From the Preacher’s Pen…

Have you ever read the instructions for something you wanted to assemble or use? For some reason that is a touchy subject for some people! Some feel that they are somehow ignorant if they read the instructions and want to prove themselves by trying to do everything on their own. It’s just a matter of pride!

I knew a pilot many years ago that was very experienced and had flown many different kinds of aircraft. One day he was introduced to a new aircraft and informed that it had some unique features and he needed to read and learn the aircraft before flying it. He arrogantly assumed that there was nothing a manual could teach him and decided to take off without bothering to read the “instructions.” He paid for his arrogance a few minutes later… with his life.

On the other hand I can also tell you many stories of others who lived through their experiences simply because they had “read the book” and, in a moment of difficulty, found that they had the necessary information to save their lives. Sooner or later those “instructions” are going to be vital!

Consider another example: Take a watch or clock apart into all the separate gears and pieces. Now, put it back together. Does it work? Chances are that you will have left over pieces and a non-working timepiece! What’s wrong? Without the instructions it’s is hard to know! So let’s look a little closer for a spiritual lesson:

What Makes You Tick?

When I was somewhat younger I was given an old wind-up alarm clock. Being a perfectly normal boy, its workings on the outside were not near as interesting as all those gears, springs and moving things inside. The results were obvious: I took it apart to see what made it work, what made it tick. I learned a lot from that old clock, not the least of which was a deep appreciation for things well designed and constructed.

What makes a child of God tick? I suppose we could give many answers but one that seems to say it with exceptional beauty is David in Psalm 63 (NRSV):

O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

Do you see the picture of absolute, utter dependence on God? Like a person in love who cannot see any other being except their beloved; like someone lost in the desert, dying for water, there is nothing else of real consequence to the Christian that compares with God.

So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.

The story is told of a Russian cosmonaut that, while floating in space, proclaimed that he could see no sign of God. A Christian, on hearing that remark commented, “If the cosmonaut’s tether-rope had broken he would have quickly seen God!”

How can anyone miss seeing God in the rich beauty of His creation that surrounds us? How could anyone gather with God’s people to worship and miss the power and glory that is present? And how could anyone fail to praise Him who loved us so much?

So I will bless you as long as I live; I will lift up my hands and call on your name.

When we truly see all that God has made and when we begin to understand God and all His love, we find ourselves helpless to do anything else but praise Him!

My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast, and my mouth praises you with joyful lips when I think of you on my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy.

Only a fool could say in his heart, “There is no God.” And only a dead, unloving heart could fail to sing for joy at what God has done for you and me.

My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.

What makes a child of God tick? The answer is God, knowing Him and appreciating Him. Let the one who makes you tick wind you up and keep you going this week. Let Jesus be your Savior, your Lord, your master, your God this week.

— Lester P. Bagley