Sunday, January 24, 2010

The God of the Native People

I’d like to share something of the greatest importance to the Native American in the area of who and what God is. It’s the single most important point of doctrine that separates the Native believer from most others in this society. If understood correctly you would realize that all other doctrine concerning whom can be saved, how we are save, how we are kept and every other aspect of Christian life can only be understood when realizing who God really is.

(Eph 1:11)
How different is the God of the Bible from the God of Christendom! The conception of Deity which prevails most widely today, even among those who profess to give heed to the scriptures, is a miserable caricature, a pathetic travesty of the truth. The God of many a present-day pulpit is a helpless, powerless, frustrated being "trying His best" to save mankind, but the majority of men will not let Him. This God is an object of pity rather than of awe-inspiring reverence.
To argue that God is "trying His best" to save mankind, but that the majority of men will not let Him, is to imply that the will of the creator is impotent, and that the will of the creature is omnipotent. To throw the blame, as many do, upon the Devil, does not remove the difficulty, for if Satan is defeating the purpose of God, then Satan is almighty and God is no longer the Supreme Being.
To declare that the creator’s original plan has been frustrated by sin, is to dethrone God. To suggest that God was taken by surprise in Eden and that he is now attempting to remedy an unforeseen calamity, is to degrade the Most High to the level of a finite, erring mortal.
To argue that man is the sole determiner of his own destiny and that therefore he has the power to checkmate his maker, is to strip God of the attribute of omnipotence. To say that the creature has burst the bounds assigned by the Creator, and that God is now practically a helpless spectator of sin and suffering entailed by Adam’s fall, is to repudiate scripture.
In a word, to deny the sovereignty of God is to enter upon a path which, if followed to its logical end, leads to blank atheism. The sovereignty of the God of scripture is absolute, irresistible, and infinite. When a Native says that God is sovereign, we affirm God’s right to govern the universe, which He has made for His own glory, just as He pleases.
We affirm that His right is the right of the potter over the clay, ( and clay is something we understand), that He may mold that clay into whatever form He chooses, fashioning out of the same lump, one vessel unto honor and another unto dishonor. To say that God is sovereign is to declare that He is the Most High, doing according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth, so that none can stay His hand or say unto Him, what doest Thou? (Dan. 4:35).
When we say God is sovereign we declare that He is the Almighty, the possessor of all power in Heaven and Earth, so that none can defeat His counsels, thwart His purposes, or resist His will (Ps. 115 : 3 ). To say that God is sovereign is to affirm that God is under no rule or law outside His own will and nature, that God is a law unto Himself, and that He is under no obligation to give an account of His matters to any.
To the Native God must either rule, or be ruled; sway, or be swayed; accomplish His own will, or be thwarted by His creatures.
God is never taken by surprise. There is no unexpected emergency which can confront Him, for He is the one who " worketh all things after the counsel of His own will" (Eph. 1:11) Though the world is panic-stricken, the word to the believer is, "fear not" "all things" are subject to His immediate control; "all things" are moving in accord with His eternal purpose, and therefore, "all things" are working together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose". For of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things. (Rom. 11:36).
Throughout Christendom, the theory is held that man determines his fortunes and decides his destiny by his own "free-will". But to insist that some men, at least, do thwart God’s will and overturn His counsel, is to repudiate scripture .... "And what His soul desireth, even that He doeth". (Job 23:13) "The counsel of the Lord standeth forever...." (Ps. 33:11). "For the Lord of Hosts hath purposed, and who shall dis-annul it"? "My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure". (Isa. 46:9,10)
The appeal here then is not to the popular beliefs of the day, nor to the creeds of the churches, but to the testimony of our Native God and Father, Yahovah. "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good" ( I Thess. 5:21).
If instead of bowing to the testimony of scripture, if instead of walking in faith, we follow the evidence of our eyes, and reason, if we are regulated by the opinions and views of others, peace will be at an end. Granted that there is much in this world of sin and suffering which saddens us, granted that there is much in the providential dealings of God which startle and staggers us; that is no reason why we should unite with the unbelieving world who say, " If I were God, I would not allow this or tolerate that". It would be better in the presence of bewildering mystery, to say, "I was dumb, I opened not my mouth; because thou didst it" (Ps. 39:9).
Scripture tells us that God’s judgments are "unsearchable" and His ways "past finding out" (Rom. 11:33). It must be so if faith is to be tested, confidence in His wisdom and righteousness strengthened, and submission to His Holy will fostered.
Here is the fundamental difference between Native American beliefs and faith and that of others. The unbeliever (even if he professes Christianity) is "of the world", judges everything by worldly standards, views life from the standpoint of time and sense, and weighs everything in the balances of his own carnal understanding. But Natives believe that we are spiritual being that have a body, looking at everything from a spiritual standpoint, he estimates values by spiritual standards, and views life in the light of eternity, and who life is. Doing this, he receives whatever comes as from the hand of God. Doing this, his heart is calm in the midst of the storm. Doing this, he rejoices in hope of the glory of God.
"Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth" (Rev. 19:6)
Scripture Index:
Daniel 4:35 "All the people of the Earth are nothing when compared
to Him: He does whatever He thinks best among the
hosts of Heaven, as well as here among the
inhabitants of the Earth. No one can stop Him or
challenge Him,...
Job 42:1 "Then Job replied to God: I know that you can do
anything and that no one can stop you".
Isaiah 55:11 "So also is my Word. I send it out and it always
produces fruit. It shall accomplish all I want it to,
and prosper everywhere I send it".
Isaiah 46:10 "All I say will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish"
Psalms 135:6
"He does whatever pleases Him throughout all of
Heaven and Earth, and in the deepest seas".
Ephesians 1:11
(He is the one who) " Worketh all things after the
counsel of His own will"
Isaiah 14: 24
" The Lord of hosts has sworn: As I have planned, so
shall it be, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand".

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