Archive for August 30th, 2016

God Be Magnified

“Let God be magnified” (Psalm 70:4). That is, allow Him to be as great as He really is in your situation. Taking it a step further, *make Him greater* in your situation.
All of us face things that seem insurmountable. Or we have dreams that seem far off. Or we’ve a word from the Lord that seems impossible. All of which is to say we are thinking these things to be greater in scope than the One who is Great—God.
To magnify is “to make (something) greater; to make (something) seem greater or more important than it is; to make (something) appear larger” (Mirriam Webster). This is precisely what we tend to do when we’ve situations we don’t know how to cope with. We elevate them. In fact, we almost deify them—as if they are sovereign over us. An attitude that almost borders on idolatry.
The word here however is in the context of great need. The Psalmist is under a death threat, there are people seeking his very life. And he, on his part, is “afflicted and needy.” It is in this situation that he says “Let God be magnified.” In other words, “This is what is happening to me, and I am not sure of the outcome—but God, I call out to You! I seek You and am glad in You! I love Your salvation (and I really need it right now)! I recognize You are far greater than my earthly foes! I make you greater than these! I magnify You!”
When I think of magnifying God, I think of a magnifying glass—a lens through which when you look at something it makes it appear bigger. It’s not that God is small and we have to somehow make Him bigger. No, it’s that we see Him small, as if unable to help us or do anything about the challenges we are confronted with. The point is we need to change our glasses. The ones we wear are often of the wrong sort; we need the glasses that make God out to be as large as He really is.
I think of a story Jim Russell told me about the birth of his daughter Amy. It was well before the days of ultrasound, and when the day came for her to be born, she was a down-syndrome baby. What I remember about what Jim told me is that he and his wife Phyllis simply thanked God. The rest is history; thousands and thousands have been influenced for the kingdom of God by virtue of Amy’s birth and the Russell’s magnification of God at the time.
We ought alway see God as absolutely sovereign. There is nothing that escapes His notice. Prophet Graham Cooke rightly said, “What God allows in His wisdom He could easily prevent by His power.” This ought inspire a deep reverence for God in our hearts, what the Bible refers to as the fear of the Lord.
To magnify the Lord is to place Him above our circumstances, right where He belongs. He is already there, mind you—He just needs to be there in our hearts and minds. He needs to be there in our perspective, in my view of things. God is greater. He is more powerful. He is wiser. He is present. And, wonders of wonders, He loves us.


August 2016