As we get started into yet another year [Editor's note: this article was written on January 3, 1995], I thought that it might be helpful to address ourselves to the question of just what it is that God expects of us in this year that has just freshly begun. In another article (115) we noted that there are three reasons why we ought to be concerned about these expectations God has of us: His amazing love; His incredible power; and His sense of justice. We will all face His power without exception. Some of us will face it through our experience of His love. Others of us will face it through our rejection of that love. The love of God is real. The justice of God is also real. And the power of God will suddenly bring us to account.
So, what is it that God expects of us this year?
First, He expects us to do some thinking about the twin issues of Truth and Authority, and having thought, to come to a firm commitment to respond to the authority of the Truth. About the Truth, Jesus said two critical things: He said I am the Truth; and He said God's Word is Truth. This means that Jesus personalized the Truth (He is, after all, a person), and made it available to us (the Word of God is written so we have it to read). In the true Word of God we are told that we shall all come some day to a face-to-face confrontation with the reality of the Truth. In that day we will know without hesitation or doubt that the Scriptures spoke with clear dogmatism about what is and isn't true.
This means that God expects us to decide that the Bible is true. It is His Word and all who reject it call Him a liar. He will have the last say, and it behooves us to come to grips with that truth before it is too late.
So, let me ask you: to what authority do you appeal when the decisions of life confront you? How do you know that what you decide is according to Truth? Have you set yourself up as the omniscient wisdom of the universe, so that you believe that whatever you believe is true? Or have you decided to let the Word of the Omniscient God be your guide in life? There aren't any other options: either God is God and truth; or you are god and truth. You will have to decide and God expects you to bow before His truth.
And, once we have decided where the truth comes from, God expects us to submit to its authority. It does no one any good to recognize what is true if he refuses afterward to let that truth determine his behavior. In fact, to rebel against the truth is to commit a slow suicide which threatens to endure for all of eternity. That is the nature of Truth. It is. All else is illusion. It works for good. All else creates chaos and disintegration of life and experience.
We live in a generation that has become a god unto itself. It has no truth, but exalts its desires to the status of truth. In so doing it has cut itself loose from all blessing and life. We must decide this year if we are going to be a part of our generation, or if we are going to stand against it. God expects this of us.