God in the Box

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8-9.

Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but to Your name give glory, because of Your mercy, because of Your truth. Why should the Gentiles say, “So where is their God?” But our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases. – Psalm 115:1-3.

For I know that the LORD is great, and our Lord is above all gods. Whatever the LORD pleases He does, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deep places. – Psalm 135:5-6.

Over a period of time, many become complacent about God. Now, we may still come to church, pray, read our Bibles, witness, serve. However, there comes to be something that is missing. I have heard many people talk about how some try to use God like a genie in a bottle; who when they have a need for him – rub the bottle, the genie appears, and they tell him their wishes.  I think what we do, is also what many of the heroes of the faith in times past have done and is instead like the old jack-in-the-box. You remember the toy, you turn the crank winding it up, and the lid opens, and out pops the clown or jester. What we do, is that we tend to put God into a box – it may be unspoken, and it may be even unthought. However, we tend to believe that God can do just this much, and no more. If what we need, or want, is something we believe our God in the box can handle, then we turn the crank (pray); and we wait for Him to pop up to take care of it all.

You remember the problem that Moses had when He encountered the Burning Bush. Now I am sure, that if you were to ask Moses if he believed in God at that point in his life, he would have told you that he did. However, the God Moses believed in was in this little box, He didn’t appear in burning bushes that didn’t burn up; and He didn’t actually talk and ask people to do impossible things. God had to get Moses to think outside of the box, before he could free the Israelites from Egypt, and lead them to the Promised Land.

Jonah had much the same problem. He hated the Ninevites and could not believe that the God he believed in that was in his little box, could possibly care about wicked people like the Ninevites. We know that God used a very drastic measure to help Jonah to think outside of the box. It was the big fish tool. I don’t know if God has ever used that tool with anyone else, but I wouldn’t rule it out.

Then there’s Gideon. He was a peaceful non-confrontive person who had no desire to make waves. The angel appears and tells him that he has to tear down his father’s altar to the false god Baal (Judges 6). Gideon doesn’t want any part of it. The part about God thinking he was a “mighty man of valor” was definitely outside of the box. However, God did use Gideon as a mighty man of valor to defeat the Midianites and Amalekites. Not with a vast army, but with only a small number of men. The army of Israel was finally reduced from 10,000 to only 300 men. What faith those 300 men must have had – They were surely thinking outside of the box, to believe that they alone could defeat an army of thousands.

To think outside of the box, we need a greater understanding of the nature of God. To think outside of the box, we must continuously refocus upon God. The writer of Hebrews tells us that in Hebrews 12:3 where he says, “Consider Him who endured such opposition from man that you may not grow weary and lose heart.” Losing our focus on God. Placing limits on God. This results in a weakening of our faith, and a growing weariness with the things of God, and of the Kingdom of God. That is how God ends up in small box, limited in our minds as to what He can do. To escape this trap of a limited and weak God, we must consciously live life in the presence of God, seeking to grasp hold of His true nature.

For us to understand, and comprehend that we have, and worship a God capable of more than we can comprehend; we need to see that God is God, and He can do whatever He pleases.

(We are not able to completely define God from our earthly frame of reference.)

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