What comes from denying we exist as creatures in a place that was created?
What results when you believe that most biological diversity can be explained by genetic mutation and natural selection? That some form of evolution is the sole reason that there are bears and birds and bats, and not simply a planet containing single-cell organisms?
What results when you believe that gravity and time and hydrogen, as opposed to Jesus Christ and His voice and His plan, can result in fiery stars, mountains of cold stone, and impossibly deep waters?
Well, you won’t be in awe when you read God say to Job, “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”
And you won’t tremble with awe or feel it in your guts when you read “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas.”
When you deny that God created what He says He did how He says He did it, you also deny yourself the joy of praising Him for it. Of fearing Him for it. Of seeing Him in it.
Our place in creation is a gift. Granted, it is now a creation that’s groaning for the return of Christ because of the terrible effects of sin, but our God-ordained role within it is still a gift. And great, psalm-writing, prayer-making, evangelism-inspiring gladness and awe come from seeing it that way. From seeing creation as His doing and His gift for His glory. The way His prophets and apostles and Son did.
“Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance?”
“Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?”
“The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place.”
We see Him better and know Him better when we see His world for what it truly is.
Earlier this evening, outside my open front door, I heard warm rain slapping the mud in our front yard. My three-year-old daughter was laying on my lap. I was able to feel in my bones, sitting on my couch with warm spring air you could smell coming in through the screen door, thankfulness that such a world was authored. That this sort of Earth was fashioned by the decision and power and providence of God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. That clouds and soft spring rain and children exist because He made them as Genesis 1 and 2 tell me He did (and that He has allowed sin and made the way for sin’s demise as a part of His plan for His glory, as Genesis 3 and the rest of His Bible tell me He has). I was given a moment of stilled, humble worship of Him because of the world He’s made, has sustained, and will remake.
God is obvious in His creation, but humans are born dead in sin, and so sinners love everything but God. Our race has always found ways to deny that God is God; and one of the current ones is naturalism. It’s simply commonplace in our day and place to deny that God made the ground we stand on, the air in our lungs, the moon over my head, the crickets who will soon be chirping outside. To deny that He made us humans male and female, that He is has good, wonderful authority over this sin-scarred planet, and that what we do with our bodies and our minds is all done under His jurisdiction.
It’s instead claimed that this is a rock amidst rocks, made by no one and filled with animals that have no purpose. It’s claimed by people whose hearts are far deader (though far more decisive) than their instincts that no one directly made us and there probably isn’t any One to whom we have to give an account.
And no one we should have to give praise to.
Whether you are a follower of Christ who has been subtly deceived by such talk or someone who has never been born from above to see and know Jesus, if you’ve bought this lie you have been short-sold. To deny the Giver is to deny the gift. You can marvel at colors or sounds, but you will never rightly enjoy them until you acknowledge and know their Maker. You will never fully grasp the beauty of redwoods and seashores and newborns until you recognize and love the One they point to; until you understand them as creations from and under the hand of the Most High.
To accept naturalism and see the universe as its own, unmade closed system isn’t to see nature for what she is, but to see her less clearly than ever. She was made by God and will be remade for His people. She is beautiful still (though under the weight of sin and death), because He is more beautiful. Nature is His doing. She makes a terrible god but a marvelous worship song.
To believe that matter and animals and humans came from anything other than the voice and hands of the Creator and through Christ is to be robbed of the delight, worship, and joy that they are meant to inspire. To deny Creation was created is to blind yourself to her purpose. To believe naturalism is to lose nature.