Are we putting God in a box? It seems like a silly question to a believer but it is an all too common occurrence. We, humans, are self-centered creatures. We like our comfort, our ideas, our preferences and most of all our control. We like to rule over our own lives like, well, little gods. So when our plans or feelings conflict with what God says we have the urge to take refuge in a false version of God. We manufacture an idea of God and His righteousness that is more palatable to us.
We take God and put Him in a special little box of our own making that keeps the “bad” challenging things away from us but allows the “good” things out. This is all by our own standards of good and bad, of course. If I enjoy a certain activity and the Bible speaks against it, we block that portion of the message from reaching us. My god would want me to enjoy myself we tell ourselves. If we are involved in a relationship that the Bible says is sinful, well, my god is all about love and I really love that person so we block that out too.
We develop a relationship with God that is similar to the one we have with our favorite heirloom. We keep our god safe on a shelf somewhere safe in the house. We craft an ornate box with felt lining to make it seem special. Occasionally, we bring our god out to be admired. But our god has no real impact or involvement in our lives. Taking a Hummel collection out every once in a while makes us feel good, but doesn’t drive any decisions or change behavior.
Did you notice the lower case “g” when discussing this sort of god? We use the lower case when it is not really God of the Bible we are talking about. When we try to limit God’s power in our lives, when we put Him in a box of our own creation we effectively create a new god – little “g”. It is a form of idolatry. God is never in any way limited in reality. No matter
The real God is never in any way limited in reality. So if we have created a version who can be dictated to, that is not God. No matter how much we try to put ourselves on the throne of our lives, it always is occupied. God is not challenged by our attempts to take away His position. He is just saddened by it.
Thanks to the fleshly nature we still carry around with us, all of us still have varying layers of junk. You know, the things that are not of God that we savor and try to do any way. If we give in to our flesh, this is called sin.
Thanks to Jesus, we are offered a choice every time our junk conflicts with God’s plan. When our prejudice, comfort, pride or other fleshly impulses are challenged by the Holy Spirit, we are free to choose. Do we let God and His truth freely reign in our lives, even when it is hard? if we choose yes, then the Holy Spirit helps us make that happen. Or do we set up our own little throne and our own little god to serve us and justify ourselves in our eyes?
Do we choose the junk and set up our own little throne and our own little god to serve us and justify our choosing our junk in our eyes?
One choice leads to joy, the power of the Spirit working, growth in the Lord and true fulfillment. The other is just sin. What are the wages of sin again?
Are we being stretched? Are we being challenged? If God is taking our preconceived notions right now and dashing them with His truth, what are we to do?
Simple, acknowledge He is truly God on His throne, choose Him over a fake god and be grateful. His ways are so much better than ours. We all know there is no such thing as a god in a box.
What about you? Are you being challenged today? How are you responding?