They began saying to each other, “Let’s make bricks and harden them with fire.” (In this region bricks were used instead of stone, and tar was used for mortar.) Then they said, “Come, let’s build a great city for ourselves with a tower that reaches into the sky. This will make us famous and keep us from being scattered all over the world.” But the Lord came down to look at the city and the tower the people were building. “Look!” he said. “The people are united, and they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them! Come, let’s go down and confuse the people with different languages. Then they won’t be able to understand each other.”
Man cannot reach God. Which leads to the question, why should I follow Jesus if I cannot reach God? Quite simply, so God can reach you. Not to confuse anyone with a play on words, but many times we get lost in the pursuit of God in a slight deviation of the details. Dependence becomes independence. Faith becomes failure. Obedience becomes disobedience. “Reaching” is a relative term. It is important that we pay attention what we are reaching for. Like a hitter in baseball must keep their eye on the ball, focus is eternally important as well.
People in the present state of their physical condition completely infiltrated by sin cannot reach God. It is impossible. However, you can position yourself so that God can reach you. You will never believe it when I tell you how because it is totally illogical. The human mind is a powerful reasoning tool and often the number one obstacle between man and God. What cannot be rationalized is not received. If you cannot see how it all works, then one is reluctant to accept that the method is true and accurate. We cannot see God so how does one know they are striving in the right direction? Good question, huh. People have long struggled with the exaltation of humanity over deity. Babel would be no different. As the people worked together and became united in a common goal, their tower of “self” grew higher and higher catching God’s attention. Unity promotes success. However, a unified body no matter how much they accomplish on this earth is destined to fail eternally if not following God’s Plan through Jesus Christ He is the ONLY way to God. God acted on behalf of these people be giving them different languages and breaking up this powerful communication. Why? Reaching your personal goals is an enemy of God when they do not align with His Plan for you. God does not live in the sky. Heaven is higher than the earth but not in its atmospheric proximity. God is calling His People to look above the earth and daily life to where He is – higher. His Position is established by authority and power not because He is King of the Mountain. If God were in such a place, then man could reason together and find Him there without the help of Jesus Christ which is impossible. So where is God? Why can’t we reach Him?
Exodus 33:19-23 (NLT)
The Lord replied, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and I will call out my name, Yahweh,before you. For I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose. But you may not look directly at my face, for no one may see me and live.” The Lord continued, “Look, stand near me on this rock. As my glorious presence passes by, I will hide you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and let you see me from behind. But my face will not be seen.”
Why can’t we reach God? No one can see all of God’s goodness and survive it. Our sinful condition makes it impossible. If man in his own power could reach God, there would always be the risk of arriving unprepared and essentially losing Eternal security. Jesus Christ covers our sin making it possible to encounter God and live. God’s Plan refines us and readies believers for their encounters with God stripping away self until total reliance on Jesus Christ cloaks us in preparation to be received by God. If we can gain access to God outside of Jesus, it would be imminent death in our present condition. God hid Moses in the crevice of a rock to protect him from His Glory as it passed by. Even though Moses lived a life yielded to God, he could not live in the Full Presence of God. His Face is devastating to anyone not prepared to view it. It is instantaneous judgment. See humanity does not understand the concept of total, undefiled purity. It is not possible for us to encounter such a thing in a world full of darkness as a being full of sin. No matter how we strive for holiness and goodness living a consecrated life to the best of our ability such an encounter with God would be totally devastating. God has to come down to us. However, reaching is a pulling gesture. If I extend my hand to someone who is falling, even though I am exerting energy to pull them up, they are working with me to do the same. We are working together. Reaching for God is only successful when we do not have a hand in it. Reaching for God must be a term defined as being outstretched or prostrate before God with absolutely no power and in total weakness and humility. It is then that God can reach down and touch you as you live facedown before Him.
Genesis 28:11-13 (NLT)
At sundown he arrived at a good place to set up camp and stopped there for the night. Jacob found a stone to rest his head against and lay down to sleep. As he slept, he dreamed of a stairway that reached from the earth up to heaven. And he saw the angels of God going up and down the stairway. At the top of the stairway stood the Lord, and he said, “I am the Lord, the God of your grandfather Abraham, and the God of your father, Isaac. The ground you are lying on belongs to you. I am giving it to you and your descendants.
