In 1966, I joined Operation Mobilization for a year of ministry in France, but spent two years in India instead. While in London in the summer of ‘66 at a one-month OM orientation, I volunteered to work on a clean-up crew late one night. Around 12:30 am, I was sweeping the front steps of the conference center when an older gentleman approached and asked if this was the OM conference. I told him it was, but that almost everyone was in bed.
He had a small bag with him and was dressed very simply. He said he was attending the conference, so I said, “Let me see if I can find you a place to sleep.” Since there were many different age groups at OM, I thought he was an older OMer. I took him to the room where I had been sleeping on the floor with about 50 others and seeing that he had nothing to sleep on laid some padding and a blanket on the floor and gave him a towel for a pillow. He said it would be fine and that he appreciated it very much.
As he was preparing for bed, I asked him if he had eaten. He had not, as he had been traveling all day. I took him to the dining room, but it was locked, so after picking the lock, I found corn flakes, milk, bread, butter and jam – all of which he thanked me for.
As he ate and we began to fellowship, I asked where he was from. He said he and his wife had been working in Switzerland for several years in a ministry mainly to hippies and travelers. It was wonderful to talk to him and hear about his work and those who had come to Christ. When he finished eating, we turned in for the night.
The next day I was in trouble! The leaders of OM really got on my case. “Don’t you know who that man is on the floor next to you? It is Dr. Francis Schaeffer, the speaker for the conference!” I did not know we were going to have a speaker, nor did I know who Francis Schaeffer was, nor did I know they had a special room for him!
After Francis Schaeffer became well known because of his books and I had read more about him, I thought about this occasion many times – this gracious, kind, humble man of God sleeping on the floor with OM recruits! This was the kind of man I wanted to be.
Of course, I will never obtain the intellect, knowledge, or wisdom of Francis Schaeffer, but I can reach out to younger people and humbly minister to them in Christ’s name by living a life of humility. What about you?
We read the famous words, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen 1:1). God’s immense sovereignty should be at the forefront of our minds. Arthur Pink says the following;
“In His sovereign majesty, God dwelt all alone. We refer to that far distant period before the heavens and the earth were created. There were then no angels to hymn God’s praises, no creatures to occupy His notice, no rebels to be brought to subjection…But even at that time, if time it could be called, God was sovereign. He might create or not create according to His own good pleasure. He might create this way or that way; He might create one world or one million worlds, and who was there to resist His will? …It was His sovereign right to create, on the one hand, the exalted seraphim to burn around his throne, and on the other hand, the tiny insect which dies the same hour that it is born. If the mighty God chose to have one vast gradation in His universe, from loftiest seraph to creeping reptile, from revolving worlds to floating atoms, from macrocosm to microcosm, instead of making everything uniform, who was there to question His sovereign pleasure? Behold then the exercise of divine sovereignty long before man ever saw the light.”
It is only with this properly in place, that we can start to process the account of creation. In fact, whenever we use the term ‘creation’, we typically use it to talk about something that we might have made (e.g., a painting, building, machinery etc). However, this is not the case when we refer to God’s creation. When speaking of God’s ‘creation’ in Genesis, we need to remember that none of it existed before! First, there was nothing – and then, there was… not a hand…or tools…but the royal decree of the King!
Any person who says something, causing it to ‘just happen’, gives the immediate impression of power and authority. When people obey a superior without any challenge, it shouts the concept of “sovereignty’. How much more when things that are not – are called into being by utterance – and made into the things that are! And what sort of analogy could we even use to describe the sovereignty of Him who not only created all things by His decree – but sustains every second of it, merely by His Word?
Behold the glory of our sovereign Lord – whom the authors of the NT identify as Jesus.
“He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power” (Heb 1:3).
“He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent”. (Col 1:15-18)