Tag Archives: control

Attitude

It’s Friday morning and we have the results from the angiogram. I’m back in the patient staging area with Darlene and the doctor who did the test. He leans against my bed railing telling us the results. Nearby are three RNs standing around waiting for me to crash. Apparently, I am in critical condition. One of the arteries coming out of my heart is completely blocked. The doctor put in a pump to keep my heart beating.

I’m being moved from one hospital to another. I’m going from Kaiser Roseville to Mercy General, in Sacramento. Mercy General is the place to go for coronary bypass surgery, which is the only thing that will patch up my heart so it can work on its own again. They will be moving me by ambulance as soon as they can get me ready to go. Meanwhile, the three RNs are on alert in case they have to save my life.

I came in for a stress test the day before. Every previous test gave no suggestion of heart problems. But, today is different. If the bypass operation isn’t done soon, the doctors think I will not live. Within two hours I’m in an ambulance being delivered to Mercy General Hospital. Coronary bypass surgery is scheduled for the next morning. I had bumped another patient who apparently wasn’t as critical as I. They were afraid I might have to be bumped up even earlier. If I crashed, they would immediately take me into surgery.

I have never been in an ambulance before. The interior is stark, with cabinets and drawers containing stuff they might need. On one side is a low bench where the EMT and RN sit with me. I’m on a gurney.  There are windows and even lying down I can see where we are. I’ve driven the route enough to know the layout of the land.

There is an attitude that I must have to survive this ordeal. I must relinquish control of my body to the doctors and RNs who are taking care of me. If I fight them I would only make things worse. They will have to do everything for me. Up until surgery there are certain things I can still do for myself, like eat a little. But, at this point I don’t even roll over without help. I have to trust them.

Relinquishing control to someone you trust is not the same as abdicating responsibility and action. I must still decide my attitude remain positive no matter what happens. This does not just happen by an act of the will. A confident and clear attitude is a lifestyle choice and not something which can be switched on and off at will. It is either on or it is not.

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11 ESV)

I do not belong to me. I belong to God. He created me for relationship with Him. This means my motivation and attitude have been directed by Him since I relinquished control to Him while continuing to shoulder responsibility for myself. Jesus Christ bought me when He died for me, giving me spiritual life. Not belonging to self is not a popular worldview. I am not interested in popular viewpoints right now. If I cannot be in control of my life, then there must be someone I can trust to be in control. I do trust the doctors. I trust God more.

 

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Responsibility

Studies in Genesis 1

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26 ESV)

Creativity is one of the eternal characteristics of God. Since God exists outside of space-time His creativity is not something begun and finished, as space-time has a beginning and will have an ending. That which He creates may have a beginning and an ending if placed in the space-time universe. However, we cannot use “time” words with Him. God creates. Each creation is unique coming from His infinite mind and will.

Man is unique, more so than the rest of God’s creation. Given the image of God, Man is created for a specific function and purpose. God gave people dominion over that which He created to live and prosper on the Earth. Every living creature, from fish to birds to livestock and all animals, are Man’s responsibility.

Following God’s lead, dominion for Man is not oppressive and malevolent, but benevolent and gentle. Man is to govern with meekness. Scriptural meekness is strength under control. Jesus teaches, in the Sermon on the Mount, “blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5 ESV). Jesus uses a word for meekness which means gentle and mild. Yet it is used, not of the weak but the strong. It means God’s strength in the person under God’s control. Dominion, as part of the image of God, is a reflection of God’s eternal character of absolute power.

I have to jump ahead of the study at this point. I do not want any to misunderstand that, because of sin, misunderstanding and misinterpreting God’s words is part and parcel to the corrupted nature of Man.

We do not have the right to judge God according to or against our corrupted nature. He has not given anyone the right to sin or rebel against Him. Sin corrupts our understanding of everything, including ourselves, not just our view of God. We must, therefore, be careful to not put words or ideas into our thinking and moral understanding, which God has not clearly shown and revealed. We must adhere to God’s idea of meekness and dominion, not man’s misinterpretation. This is a constant struggle, but doable in the strength, guidance and wisdom of the Holy Spirit. Still, many will hold a corrupted idol of God and teach others to attribute to God their false ideas.

Dominion is the God-given authority and control over the Earth done with meekness and humility, seeking to act responsibly according to the direction and purpose of God. Dominion is not unfettered, arbitrary control. Dominion is part of the image of God embedded in Man.

“Why?”

Studies in Genesis 1

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. (Genesis 1:26 ESV)

We want to ask why God does what He does. Why did He create the heavens and the earth? Why did He allow darkness yet then create light? Why did e create in an order which does not seem logical to us? We can surmise many of the answers to how and when but the “why” is hidden in the eternal being of God.

Why did God create man “in His image”? No other creature has His image. All of creation bares the marks of the Creator, the evidence of His work as the ultimate Creator. We can begin to discover what the image of God is, and how it works, what it does, but we cannot know “why” Man has the image of God and not others in His creation. “Why” is not something we have to know.

Knowing how something works and why it works the way it does gives control to the one who knows. God knows all things about all things and, as the Creator, has ultimate and complete control. He cannot, by His nature, be out of control, or lose control of anything He has created, which is everything in existence, whether seen or unseen, physical and temporary or spiritual and eternal.

Actually, we can know “why” God created man in His image. But God has to tell us the answer. He has to reveal His will and reasons. His “why” cannot be known through observation of the evidence of the physical world and universe.  His “why” cannot be known through meditation or psychoanalysis or by any level of thinking or feeling or acting. He reveals to us why He created us in His image through the special revelation of His Spirit through His Word. Still, we must be willing to accept His reasons.

He does not tell us His reasons in Genesis as He creates Man in His image. He hints at why throughout the Hebrew Scripture, which we call the Old Testament. These hints explicitly point toward the absolute revelation of His will in the life, death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ.

For now, we are going to put the question “why” to the side and seek to discover “what” the image of God is which He gave to Man. We will use all of Scripture but begin with observations from the first chapter of Genesis.