Let God Be God (and His Servants Faithful)
“What comes in our minds when we think about God, is the most important thing about us.” – AW Tozer
This weekend at Grace, we’ll wrap up our 12-week sermon series, Behind the Scenes, where we’ve dug deep into the traditional story of Joseph in Genesis 37-50. The irony in the story of Joseph, however, is that you go through it and come to realize this story isn’t primarily about Joseph. It’s about God.
Even though God only has one line in these 14 chapters of the Bible, and gets mentioned only a handful of times beyond that, it’s unquestionable after walking through it that He’s the center of it all and He’s the one controlling all things from “behind the scenes”. We walk away each week stunned and stirred by the character and nature of a God at work that comes jumping off the page.
To share a quick glimpse of this, the so-called story of Joseph has shown us that God:
- Is sovereign over sin in bringing about his greater purposes (Ch37)
- Exposes men and women to their own sin by his grace, and welcomes flagrant people into his family (Ch38)
- Is with his people and sustains their joy even in the midst of horrid circumstances (Ch39)
- Equips us and teaches us to wait well and faithfully in life while understanding that he never stops working even in our waiting (Ch40)
- Arranges a spiritual “rags to riches”, death-to-life story for his people by his sovereign working, and he doesn’t need permission to do what we will do (Ch41)
- Simultaneously deals kindly and harshly with his people to open their eyes to both the seriousness of sin and the gloriousness of his grace (Ch42)
- Gives us a seat at the table and provides a feast simply out of his grace (Ch43)
- Transforms us by giving us a new nature and new heart (Ch44)
- Is the sovereign King that blesses his people for the purpose of blessing others (Ch45)
- Is our source of assurance in Him, even those of us who have spent whole seasons of life running from him or wrestling with him, or both (Ch46-47)
- Adopts, elects, and foretells the fulfillment of his promises to his people, showing the God of the universe to be a relational, loving Father who blesses (Ch 48-49)
This is a glimpse of who God is, and this is only from 14 chapters. He’s all over it, constantly working, never taking a personal day, never worried or anxious about his creation, controlling all thing to bring about his purposes. This so-called story of Joseph is a microcosm of the overarching story of the Bible. It’s about God and his plan to redeem and restore the world through his son, Jesus Christ. Always.
I said in Week 1, and I’ll repeat it this Sunday in Week 12, that the primary aim of this series is to show that fixing our eyes on the character and nature of God will do more to change and impact our lives than any list of Christianized “how-to’s” can.
If I had to boil down to one line what the major takeaway for this series is, it’s this: Let God Be God, and his servants faithful.
Life is full of moments where we will struggle to see God and his purposes behind what happens. This world is broken, it’s fallen, it’s wasting away. With that comes disappointment, tragedy, depression, anxiety, confusion, and a whole lot of “why”? But our inability to see what God is doing is not the same thing as God’s inability. God is at work, and what we see now in part, one day we will see in full.
“God is always doing 10,000 things in your life, and you may be aware of three of them” – John Piper
Sermons will often slip into sounding more like self-help seminars rather than bold proclamations from God’s Word, because in our consumeristic culture, we want formulas for guaranteed results. Those sermons may be popular, but they will always prove hollow, superficial, and ineffective.
On the other hand, sermons that will have a lasting impact are the ones who magnify the person and work of Jesus Christ and leave people stunned by the grace and mercy of God, to which we respond by offering ourselves as living sacrifices and do everything to his glory alone. Those will stand whenever everything around us crumbles.
So, as we engage God’s Word this Sunday, and every day, let us walk away with the eternal, live-giving, God-glorifying conviction to let God be God, and his servants faithful. Let’s keep our hands to the plow, taking that next step that God marks out for us. We know how this story ends, and we’ll be faithful regardless of what happens between now and then.