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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Is God as Sly as People Say He Is?

I hear people tell me about God all the time. (That shouldn't surprise you since I am a preacher.) They will tell me what He has done, is doing and will do in their lives. Unfortunately, what they are calling God isn't the same as I have understood Him.

Some people think that the reason they are having problems is because there is something that they haven't done. They don't know what it is but when they find out they are going to do that thing so they can get back on God's good side. 

They say things like, "God, tell me what I am doing wrong because I don't want bad things to keep happening to me." I wonder if they see life like a game show. You know, "If I can guess the right answers, I can get everything I have ever wanted." 

Do you really think that God wouldn't tell you what you were doing wrong if He was making bad things happen to you? He sounds more like Batman's the Riddler rather than God. "Come on, Batman, if you get the answer to my riddle right, you can save the girl!"

I really don't have to worry about the things I am not doing right. I know what they are. I sometimes choose to do them anyway and I do have consequences. God doesn't hide them from me. They are very plain no matter how hard I try to hide them. Sometimes I say, "God, don't look in the closet. You know there's nothing in the closet you wouldn't like." But God knows and He knows I know too.

Sometimes I try to surround myself with activity so I won't be caught all alone with God. If I am very busy and envelope myself with others who are doing the wrong things too I don't seem to notice what I am doing wrong. If I get alone with God, I always know.

It isn't like God hits me with lightning or anything. He doesn't even beat me up with words. He just lets me go as far as I would like from Him. When I get sick and tired of being sick and tired I come home.

The amazing thing is that the light is always on when I get there. He seems to say, "I knew you would come home eventually. I was waiting for you."

Some people are so afraid of coming home. I think they believe God will really get on their case if they did. That doesn't even make sense when you think about it. Coming home was the first right thing you have done for a long time. Why would God beat you for doing a right thing?

There really isn't much mystery here. If you want to leave God, He will let you. If you want to sin, He will let you. If you want to struggle, He will let you. If you want to come home, He will welcome you.

Does that mean all good things will start happening then? No. I think of the woman caught in the act of adultery. No one stoned her. Jesus did not condemn her. Yet, He told her to go and sin no more. I wonder what it was like when her husband came home and the whole town was talking about she had done. (They understood that only a married woman could commit adultery.) I don't know but I bet it wasn't real pretty.

I don't think God is sly at all. I know Him to be very plain. 


Mule Skinner said...

Good post, Pastor.

I am reminded of Dr. McGee's frequent remark that a real son can't or won't stay in the pigpen (the prodigal).

If people view God as a cosmic vending machine, then they will have a problem explaining the scriptural accounts of Job, Jeremiah and others.

God desires to conform us to the image of His Son. Man is, as your blog title says, "Created to Give God Glory". Sometimes conforming us to the image of His Son involves grinding off some rough edges.

But then the subject of why people suffer, and why believers suffer, would take a much longer post, wouldn't it?

Prentis said...

Your response made me think. I don't know I should be able to explain all that happens. I know I don't know why many things happen.

God causes all things to work together for the good of them who are called according to His purposes.

Somehow it all fits together. I'm not smart enough to figure out how it does.

My next blog looks like a contradiction of what I have just written. I understand God letting us sin if we like but I don't understand why those bad things happen to good people.

God fits it all together. I see it once He is finished. He isn't sly.