugly as it can appear from our perspective...but it can also be beautiful depending on how you look at it). He allows things to happen to make things what they are so that what is to come will be as He has ordained it. Nothing happens under the sun that is a surprise to Him....or that He cannot change or control at any given moment. It is what it is because He is Who He says He is.

What we see as good/bad...God sees as a tiny speck in the midst of a huge gloriously beautiful painting that He has already completed. We see the speck and the painting is too huge for us to see the whole picture...we must see through the eyes of the Artist and the only way we can do that is to be open for Him to show us...little by little in His time and His way by His choosing. He is perfect.

Our head must connect to our heart but our heart must first connect to God's...or else our heart will work with our mind to deceive us away from Him. History proves this. "Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes....."

I can really open another can off worms on suffering with this one because I believe that suffering began when man did the opposite of this proverb...and continues because we still do.

That is why I walk by faith and not by sight…..”

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