God in a Box
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“Rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.” Philippians 3:3b NKJV
For years, a magnet has hung on my refrigerator door which reads “Let Go, Let God”.
I barely notice it anymore. I’ve heard it so many times that it’s become cliché, nearly foolish in its simplicity.
But occasionally, on an early morning trip to the refrigerator to fetch some orange juice, it catches my eye and causes me to pause.
“Let Go, Let God.”
Most of us struggle with that simplest of instruction. We don’t want to let go, we don’t want to relinquish control, we don’t want to seem less than capable. Our control-freak tendencies have become so rampant that many Christians have forgotten to have confidence in God. Because God is no longer all-powerful. Now He’s some kind of a therapy buddy, taken out of His box only on our worst days.
And yet, this is the God who created the heavens and the earth. The God who parted the Red Sea. The God who helped David defeat a giant with a sling shot and a rock. The God who saved Daniel from the lions.
But today’s God has become a little less able, maybe even a little less willing. He’s not a God of possibilities. He’s the God of “maybe” and “hopefully”. Our motto is no longer, “With God, all things are possible.” Instead, it has become, “With God all things might be probable if we pray hard enough, long enough, loud enough and say the magic words.”
We’ve put God in a box and kept him there. We’ve made up our own rules of what He’s able to do and what He’s willing to do.
He can give us joy, comfort, peace and strength, but he doesn’t move mountains, heal the sick, or change the world. No, because that’s our job. Today, we have more confidence in our technology, our doctors, our governments, and ourselves than we have in the God of the universe.
I think people are afraid of a God who is so wonderfully and fearfully powerful. We can’t wrap our minds around something so great, so awesome, so capable, so we find it best to bring Him down to our level where we can keep Him at a safe distance. That way we can figure out His next move and explain what He does and why He does it. Anything we can’t figure out is scary, so we try to humanize it, and in the process, rob it of its awesomeness.
I want a God who is awesome; a God who is scary and dangerous and unsafe, a God I can’t figure out. I want to worship a God who is greater than me, who doesn’t function at my level. I want a God I can’t understand, a God whose next move I can’t predict. I want a God who does the impossible. I want a God I can be confident in.
I was raised to have confidence in my God. My mother used to teach my siblings and I that if He wanted to, God could make it snow in the living room. What has made us think we’re so self-sufficient, so capable, so powerful of our own accord that we no longer have need of a God who works impossible miracles? How have we lost that sense of wonderment and anticipation? The same reason we don’t notice the magnet on the refrigerator anymore. We’re too busy controlling everything, we no longer have the confidence to believe that anyone, even God Himself, can take over for us.
It’s time we got back to behaving as little children.
“Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3-4 NKJV
How can our father bless us unless we believe He can, unless we have confidence that He will?
But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26 NKJV
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Great article and very timely. You are right on target. We have the same God as in biblical times - He never changes, but unfortunately we do.... Keep writing for His glory. In Christ's Love, Julia
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