June 16, 2005

How Big is Your God?

After reading my title, did you start thinking, “How big is your God....hmmm...Well, the Bible says He is infinite. His voice is as the sound of many waters…He is everywhere…if I ascend to heaven, He is there…if I go to hell, he is there...He’s huge.” Yes. He truly is. But, my question is not, “How big does the Bible say God is?” We can see that in Scripture. I did ask however, “How big is your God?” In other words, practically speaking, how big is your God. How much place do you give him? How supreme is He over your decisions and choices? How big is your God?

But today, you have rejected your God, who saves you from all your calamities and your distresses, and you have said to him, ‘Set a king over us.’
I SAMUEL 10:19

In my trek through the Old Testament the last few weeks, God has been bringing one major thought back to my mind—don’t let a man ever take My Place. It’s always always always always all about Me. My influence is most important, never the influence of men. Fear Me and keep My commandments.

I came to I Samuel the other day, and I listened to Israel’s whines for a human king. They saw the other nations and were afraid. They were afraid…scared to death that God would not be enough to deliver them from Nahash, king of the Ammonites. Not only that, but they were probably afraid of what they looked like to other nations. When it all started, they said they wanted to “be like all the nations.” (I Samuel 8:20)

When you saw that Nahash, king of the Ammonites came against you, you said to me, “No, but a king shall reign over us,” when the Lord your God was your king.
I SAMUEL 12:12

Living man-centered. The silent killer. The quiet brakes to our Christian growth. It creeps in with seemingly innocent thoughts and wants, but in the end, it turns from innocent to idolatrous. The scary thing is that man-focused living is so easy to fall prey to. It is almost commonplace thinking for a lot of us; I mean really how often do we think, “It doesn’t matter what others think or can do to me, God is supreme.” Eeh. [buzzer] Wrong. More often than not we think things like, “I can’t go through with that, I’ll be laughed at…” “I can’t get close to people, they’ll see who I really am.” “I can’t be honest about my problems. They’ll humiliate me.” And by saying these things, we may as well blurt out, “God, man is more important than you right now…sorry.”

Let God’s words to the children of Israel speak to you, “today, you have rejected your God, who saves you from all your calamities and your distresses, and you have said to him, ‘Set a king over us." (1 Sam. 10:19) The problem with the children of Israel was that they grew man-focused. They saw a man-solution to a problem God had fixed many times before (who saves you from all your calamities and your distresses.) They wanted a human king instead of the One King. They valued a man more than their God. People got big, and God got small.

The same is true for us though, isn’t it? We lose sight of the truth and jealousy and wisdom and love and grace and providence and mystery and power of God that has been proven time and time again in our lives and in the pages of scripture. We miss the Truth for the lie that is fear of man. How do we grow man-focused? It happens when we aren’t willing to do what we know we must, because of what someone might think. It happens when we would rather worry than pray. It happens when we get upset, because something doesn’t turn out the way we wanted. It happens when man is bigger than God in our minds.

Are you living man-focused or God-focused? How big is your God?

What is the solution? Fear God. Learn a healthy trembling fear of Who God is.

He is terrible. He is awesome. He is jealous. But, as you grow in your knowledge of the Holy, you begin to grasp His love…mercy…longsuffering…None of these negate the other characteristics, they simply enhance and complement them. He is God the terrible, awesome, jealous lover to whom all our worship belongs.

Now, what has just happened? An honest look at God sends man where he ought to be. It’s all about God. Fear of man ought never influence us away from God’s purpose. (Proverbs 29:25) His ways, His truth, His influence.

Fear Him.

Posted by jonkopp at June 16, 2005 05:07 PM | TrackBack