A. W. Tozer once wrote: “What comes to your mind when you think about God is the most important thing about you. Worship is pure or base as the worshipper entertains high or low thoughts of God. The man who comes to a right belief about God is relieved of ten thousand temporal problems.” That’s the point of my essay today:
Someone brought a black plastic 8-ball onto the school bus one day when I was small. It was filled with liquid and had a little plastic triangle inside with various messages written on it. It was supposed to answer questions about the future. You would turn the ball up side down and ask it a question. When you turned it over the triangle would float up in to the window with your “answer.”
You might ask the “magic” 8-ball, “Will the girl I marry be beautiful?”
The message in the window might read, “NOT LIKELY”
“Will I ever be a millionaire?
Does Mindy love Melvin?
“YOU CAN BE SURE.”
The little toy was an innocent-seeming introduction into a dangerous practice. We are instructed to get our information about the future from walking in fellowship with God not reading horoscopes or having our palms read or flipping coins. God wants us to walk with Him… He will tell us what we need to know, when we need to know it. He wants our direction to flow out of our relationship with Him.
Once a little boy was walking with his dad far from home as evening set in. The little boy was frightened.
“Daddy, we need to go now, it’s getting dark and I don’t know the way home.”
His father knelt and held his little son’s face in his hands. Looking him in the eyes he said, “Son, never forget this. As long as you are with me, you don’t need to know the way home. Just give me your hand.”
Our Heavenly Father is worthy of our worship and our affection. He should never be treated like a plastic 8-ball, or a Genie in a bottle. God will not reveal his majesty and his glory to petty triflers. He will not bestow his riches on people who want his gifts but really don’t want to have anything to do with him. He will not disclose sacred mysteries to those who are merely curious. He displays himself to those who think deeply on him with hearts of reverent devotion. He whispers truth into the hearts of those who are living in communion with Him.
If we have questions about the future we should walk slowly and listen closely. If we don’t know the way we should stay near Him. As long as our hand is in his we don’t need to know the way home.
Kenneth L. Pierpont
Riverfront Character Inn and International Conference Center
January 21, 2004