Sunday, December 18, 2005


I was driving down the road the other day and was next to a box truck on a four-lane highway. I glanced at the truck and noticed a placard. It read, "Explosives".

It was interesting that I was just feet away from a deadly force but yet totally safe. Under the right conditions and depending on the volatility of the explosives, I could be dead. But that day I was safe.

I think there are two spiritual parallels that are illustrated here. Please allow me to expound.

First of all I think there are lots of people "driving around" our lives that we pull up beside and we see it...they are explosive. Say the right thing (or the wrong thing), drive the wrong way, take the parking spot or whatever it may be, unbeknownst to us, we've created the "right conditions" and we sustain injuries because of the explosion. If we follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and exhibit the fruit of the Spirit of God, I think, despite our volatility, we can remain or become "safe" people.

Second, I am reminded of the power of God. It truly can be a deadly force. Remember the guy in the Old Testament story who, when the ark of the covenant carrying God's presence was coming back to town, went to steady with his hands the teetering box? WHAM! Struck dead as a door nail. Or how about Korah and his sons who rebelled agains Moses and God opened the ground up and swallowed them up? Don't forget Annanias and Saphira who lied to the Holy Spirit and were struck dead. God can be a deadly force.

But just like driving beside the box truck with explosives, we need to realize that with God, we are safe. Adam and Eve became afraid of God in the garden when they sinned. Prior to their sin they walked with God. They were friends and companions. Sin had made them fear God. Now knowing what God is capable of should put fear in our hearts but we should remember that Mankind's first interaction with God wasn't out of fear, but out of friendship.

Fastforward a couple of thousand years and in walks Jesus Christ, the second Adam as the New Testament calls him. This second Adam has come to do a couple of things. First he has come to let us know that we can be transformed into "safe" people buy a relationship with him and reflecting his character. Secondly he has come to tell us and show us that, instead of being afraid of God, we can be friends of God. In fact, Jesus himself referred to his disciples as "his friends".

There is a contingent of Christianity that believes that, although God has restored our relationship and friendship with God through Jesus Christ, they are the going to be the kind of people that instill fear into people. They want us to drive up beside being afraid he's going to explode instead of feeling safe. They want people to believe that God is an "unstable and volatile chemical compound" just ready to be upset and explode.

The biblical "boil down" is this, through the first Adam, sin and death entered the world and, subsequently, a fear of God. Through the second Adam (Jesus), sin is overcome and the relationship to God restored. And what kind of relationship was that? Read it. It's right there in Genesis. God walked with Adam in the cool of the day. He didn't loom over him ready to pound him to bits. Jesus called his disciples friends. Read it. It's right there in John 15: 14 & 15.

So, make sure you become and remain a friend of God.

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