The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Destruction in the End Times: Respecting Ownership

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When humans create movies about aliens attacking earth, the plot often unfolds like this: the aliens attack.  At first the humans cower with fear.  Then, as the destruction continues, human leaders convert their fear into anger and say something like, “Hey, this is our planet.  We’re not going to let these punks take it from us.  Let’s fight back and reclaim our turf.”  Then someone whips out some brilliant bit of technology, the humans launch a counter attack, and our planet is saved.  In these kind of movies, a hatred of the aliens is promoted as very justifiable because the aliens are trying to take something that belongs to us.  Well, this possessive attitude about our planet might work well in spicing up alien movies, but it simply doesn’t fly with God.

Did you create the earth?  No, you didn’t.  In fact, when it comes to creating things, the most you can ever do is manipulate things that Someone Else provides for you.  You are totally incapable of making something out of nothing, and this is why you really can’t claim ownership of anything.  Everything that is belongs to the Gods who brought those things into existence, and those Gods are Yahweh, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. What God owns, He gets to destroy anytime He wants to, and understanding this principle is going to help us steer clear of snarky attitudes during the end times.

It’s going to be very difficult not to get snarky with God during the end times.  When we humans don’t like what’s happening, we are quick to complain, and we’re really not going to like a lot of what happens during the end times.  Because we are so used to discounting God’s ownership of all created things, we’re positioned to respond very inappropriately when God starts destroying stuff around us.  “God, what are You doing?  That was my house You just burned down!  That was my neighborhood You just destroyed!  That was my kid You just killed!  That was my leg You just broke!” This will be our automatic response when God starts destroying His stuff, and yet are we really justified in griping like this?

If God creates wood, nails, and a hammer for you, and you use these things to build yourself a shelter, who owns that shelter?  It’s all God’s stuff.  He made all of the materials, He taught you how to assemble them in a useful way, and He provided the physical strength you needed to carry out the project.  You see, as a human you own nothing.  God owns everything.

Because humans are selfish and prone to taking advantage of each other, talking about ownership is very helpful when we’re trying to get along with our own kind.  We need to divvy up the resources in this world, because if any of us gets our hands on too much power, we will surely become abusive.  When it comes to maintaining order in human societies, it’s very helpful to erect a fence around a house and call everything inside the fence Mary’s property.  Then we can create laws that say that Joe can’t trespass on Mary’s property or take Mary’s stuff without her permission.  Using possessive language is very helpful in our human relationships and it is a critical part of maintaining healthy boundaries.  When speaking to another human, it’s both appropriate and necessary to say, “It’s not okay for you to injure my body or steal my car or break into my house.”  But when we are speaking to God, possessive language quickly becomes irreverent.

It is simply obnoxious to ever accuse God of encroaching on your rights, because in your relationship with God, you don’t have any rights.  He owns you, and He can do whatever He wants with you.  There is no sense in which He must provide you with options in life.  He doesn’t have to give you any choice about anything, and He certainly doesn’t have to get your approval before carrying out His own will. The way things work right now, God does give us options in life, and He says the choices we make play a big role in shaping our future with Him.  But while God is currently choosing to give us choices, we need to remember that He doesn’t have to. God doesn’t have to do anything—that’s one of the many perks of being the Creator of all things.

Now as created beings, the quality of our existence is being controlled by God.  It is because God is so superior to us that it is utterly foolish of us to not make pleasing Him our top priority in life.  So let’s assume you’re not being foolish—let’s assume you’re making the wise choice and you really do want to please the One who is holding your atoms together.  How do you do this?  Certainly not by trying to minimize or discount God’s supremacy, and this is what we’re doing when we start talking like we own the things God has made.  It’s really not your body, it’s God’s body, and if He chooses to injure it, the only wise response is to ask Him to help you align with His priorities for you.

God wants you to mature in life, not sit there stagnating.  When God trashes your stuff and thrusts you into stressful circumstances, He’s not doing it just to torment you.  He’s doing it to help you grow—to create opportunities for you to cultivate soul attitudes which are pleasing to Him.  Submission.  Trust.  Dependency.  Humility.  Reverence.  A deeper appreciation of who God is.  These are just a few of the soul attitudes which please God, and trashing the things you care about can be a fabulous way to cultivate these attitudes within you.  This brings us to the most important question of all: what are you living for?  God says that rich communion with Him is the greatest treasure you could ever attain, but to acquire it, you need to be willing to cooperate with His maturity program.  Who is wiser: you or Him?  He is, and this means that He knows what is best for your soul.  None of us enjoy going through trials, but we can learn to see trials as the gifts that they are if we develop more respect for God’s wisdom. God really does know what He’s doing.  But even if God didn’t—even if He was some halfwit who wasn’t good in Character and didn’t really care about us, He is still the Creator of all things, and that means everything that exists is His property.

Mass destruction is going to be a major theme in the end times.  God is going to destroy property, people, animals, resources, and a host of other things.  You can either waste time fuming about this, or you can decide to be teachable.  Being teachable begins with an attitude of reverential submission which says:

“Who am I to tell God Almighty what He can and can’t do?  God, You are so superior to me, and so powerful that it scares me.  But I want to please You, so please help me to honor You with the way that I respond to the things that You are doing.” 

If you take this approach, you are going to reap great spiritual gains from your experience of the end times.  The other option is to get lodged in some perpetual huff and obsess over all the things God took away from you.  Wise souls will choose to be teachable.

FURTHER READING:
Your End Times Faith Crisis: Staying Aligned with a Scary God
Preparing for the End Times: Releasing Our Loved Ones
Practicing Dependency: Appreciating the Wisdom of God
Soul Before Earthsuit: Understanding God’s Priorities
It’s Personal: Understanding the Divine Perspective of Trials

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