The Simplicity of Majesty
Featuring Dennis Jernigan Posted on April 16, 2008
God has chosen to make known . . . the glorious riches of this mystery,
which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
When I think of majesty, my mind naturally gravitates toward the gigantic and grand - Grand Canyon at sunset, the ocean at dawn, a tall mountain on a clear day, a thunderstorm on the distant horizon. But God's majesty - his massiveness - cannot be relegated to, or contained in, something so large. He is so incredible in his creativity that his majesty can be displayed in some of the smallest wonders in the universe.
Take, for instance, the ingredients God has ordained for the conception of life. Man contributes only one small cell, woman contributes another, yet when these two microscopic cells join and their genetic codes are released, a new being comes miraculously into existence. Everything that will one day be recognizable as a human being is already in that newly formed minuscule creation-all ordained and put into motion by the majesty of God.
Majesty comes in small packages too. God's majesty is displayed in dynamic and unexpected ways. Take, for instance, the tiny ant. Able to lift a load equal to many times its own body weight, this tiny dynamo, when compared to our human abilities, is mightier than the strongest human known. Working in union within a complex societal order, the ant builds super ant-highways, stores enough food to sustain a colony of thousands through the winter, cares for the sick and injured, and watches out for the overall welfare of the colony. And all of this is done in an orderly fashion, with the utmost resourcefulness, nothing going to waste, and all without ever saying an audible antword! Try to accomplish something so monumental on a human scale!
Majesty comes in small packages. The majesty of God is overwhelmingly demonstrated in the state of being we call life. We normally think of humans when we think of life, but have you ever contemplated the wonders that are contained in a single drop of water taken from a pond? Within that one tiny drop, a multitude of God's handiworks exists. Not only can every manner of germ and microbe be found in this single drop, but also tiny one-celled creatures that live and breath and procreate and give sustenance to the larger creatures like crawfish or minnows. These creatures, in turn, give sustenance to even larger creatures (that food chain thing, you know!). It staggers my mind to think that my existence and sustenance could depend upon something I can't even see with my naked eye (my closed eye is no better!).
If each form of life did not receive life from another, no species would survive. Even the smallest plants are fed by the waste from the smallest animal. Our own digestive system would not function properly without the intestinal flora and fauna found in each human being's digestive tract. Life depends upon life. Life comes in small packages, and life, no matter how insignificant, is an expression of God's might and majesty.
Some of my favorite memories have come from witnessing magnificent performances, whether the performance is by a person using a God-given talent or by a majestic streak of lightning that shatters the darkness of the blackest night. Yet, some of the most impacting memories are of the small moments with which God sprinkles our lives. As that performer leaves the stage and I am left to contemplate with awe the effect of one small word or one exquisite turn of a melody or phrase, it is not the performance I necessarily remember, but how the performance affected me.
Joy and peace come from knowing that we have been touched by God through some small thought or satisfaction. After the sounds of the powerful storm subside, the loud rushing of the wind, the pounding of the rain, and the explosions of thunder, after these have passed us by, we are confronted with another sound,the sound of silence. Silence seems insignificant in comparison to a mighty storm, but it is in the silence that we are flooded with the sounds of our hearts reminding us that the Maker of Storms is also the Bringer of Peace. Which is more powerful, the storm or the peace that follows?
Small often equals mighty. Thoughts of majesty come in small packages, left by big moments on the doorsteps of our hearts. What about one single thought? Have you ever thought of a thought as being a tangible part of God's majesty? With one thought, we can be overwhelmed. What about the thoughts of a mother when one of her little ones is hurt or hungry? Consumed with one thought and one thought alone - to see the needs of her child met - that mother will forgo her own welfare to see that child fed or ministered to. One thought.
With one single thought, a life can be taken. Why does a person take his own life? While there are many reasons why a man may choose to take his life, doesn't it really boil down to one thought - one silent, mental choice - to give up, to bring an end to some deep, unsubsiding pain?
With one thought, a life can be held captive by the enemy of God. Have you ever believed something terrible about yourself? Have you ever had a deceitful thought shattered by the truth of God? With one thought, a mind can be set free. With one thought, the mind of God imagined a whole universe and still held you and I in highest regard while speaking it all into existence. Majesty comes in incredibly simple ideas. Mighty displays of nature are insignificant when compared to the wonder a mother feels the first time she holds her first baby. . . or the dumbstruck feeling a father feels the first time his little boy reaches for his embrace.
One sin separated me from my God. One crucifixion among thousands transformed the lives of fallen men and woman. One drop of blood cleansed me and paid my debt. One sinner, among millions, saved and transformed by grace. God looked from his greatness into the smallness of my existence and displayed his majesty in redeeming love. The singular event that changed the world may seem far away and small-eclipsed by two thousand years of time-yet this distant event reaches into the here and now with every bit of the resurrection power that was displayed on that first Easter. The unimaginable massiveness of God now lives in me, small in the grand scheme of the universe, yet grandly significant in the mind of the one who made it all!
Show me the highest mountain . . . its impressiveness pales in the light of redeeming love. Show me the deepest part of the greatest ocean . . . it is shallow in comparison to the deep, deep love and forgiveness found in the gift of salvation as expressed through Jesus Christ. All the wonders of the universe combined seem only a vapor when compared to the breath of God that breathes life into me. And then, that very God displayed his majesty in something greater still, the human heart that will receive him! He lives in me! The greatest wonders are often overlooked because we look for majesty in the "big" things. Majesty is simple. Look for God in his "small" packages. You may be surprised by the greatness of their capacity for God!
Questions for Meditation
• What are some small things you have overlooked that have God's signature all over them?
• How does this view of God's majesty change the value of things in your life?
• How does it change your view of your own identity?
• What impacting memories has God sprinkled in your life?
"The Simplicity of Majesty" is an excerpt from the Dennis Jernigan worshipper’s devotional book called, "A Mystery of Majesty". This book is available as an E-Book download at www.dennisjernigan.com. Dennis Jernigan will be sharing more on the majesty and power of God at his worship/freedom conference called Worship in the Kingdom which will take place this July in Dallas, Texas.
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