Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Have you ever been faced with what felt like an insurmountable challenge and in the midst of that, you’ve worshiped a really small God? Have you ever prayed something like:I have to confess, I have been in the opposite situation - I have been with people that expected too much of God, that sat on their haunches and waited for God to provide money for a budget sized beyond imagination - I have seen them break the financial back of a congregation. I saw people lose faith in God becasue the church acted the fool.
“God, you are gigantic. You rule the universe. You’re just not as big as my college application process. You are slightly too small to handle that.”
“God, I love you. You are massive and supreme. You are huge, except you’re not big enough to handle my divorce. You are smaller than this experience.”
“God, you are like the real He-Man, you are master of the universe! You are so big and so all knowing, except you probably don’t know how to handle my job search. You’re big, you’re just slightly tinier than my unemployment.”
No one would actually prays those words, but that’s what flows from our heart when we allow doubt to set up shop. That’s how we live when we feel like we’ve got to force things to happen or they never will. That’s what happens when we under size God.
God is big beyond our imagination - that's a good thing - but He ACTS in accordance with His will - not ours. If we are going to claim God's "bigness" then we better make real sure that we are well attuned to His priorities, His objectives, His desires, and His will.
Every time someone tells me God is big enough to handle whatever, I get the check in my soul I have just described to you. The distance from "claiming God's power" to the "prosperity gospel" is very short indeed.
I do not think it accident that in Matthew 7 - the Sermon on the Mount - promises of God's blessing are followed immediately by the Golden Rule and warnings of "narrow gates" and "false prophets.
Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.