The Universe and You

The Carina Nebula

I’m not sure if the Chinese language has a similar way of expressing this, but in English we have a saying (typically spoken as an exasperated reminder): “The world does not revolve around you!” Implying that you are only concerned about your personal needs and problems and want to be treated like the entitled ruler you believe you are. When analyzing ourselves objectively, we usually can realize the arrogance in living with that mindset. If you’re a Christian, then hopefully you can take James’, the brother of Jesus, reminder to heart: “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6).

But what if we look at this even deeper? Part of living of like God is real is honoring Him for the holy and awesome creator that He is. We know that we are not the center of the universe, but how would we live if we fully understood how mighty this God is who with a word spoke the heavens into place, flung the stars, and gave the earth its frame? This point is emphasized in Psalm 89:6-7 – “For who in the skies is comparable to the Lord? Who among the sons of the mighty is like the Lord? God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be held in reverence by all those around Him.”

Feeling kind of small and unimportant yet? You should. Our God is mindful of us, loves us dearly (Psalm 8:3-5), and even tells us to boldly approach His throne (Hebrews 4:16) – but you cannot forget He is deserving of all your respect and devotion. If that doesn’t translate to a life that’s lived in humility then you’re still not recognizing the greatness of our King. With every new discovery that science makes, it simply confirms the complexity and awe of everything around us and tells of a magnificent designer (check out this “Scale of the Universe” if you want to have some fun with that topic).

Our God is great. Greater than we’ll ever realize – but that should not stop us from trying to realize or understand it. The minute we start treating God like an equal or even approaching Him like we’re entitled to something, we’re placing our Creator on a level that is blasphemous. You aren’t the center of the universe – but how about we all start living for the One who is.

Disclaimer: My apologies if this post comes off a little “preachy.” I recently had the opportunity to do a study on this topic, and since then it’s been hitting pretty close to my heart.

Into All Truth

But when he, the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. 
John 16:13

I’ve been thinking about how it is that we find the truth. And maybe the answer is that we don’t find the truth: the Truth finds us.

Some people look to science for truth. After all, science is just looking at the world and describing what we see. The famous scientist Stephen Hawking wrote a book last year about how he thinks science can now explain where the universe came from – and explain it without God. So is that true? Well, Hawking thinks that if more than one explanation works, we should use whatever explanation is most convenient – both are equally true. I think that this is what happens when we trust science too much: our idea of truth becomes confused. What we think we see when we look at the world today is different from what people thought they saw 100 years ago. It’s even different from what they thought they saw 15 years ago (that was when many scientists began to believe that most of the stuff in the universe is a strange stuff called “Dark Energy.” No one had suggested that before). When the things that are considered scientific “fact” change so fast, who can blame Hawking for thinking that there is no stable truth about the world? No, science is good for doing work, building technology, and such things; but it’s not very good at finding out truth.

But if we can’t find the truth by looking at the world, what hope is there of finding the truth? Well, none. This might be part of what the Bible means when it says we are “lost,” “blind,” and “in darkness.” There is no hope of finding the truth about God, of knowing God. We don’t have the ability to do that. Well, a clarification: we don’t have the ability to do that unless we already know God. So how do we go from not knowing God to knowing God? This is the whole story of Christ: we don’t become God, instead he becomes human. We don’t seek him: he seeks us (Rom. 3:11). We don’t find him: he finds us (Lk. 19:10). This is the ministry of the Holy Spirit: to guide us to the truth that we would never find on our own (Jn. 16:13, above).

What good news! Even the scientists should realize that’s the only way we could ever know the truth.