We Must Know This

“If there is a God, how can I bear not to be that God?”
-Friedrich Nietzsche

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I think Nietzsche got it right here. Even as a believer, I struggle against this natural bent. How can I bear to completely surrender to someone other than myself? Surely, I know what is best for my loved ones and me. My reality often reflects this mindset. If something I’ve prayed for goes my way, Hallelujah! God has answered my prayer. If God says, “Wait” or, “No”, then hasn’t God failed to hear me and my prayer gone unanswered?

The Gospel itself reflects this tension. We need a Savior. But, God chose to effect our salvation by sending His perfectly innocent Son to die an excruciating, agonizing death on a cross in our stead. How many of us would think to have prayed for that? The apostle Peter failed in this regard and shows us his humanness.

From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things…and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.”

Jesus’ response to Peter is shockingly direct.

But He turned to Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

So much hinges on setting my mind on the things of God rather than on the things of man. To trust Him, I must know that God is utterly sovereign and completely good. But it is even more than that. I must also be willing to set aside my own plan for God’s plan. Submission to God’s will is paramount in trusting Him.

Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego discovered this as they placed their faith in God rather than in mere deliverance from Nebuchadnezzar’s fiery furnace declaring, “…our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace…but if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods nor worship the golden image that you have set up.” A courageous Queen Esther demonstrated this when she asserted, “If I perish, I perish.” And, Job exemplified this when he said,“Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.”

This same good and sovereign God sometimes withholds temporal deliverance or works in ways we never would have sought out or imagined. In the most ultimate way possible, Stephen discovered this as he was ushered into martyrdom. Battle-worn saints throughout the ages have come to know that even without understanding the why of it, suffering is evidence of God’s will and not a deficit in His character or a failure of their faith in Him.

We must know this, too. There is a God and He must be God.

By His Grace and for the Gospel,
Terrie van Baarsel

Matthew 16:21-23; Daniel 3:16-18; Esther 4:16; Job 13:15; Acts 7:54-56; Hebrews 11

About Terrie van Baarsel


4 responses to “We Must Know This

  • Cathy Cary

    Excellent writing Terrie! Friedrich Nietzsche is also the man who started godlike comic book characters, specifically naming an overman or superman concept.

    The most recent Avengers movie audaciously created a part-man/part computer character called “I am”. This concept of man creating himself a god is not new, is it?

    • Terrie van Baarsel

      Right, Cathy! It’s as old as the Garden of Eden. I confess that there are times when I pray, Lord help me to trust you! But I’m taking the words back almost as soon as they come out of my mouth because I’m afraid to completely surrender. How weak I am! Thanks for your comment, Cathy. God bless you.

  • m1cey

    There is a God and he must be God. Amen. It’s never more challenging than when things are going all wrong. Love when you write. 🙂

    • Terrie van Baarsel

      Thanks for your encouragement, Micey. Truly it is difficult to trust in the midst of a storm. Somehow I think I know better than the Lord. I can be so foolish. I really do want to learn to rest in Him. God bless you, Micey!

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