We’ve got a problem. Us, the church. Followers of Jesus Christ.
Ok, we’ve probably got a few of them. And when I say “probably,” I mean we do. Of course we don’t become perfect the moment we start following Jesus! My often impatient, worrisome heart is direct proof of that…
Thank God for grace.
But this problem, it’s a little different. Different in the way that I’m not sure a lot of us even realize it’s an issue. Blame culture. Blame upbringing. Blame pride. I don’t know that anything is fit to blame, but I can assure you this: the enemy is pleased with this one. He’s got our hearts passively captured in a real cornerstone of ways.
The Truth About God
God isn’t who we think He is. He isn’t a little genie merely sitting on a big, golden throne waiting around to answer our prayer requests. He isn’t caught off-guard by the world, or sent into a tailspin in response to the most recent political election or social unrest. And He certainly can’t be confined to a box, set on a shelf, and taken out in the moments we decide we need Him.
God is bigger than all of that, more powerful than all of that. The Bible tells us that God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-present. And while we “know” this to be true…do we really believe it? Do our thoughts and actions actually reflect these truths?
I’ll be the first to admit that I am quick to forget just how BIG God is. I often forget that He has command over all the universe. Just like that. With no effort. He is fully self-sufficient, entirely powerful, infinitely capable of all things without tire. He reigns over the winds the sea, even physics. No part of life is outside of his hands.
Rethinking What You “Know”
Have you read the old testament? Think about the stories in there…honestly, take a moment to consider the things God has done.
Creation: Without any point of reference, God created light out of the darkness. He formed the universe, the galaxies…things we have yet to even discover. Things man has only dreamed of discovering, God made. The Earth, the seas, the birds, the trees. Nature in all it’s intricate complexity. The human body, yet another beautifully precise craftsmanship. God made it all.
We see His might in the Exodus, His justice in the flood. He declares when the sun shines, when the rain pours, when the creatures move, when nations fall.
It’s difficult to wrap my head around this God. How couldn’t it be? While we may be made in His image, we are NOTHING like God. How can we, limited to human understanding, even relate? It’s moments like this that really make me lean into Jesus.
What’s The Big Deal About Jesus?
One of my favorite moments in the Bible is Matthew 27. Jesus is on the cross. He cries out to God, gives up His spirit, and “in that moment, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split, and the tombs broke open.”
The thick curtain (or veil) that separated man from God was torn in two. No longer do we need a high priest. Jesus is our High Priest. No longer do we need a bunch of religious rituals. Jesus made a new way of living.
Now, I know God is entirely good. But He is also entirely just. And with a God bigger and more powerful than I can even imagine, I am ever-thankful that Jesus is our perfect intercessor.
I think the place many of us, even as Christians, find ourselves in is one of inappropriately attributed fear.
Do you fear God? Are you giving Him the honor, respect, awe, and submission He is due? Or, if you’re being honest, do you find yourself fearing man more than you fear the Almighty God.
What do you fear more? Losing your job, or God?
What do you fear more? Living the rest of your life single and alone, or God?
What do you fear more? Being accepted and fitting in with the world, or God?
What do you fear more? Losing someone you love, or God?
As I run this past my own heart, I see places of compromise. Places where I lose sight of Who it is I live to serve. It sure feels senseless to pursue other worldly gains when comparing them to an accurate picture of God, unlike the small one we often limit Him to.
In a world that belittles the glory and relevance of God, we must be intentional in making much of Him. Don’t be content leaving your fear of God at the level it is. Make Him greater, and the things of this world less.
Humbly challenge yourself to remember that your understanding is limited in comparison to a boundless God, and seek ways to expand your awe in Him: Dig into the word. Read it with renewed eyes.
Research the unique intricacies of honey bees, listen uninterruptedly to an orchestra, spend an hour looking up at the stars…I don’t know what gets you excited, but pursue those things for a refreshed awe and wonder in our matchless God.