I just watched an end-of-the-world movie for the second time called “Knowing”. It really made me think. I mean, I grew up reading the bible a great deal and hearing every Sunday about God. So much so that I was numbed into complacency. I thought I knew God but in reality I only knew a thing or two about God. I had reduced God into a comfortable safe little box that I could somehow manage. How wrong I was!
Imagine being one of those Israelites seeing the actual blazing inferno of the Presence of God descend and engulf Mount Sinai. Or imagine being one of those saints who actually met an angel. Every instance of someone meeting an angel in Scripture leaves someone terribly frightened and sobered. I mean, the angel’s first words always have to be, “do not be afraid.” Just imagine meeting a terrible, fearsome, glorious, powerful being that frightens you so terribly you can’t help but fall to your face. Imagine actually seeing what Ezekiel saw as recorded in the beginning (and throughout) the book of Ezekiel! I kind of think that we really don’t believe it when we read it, ya know? We don’t “place ourselves there” when we read the Word. Some of us never even read the Word of God and have no idea what I’m talking about. Most of us no longer wonder at the mystery of it all. We have some sort of comfortable notion of who God is and have spent our lives reducing him to a warm fuzzy
Well, this movie “Knowing” (with Nicholas Cage) did a little something to snap me out of my comfortable and crazy ability to reduce the awesome otherness of God (df. of “Holy”) to little more than a children’s Sunday school story. The movie actually visually interpreted Ezekiel’s vision in Ezekiel chapter 1. It also portrayed these powerful and mysterious beings (angels) that could just as easily be confused for aliens. Isn’t that exactly what they are?
How it ended was amazing. The movie brought biblical eschatology (the study and theology of end time events) out of the hypothetical realm into the, “O my God, this is for real!” realm. It had me asking questions like, “Could the rapture be like this?” and reminded me of another sobering Scripture, “Many are called but few are chosen.”
Imagine one day having all your comfortable notions about God ripped away from you. You’re left standing naked before this awesome and even more terrifying than an angel God.
The Bible tells us that only those who know God will be saved. Only those who hear and answer his call. I am shaking in my boots realizing that up till now I have been pretty damn lazy in regards to knowing God. I have not pursued this with all my heart! I have been apathetic and lazy.
Here is an encouragement from Scripture:
2 Peter 1:3-11
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.
10Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
I am truly sobered by the Scriptures. My response is this: keep God’s Word in front of your face until it changes you. In that passage Peter talks about participating in the Divine nature. One thing that the movie doesn’t really get into is that God is a person, and that God is love. Unless we are participating in that nature of Love, we cannot and must not delude ourselves into thinking we “know God”.
So let’s make a practice of those thing Peter mentions and connect to God’s love. Scripture tells us that we can never be seperated from God’s love in Romans 8:
35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Nothing can separate us from the love of God… but are we connecting to his love in the first place?
I am going to end with a prayer:
God, I know I’ve been avoiding you at all costs, sabotaging myself to keep me away from you. I’ve been a great fool. I step back into the spotlight of your love and trust that your love has something to say in all of my confusion, pain, and sinfulness. Please forgive me and help me to respect the “otherness” and the mystery of you God, while at the same time help me to realize that you are a Person and you are love and nothing can keep me away from that. Help me to connect to your love, and to love you in return, and to love the ones you love.