February 18, 2012

The god of the Closet

In a headlong rush to grow up, get involved with the world and live our lives I believe many including Christians minimize their God until He becomes god. We put him in a box where we can keep and eye on Him and take Him out only when we want to engage or interact with Him. In doing this we make God small...meaningless. In our minds God goes from God to god [lowercase, non-deity] or so we think.

We grow away from Him often times. We treat Him like the fairy tales of our youth. He is dismantled and disregarded like so many mythical fables. As a matter of fact I have often heard people make those very statements about some of the Old Testament stories like Adam and Eve and David and Goliath. The world encourages this unbiblical mindset and then...off we go chasing the vanity of world...the vanity of life. The problem is that He is not like the fairy tales. He is real. Although, we leave Him behind, He doesn't leave us.  We end up storing wrath on ourselves as we go our own way. In an attempt to chase a dream and a fairytale type of life we relegate God as to the same fate and forget about him like an apparition.

Somehow over 20 or 30 years in a vain pursuit of the world I lost the wonder and awe of the timeless omnipotent and sovereign God I had as a youth. I believe this holds true for many of us. By marginalizing Him, trivializing Him, putting Him in a box and putting Him on a shelf in our closet to collect dust like our nightstand Bibles, we ignore and forget Him.

The truth is He was not to be another thought that we have during the day, He is the preemptive thought that we should have before we think of anything else. Like most, I people think in a linear manner. If I put Christ at the forefront of any decision or idea it is lead with that foot forward. It permeates all thoughts that come after it. If we do therefore think in a linear manner and Christ is whats in our head...He leaves no room to think about anything else. It is when we don't do this that other things rush to the forefront of our minds and those things supplant God making themselves idols of our minds. Perhaps what is worse is we in our meaningless existence without God make ourselves idols therefore making our very minds our own idols. Our worldly wisdom and knowledge becomes our God. I believe we see that around us today in the secular culture that puts science and data at the front but totally interprets it wrong. We saw this in the church at Corinth too. This is nothing new. We have just become more advanced and arrogant and think we are smarter than our 2000 year old brethren when in reality our arrogance has made us blindly ignorant of obvious facts known to the Christians long ago. Science has made no room for God. The Bible tells us to make no room for anything that sets itself up before the knowledge of God. Whom do you obey?

2 Corinthians 10:5 ~ We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

We need to take every thought captive. Not just errant ones that inundate us from others on a daily basis from the culture, friends and even family but we need to arrest our own thoughts. Science and data are fine but not when they are segregated and removed from the context of a holy God. Down that path lies nihilism and meaninglessness. Otherwise the awe-inspiring God of childhood becomes the compartmentalized boxed in god of the closet that only comes out once a year if your lucky. For some that god never comes out. He ends up getting packed away forever and abandoned. In time, God gives you over to your pursuits and you are lost. Condemned. He stays locked away in darkness in the closet and in our minds. It is hard for us to have reverential awe for a god we think we can control and push out of our lives when we see fit. Frankly, this god that people trivialize isn't really God at all. Its a figment of their imaginations...certainly not God.

When we see God like this we are indeed seeing God as a fairy tale, not the one outlined in the Bible. The real One that is "...one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all." ~ Ephesians 4:6

How does this happen? Life. Our lives (or someone else's) supplant Him. We make ourselves or our ideas and thoughts gods...we make ourselves or ideas idols. What other explanation is there? Sadly, this is the worst form of idolatry there is too. We worship ourselves the creation not the Creator. The thing created in the image of God but not God.

You cannot play this fast and loose people. This is not like a divine form of Storage Wars. This is life or death. I personally have regained that sense of awe at 43 and I do not think it will ever go away again. I have seen too much in the last 4 or 5 years along with my wife that is supernatural or transcends what science and data can explain away. The more I see the more things occur. Just when I thought things in life couldn't become anymore odd...they do.

So where is your God? Where are your idols? Are your idols buried and forgotten or is your god? I suggest that if you have God in a closet...get him out and make Him God. Put Him in a place of prominence in your lives where he belongs. If you have idols in your life...throw them in the dumpster. Its time to start taking inventory of your life and do some Spring cleaning.

1 comment:

Chris said...

The Lord is so sweet to have mercy on you in such a way. There are many very subtle idols and gods out there to pull us away. I, as a foolish young believer have thought about certain matters, "Oh, I've dealt with that, I'm good in that category". This kind of "pride" or should I say "naive thinking" has led these things to rise up again and again. So realizing that I appreciate how you led us to "take every thought captive". Amen Lord, more and more our thoughts would be Your thoughts, our ways, Your ways, we would just be one with You :) We love You Lord Jesus, thank You that You are so real to us!

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