God will do whatever it takes to prepare you to encounter His Goodness, Mercy and Love. It may even be in situations and circumstances that are surprising and devastating. Jacob had stolen his brother’s birthright and was now fleeing. Leaving the comfort of his home and exhausted from his plight, he laid down to sleep. The moments before sleep overtook Jacob were most likely filled with fear and uncertainty. What good was a birthright without an inheritance? In his brokenness and despair, fitful sleep would overtake him. In a dream, God showed Jacob the stairway between Heaven and earth as angels going up and down. God revealed himself to Jacob that night. Jacob encountered God and His Promises in his exhaustion and emptiness. It is when all seems lost that we gain the Kingdom of God. It is in complete brokenness that God can reach into our life and yield supernatural results. In the moment our strength is gone, His Strength will become our very own. A humble heart is one ready to encounter God facedown in His Presence. A shattered life has true potential with God. It is at that moment that God reaches us! Are you ready for God?
James 1:9-12 (NLT)
Believers who arepoor have something to boast about, for God has honored them. And those who are rich should boast that God has humbled them. They will fade away like a little flower in the field. The hot sun rises and the grass withers; the little flower droops and falls, and its beauty fades away. In the same way, the rich will fade away with all of their achievements. God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
Poor believers are not necessarily defined as those without monetary or physical wealth. It refers to a humble spirit. In spiritual terms, rich and poor are a position in life. Obviously those who are wealthy in this world are afforded many opportunities. In times of testing, they have many options other than the revelation of their frailty in comparison to God. However, as the Son rises and His Glory fills the earth it becomes apparent that the things of this world cannot survive in His Presence. “The little flower droops and falls.” Those who have patiently endured testing and temptation and allowed God to humble their pride and flesh will receive the crown of life offered by God to His People through Jesus Christ. The only way that God can reach you is when you become poor in spirit realizing that you have no options or opportunities outside of His Grace. Humility that works you into a facedown position and is marked by lowliness, such a position will change your life – forever. In fact, it will prepare you to meet God and live in Eternity. God loves you! He wants to be with you FOREVER. The Lord longs to reach down and pick you up. He reaches past the proud and self-seeking to the humble and meek to scoop them up for they will survive an encounter with His Glory. There is nothing you can do to ready yourself to meet God. Only Jesus Christ and His Atonement for your sin will do that. However, as you allow God to strip away the flesh that works in conjunction with self in order to have a hand in the process in utter weakness suddenly the Hands of God surround you! He will lift you up! You will experience His Presence. Are you broken today? Filled with despair and too tired and weak to lift a finger? Is your voice gone from crying out and all that is left is a weak whisper, “Jesus”? Facedown in a pool of tears with outstretched hands grasping for hope and at the end of self, God is reaching down right now! You are ready to be received by the Lord and He rejoices in the moment to receive you! God hates to see you like this but knows it is imperative so He can be with you. All your strength is gone leaving room in your life for His Spirit to fill you. Repentance has washed away pride as vulnerability has refined your perspective. God is not an option – He is the only option now. Get ready because your Father is coming. He is running to you in this moment. The Lord is ready to bless you. He is ready to heal you. God has been waiting for this moment your whole life. In fact, it was His Plan all along. His Love, Strength and Power waiting to carry you through life until you are safely home!
I Peter 1:5-7 (NLT)
And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see. So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
When life comes crashing in and pressure is pulling you down, go facedown. That’s right, endure temptation and trials. Stop trying to escape and prevail in your own power. Let God refine your heart and prepare you for His Presence. He wants to invade your life. What seems to be tearing you apart is God preparing you for salvation. Salvation is not complicated. It is very simple. However, we are complicated people who tend to add our own spin to the mix and God is plucking “us” out so we can withstand His Glory and Full Potential in our life. Submit to the process. Let your life be purified so God can reach down and save you today!