Monday, January 28, 2013

Why I Don't Worship Nature

Recently I received an inquiry from someone who had practiced Paganism. The person seemed to be seeking God sincerely, but was confused because of the overwhelming sense of God's presence outdoors, in nature. Paganism puts such an emphasis on nature, that it becomes God to those who practice it. I, too, feel God's presence when I'm out in nature, but I don't see it as a contradiction at all. Here's why...

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands." ~Psalm 19:1 

Nature reveals God to us the way a painting reveals something about the artist. God created it all. It is His artwork, His handiwork. Therefore we learn about Him through nature. We sense His presence there. 

"...that which is known about God is evident...for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power, and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood through what was made..." ~Romans 1:19-20

It is a subtle trick of Satan to entice us to worship the creation rather than the Creator. God calls it idolatry. He made all this to draw our attention to Himself. He made it all for us. For example, what if a man gave his wife a beautiful new watch and she responded by speaking to the watch, saying, "Oh thank you, watch, for coming to me, for telling me the time. You are so wonderful, watch." How would he feel if she never even looked at him, but only worshiped the watch? This is a simple, human example, but I think it demonstrates how it is when we worship nature. God created all of it for our health, our pleasure, and also to draw us to Himself. It is no wonder we sense God in nature. 

By His Word God created everything that is. He simply spoke and it was. God also spoke to prophets long ago to reveal His plans and laws to the nation of Israel, and thus to the world. Then He revealed Himself most perfectly in Jesus, who is God's Word, the very expression of who He is.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being." ~John 1:1-3

"He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on the earth, visible and invisible...all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things and in Him all things hold together..." ~Colossians 1:15-17

And one more. "God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And [Jesus] is the radiance of [God's] glory and the exact representation of [God's] nature, and upholds all things by the word of His (Jesus') power..." ~Hebrews 1:1-3 

So let us seek God through nature, and seek Him through Jesus. Let us ask His Holy Spirit to lead us and we will find Him.

To God be the glory!

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