Friday, October 07, 2011

how do you view God?

We've started a new series at church about the characteristics of God. My pastor's recent sermon has stayed with me and I can't shake it. So I'm going to share it with all of you.

How do you view God?

What is your mental image of God? Maybe it's one of these:

* God is like Santa. Do you picture him as an old guy with a long white beard? Do you think of God like the Santa song: He knows when you're sleeping and He knows when you're awake. He knows if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake. And you go to Him to ask for stuff? I want a Barbie, a pony, the new iphone, the perfect job, a husband, a kid, etc. Dang it, God. I didn't want that other type of doll, that Samsung phone, or that job. And where's that husband? Didn't you get my list?

* God is a Cosmic Cop. Always lurking with his Sin radar gun, just waiting to bust me. He is anti-fun. "Are you having fun? Then it's wrong." You know that feeling when you're driving and you see a cop car in your rear view mirror? Your heart leaps, your hair stands up on the back of your neck, and you check everything you're doing. Did I get that tail light fixed? Am I going the speed limit? Is that how you feel about God? (Or the church?)

* God is the Giant Judge. Always judging and grading me. God is up there in heaven analyzing every single thing I do, and at the end of every day, I get a little report card from God. "I was very pleased with you today," or "I am very disappointed."

* God is The Big Blur. God is blurry, fuzzy, unknowable. Kind of like "the Force" in the Star Wars movies. He's not really a personal God. He might exist but it's presumptuous to say you can get to know Him and He doesn't really have any standards except for a vague fuzzy, lovey-dovey-ness.

These labels limit God.

They put God in a box.

Do you believe in the God who really IS...or the God we make in our minds?

Here's the kicker my pastor shared: We shape the idol of God in our minds and then the idol ends up shaping US.

Psalm 115:8 "Those who make idols end up like them. So does everyone who trusts in them."

If Christians think of God as a Giant Judge...they become judgmental.

If they see God as a Cosmic Cop - they become behavior cops.

God is a Big Blur? Those Christians become blurry. They don't take a stand on anything.

You become like the god you serve.

Let's get God out of the box we've put Him into.

Let's discover and then stand in awe of who God truly is.

Always present.
Full of grace and forgiveness.
Jealous for you.
Abba Father.
Worthy of our worship and praise.


Emily said...

Must read book for you: "Imaginary Jesus," by Matt Mikalatos. Goes perfectly with this post! It's a fun read, but makes you think, too.

Smarshie said...

Yes! I will put it on my list. =)