Christ the Rock
by David Morsey
The world is a transient, shifting orb in the vastness of space. Where is there any stability? What is solid? How do we find footing? Those of us who fly the jets may feel a bit of relief when we finally "touch down," but then where are we? We are on a little ball floating out in space, with nothing under us. The religionists, by the very nature of that category with such matters, often propose what they believe to be "absolutes" in this matter, but for the most part their proposals produce greater instability because of the elusive requirements which are the conditions corollary to identifying with their humanly devised systems. And usually confidence in the system is based upon the ability of the human being to maintain a state of piety and emotional response to the alleged benefits that are promised to the faithful in a blind commitment to some human perceptions of the Deity and His expectations of His creatures. In the end there is greater bondage and at the same time greater instability as the religious requirements demand more and more commitment to human rules and systems and overseers.
What we humans need is a rock foundation--one that is far stronger and more stable than human efforts can provide. We need a base for our spirits that is as eternal as God and does not depend on any human capacity. We need an approach to faith that is sustained by God. We need a way of life that is not riddled with guilt and anxiety and uncertainty. We need something that is for the "commoner"--the one who makes no grand spiritual claims for himself
Generally speaking, most religions, including Christianity, as it is usually presented, do not meet these requirements. Any stability that might be produced in their propositions about God is lost in the conditions upon which access to God is based, to say nothing of a sustained relationship to Him. What is given by the right hand of promise is often taken away by the left hand of preconditions.
What one needs to know is--"Can I identify with God in spite of all, and does He identify with me in spite of all? Can I assume unconditionally that God is the bedrock of stability for everyone who wants Him to be--even me?"
The answer is an unequivocal yes! The basis of this statement is the abundance of Scriptures that confirm it to us.
So how do we get our feet planted upon this Rock and how do we stay there?
FIRST, we must ask what is the Rock we are talking about and how do we know there is such a Rock? SECOND, how do we know we have access to that Rock? THIRD, how do we get our feet planted upon that Rock? FOURTH, how do we stay there?
HOW DO WE KNOW THERE IS SUCH A ROCK?
Our assumptions about that point are based upon the Biblical statements to that affect. The Scriptures give us the authority to believe that we are on the right track--that we are not presumptuous in our confidence in God's power and willingness to be to us such a Rock. "The Lord is my Rock and my Fortress, and my Deliverer; my God, my Strength, in Whom I will trust; my Buckler, and the Horn of my salvation, and my High Tower." (Psalm 18:2) His power is manifested in the Heavens, which "declare the glory of God." The building blocks of earth are the elements which He Himself created.
His willingness is amply declared in the Scriptures and manifested to us in the fact that in spite of all the earthly catastrophes and personal cataclysms, we still stay with God, beyond our human mental and emotional capacities to handle these things. The human brain has no capacity to do this. The best we can do is to produce either rational or irrational confidence, neither of which is adequate to produce the faith which God produces in our spirits.
Actually, the faith of God is an energy process which comes from Him alone. What most people call "faith" is nothing more than human confidence in the trumped up assumption that God is going to do what we want Him to do. The faith of God, which is a fruit of the Spirit and therefore a gift, is really an energy process which can only come from God Himself. The faith of God has nothing to do with feelings of confidence. It functions completely apart from our human mental activity which is actually something of the soul or the "psyche." People think they are building up faith when they try to work up feelings of confidence, when actually we humans really do not know what God is going to do, despite the many claims of some religious groups to a kind of special pipeline to God.
It is essential that we distinguish here between the flesh and the spirit or the soul (or psyche) and the spirit. Hebrews 4:12 tells us that the Word of God is able to divide between "soul and spirit." The soul (or psyche) is the seat of the mind, which includes the intellect and emotions. The spirit is the seat of our interaction with God. It is here that Christ, the Rock, dwells and it is here that we find our everlasting peace and security. The idea of Christ, is like the giant granite cliffs that preside majestically over the valleys below, unaffected by the storms and blizzards and raging rivers. The Psalmist says so eloquently--"When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I." (Psalm 61:2) In reality, the Rock is not only under us as our foundation, but in us as our stability and strength.
Paul speaks of the Rock from which Moses brought forth water in the wilderness, from which all drank, and sees in it a type of Christ, the "Spiritual Rock." The implication is that the life of the spirit flows through us, in spite of the arid wilderness of this earthly scene.
SO HOW DO WE GET OUR FEET PLANTED UPON THIS ROCK?
The Psalmist says, "He lifted me out of the miry clay and set my feet upon the rock and established my goings." (Psalm 40:2) The plain teaching of the Scripture is that humans have no strength to lift themselves. Jesus said, "without me you can do nothing." Paul said, "Oh wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from this body of death?" Jesus said that those who receive help are those who recognize their weakness. He told the Pharisees that they got no help because they thought they were well and did not need it. And Paul said, "Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my weaknesses, for when I am weak then am I strong." This, of course, was in response to God's declaration--"My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness." If the rock is higher than we--higher than the circumstances of earth--then it is reasonable to assume that it is too high for us to climb.
He must lift us up--and He does. He spoke of carrying Jacob "on eagle's wings." And Isaiah said, "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as the eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." (Isaiah 40:31) Those who confess weakness are carried on the wings of the eagles. Those who claim to be strong try to scale the rock--peton over peton. It turns out ultimately to be a futile effort, as the Pharisees experienced. The arduous and futile struggle to scale the cliff is overcome instantly by the "Deific Eagle."
Getting to the top of the Rock is as simple as the eagle flies--as impossible for a human as soaring unaided in the sky. It is really accomplished in the uttering of one word--Hosannah--"save now I pray." To ask for salvation is to have it. It is the cry of the helpless--"God be merciful to me a sinner." And the response of the Savior--"Come unto me all you that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest."
AND HOW DO WE STAY THERE?
David says--"It is too high; I cannot attain unto it." If God can lift us to Heaven in the "twinkling of an eye," He can certainly lift us to the top of the rock. And how do we stay there? By the same hand that put us there. Again the Psalmist, David (who ought to know as well as anyone) said, "The Lord is my rock and my salvation. I shall not be moved." (Psalm 62:2) So how do we stay on the rock? As easily and impossibly as getting there in the first place. "Unto Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy." (Jude 24) "No man shall pluck them out of my Father's hand." (John 10:28) "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." (Hebrews 13:5) "The eternal God is our refuge; and underneath are the everlasting arms." (Deuteronomy 33:27)
As surely as the Bible is the Word of God we have such a Rock. As surely as we confess our weakness and seek His help, He bears us on His eagle wings and shelters our spirits safe and secure in His ageless aerie high above earthly ills, and invincible to the enemy of our souls.