While at J.C. Penny’s yesterday, I noticed a new advertisement display for clothing that used a three-tier platform that exalted the life-less manikin posed at the top. The first tier at the bottom was boldly inscribed, “My Decree,” the second up, “My World,” and the top read, “My Life.” The clothing company is called “Decree.” It reminded me of the tower of Babel in Genesis where Man builds a monument to himself, decreeing that he is the ultimate goal of his own existence and his name will be the greatest in all the world.
Man is still trying to create a world where he is reaching into the heavens by his own might, making a name for himself. I admit that it’s an attractive proposition that sells and I too can sense this deadly ambition in my own life, especially when I’m hurting inside for some kind of high-tower of refuge from my sorrows, my insecurities, my fears, – even my anger and revenge for justice: everyone is attempting build their own safe-place, high above (_x_), you fill in the blank.
I love the teaching of God’s Sovereignty over my life that helps me to see that if I keep my life I will lose it, but if I lose my life for Christ, I will keep it. But sometimes I don’t, that is, I don’t like the teaching – it feels unsafe and too risky to embrace. Which is why I often consider these alternative worlds to live in:
- God is Sovereign & Man is Not Responsible
- God is Not Sovereign & Man is Responsible
- God is Not Sovereign & Man is Not Responsible
- God is Responsible & Man is Sovereign
- God is Sovereign & Man is Sovereign
Neither of these possible worlds will work because none fits into our real-life world (God is Sovereign and Man is Responsible). And none offer any real hope or explanation for my suffering and my upward ambition for refuge from the storm. What explains my anguish is not only my personal sin and revolt against the one who made me to enjoy him, but the revolt of all mankind against its Maker as we all make our own decree for existence, our own world of self-worth, and our own claustrophobic life where we fight for position, place, and praise of man, unable to love others. And what explains my ache for a high-hiding place is a longing to be loved by someone who knows my need and is willing to come down, all the way down into my mess and risk his own life to rescue me – and then lift me up out of my miry pit and set my feet on a solid rock. EVERYONE wants this!
If you don’t know Jesus Christ who came down, lived a sinless life, was crucified on a cross, and suffered the consequence of your rebellious tower-building against God, turn to him by repenting of your sins, and by faith in the finished work of Christ, humbly cry, “Save Me.”
If you do know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, entrust yourself today again, to him who not only has decreed your pit, but who jumps down in there with you, to redeem your life so that you may know that he is greater and deeper than your darkest dungeon.
The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
the righteous man runs into it and is safe.
(Proverbs 18:10 ESV)