The Living God
“My soul thirsts for God, for the Living God” – Psalm 42:2
Aaron Ansuini was thoroughly enjoying his on-line History of Art class presented by Concordia University, in Montreal. He found the professor, François-Marc Gagnon, especially delightful. Ansuini described him as a “sweet old French guy who’s just absolutely thrilled to talk paintings of snow and horses, and somehow he always manages to make it interesting.”
But when Aaron wanted to ask a question, he got the shock of his life. He searched for the professor’s email, but only found his obituary. Dr. Gagnon had died nearly two years before. Through a mutual agreement with its teachers, Concordia University maintains the rights to their video lectures. This, of course, is a cost-saving measure. They use the professor’s video lectures as they would use a textbook. But they failed to inform the students that they were being taught by a dead man.
Because of Covid-19, so much class instruction now takes place via Zoom meetings. Therefore, Ansuini and his fellow classmates assumed that the livestream of his lectures were by a living person. They were profoundly disappointed to find out their beloved professor was dead.
This made me think of people who listen to voice of Dr. J. Vernon McGee in his “Thru the Bible” radio broadcasts. These Bible classes are heard around the world. People love to listen to Dr. McGee’s Bible teaching. But they mustn’t become too enamored with the man himself. Why? Because he’s been dead since 1988, yet his broadcasts – which began in 1967, continue to this day. Yes, though dead, still he speaks.
But we must never think of God in this way. When we read Scripture or listen to a sermon, we’re not just listening to something that God spoke and did millennia ago. It’s in no way like the old Star Trek episode, “Return of the Archons,” in which a computer merely generates the image and voice of a wise man who died 6,000 years earlier. God is the Living God. And when we read the Bible the Living God speaks afresh through its pages by the Holy Spirit. God enlightens our minds to words written up to 3,500 years ago. But He is continually opening our eyes to fresh and vivid insights.
God is the Living God. And He’s more active in our lives than we could ever imagine. Just look at God’s activity in His creation – upholding its very existence, order, and complexity. It is His power which keeps our hearts beating 115,000 times each day, pumping 2,000 gallons in a 24-hour period through 60,000 miles of blood vessels and capillaries to nourish and remove waste from the 37 to 100 trillion cells that make up our body. It is God who keeps our lungs breathing 22,000 times each day. It is God who keeps the marrow in our bones producing two to three million red blood cells every second – or about 173 to 259 billion every day. Some of these cells live for only a few days. Others, like neurons will last a lifetime. All this activity is maintained by God.
But your body only represents the tiniest fraction of God’s activity in the universe. There’s also the other 8.5 billion people on earth, as well as the other estimated 10 to 14 million species of living organisms. God is intensely active keeping every organism in Earth’s biosphere alive and reproducing. As we look beyond life, we find that God is actively upholding the existence and order of every atom and every subatomic particle. And God’s infinite mind is capable of focusing on every single particle and organism in this vast universe.
So, there can be nothing, no matter how small or how many, that can ever escape God’s intense scrutiny. Therefore, never get the idea that God has died and passed on. If God ever died, believe me, He’d take us and the whole universe with Him. But since all is still here, God must be as well.
God is particularly active in our salvation, sanctification, and glorification. And He weaves every event of our lives into this purpose. God allows nothing in our lives to go to waste. Everything – adversity, setbacks, disappointments, and even tragedies are incorporated by His manifold wisdom into saving us and conforming us into the image of His Son.
And, though it is hard for us to understand, many of our bitterest events will help facilitate God’s plan to redeem many other people as well. No one has mastered the art of “killing more than one bird with a single stone” like God. Through our most painful moments, God brings about an unimaginable amount of good in the lives of countless others.
But we must never think that God is immune to our pain. God’s nervous system is firmly connected to ours. Therefore, whatever hurts us hurts Him. And since we are the object of His intense love, whatever hurts us, hurts Him doubly. God takes no pleasure in our suffering. He suffers the pain with us only to bring about the eternal salvation of as many souls as possible.
And we must never forget that God is intensely active in our day-to-day protection and provision. He is particularly active in hearing and answering our prayers. Yes, sometimes God may take many years to answer those prayers. But remember, He’s achieving many glorious ends to each of His actions. Therefore the answer to our prayer will come at the best possible time – a time when His answer achieves the best possible good.
So, never ignore this intensely active, loving, and caring God who continually upholds your very existence and sustains your very life. Give Him all the attention, prayers, obedience, and adoration He deserves.
PRAYER: Dear Father in heaven, open my eyes to the reality of Your existence and to Your unfailing love, faithfulness, and omnipresent activity all around me. Through Jesus Christ, Amen.
(Information from: https://www.edsurge.com/news/2021-02-09-is-it-still-teaching-when-the-professor-is-dead; Randy Cassingham, This is True, #1391, 7 February 2021)