The Limitless Power of God

I admit it.

Sometimes I overthink things…little things…inconsequential things…meaningless things?…

Well I do.

As we transition from Chapter 2 in Adam Hamilton’s Seeing Gray in a World of Black and White he writes about “the big things of God”.

He spends a lot of time on this in Chapter 2 and there are reasons.

First, Christians are so distracted by “the world.” It says in Philippians 3:20: “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ”.   It says in John 17:14:  “I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world”.  As we are alive in this world, the things of the world impact us [war, famine, suffering and poverty] but as Christians we are to see the world in a different light.  This world is not our life.  Our life resides in Christ.  Therein resides our hope.  We are not meant for this world; we were meant for heaven with God.  This world is not our real home; it is a temporary location.

It is also a distraction. The concerns of daily life can turn us away from God as we get mired in the “very important” affairs of life on earth.

Pastor Hamilton goes out in the night and looks up in the sky and ponders the limitless power of God and wonders why we do this.

Secondly, Christians take their faith and fragment it into small pieces that distract from the main message of an awesome God. I have to recount Hamilton’s story of the traveling preacher who came to his college and preached against rock and roll music.  Being a good young man, he wanted to honor God in any way that he could so he listened to the message and felt convicted.  The pastor told the young people in the crowd to go home and destroy their rock and roll music collection.   Pastor Hamilton did so at the end of the service.  All his LPs went into the dumpster after he broke them in half.  The most difficult records to destroy were his Beatles albums.   The pastor said destroy them so he did, wondering all the while why God was so upset with music lyrics like “She loves you yeah, yeah yeah.”

Why would our awesome God be so concerned with all rock and roll music? Some music does celebrate drug culture, violence and abuse against women and those themes should be condemned.  But “She loves you yeah, yeah, yeah?”

I don’t think so.

Pastor Hamilton goes out in the night and looks up in the sky and ponders the limitless power of God and wonders why we do this.

We do it because we take God and we limit Him to our own needs. Our needs are not His needs.  As humans we need to be able to conceptualize God.  There is nothing wrong with that.  My faith has grown as I have tried to conceptualize God in a more spiritually mature way, but I am still putting God in a box and I always will.

Psalm 139:6: “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.”

We turn to the Bible to attain as much knowledge as we can but even here we are limited. Hamilton states the Biblical authors got the word from God and that word was put in language for other men to understand.  Do you think the words of man are capable of expressing God messages?  From the written word, we are asked to read it and interpret it as God would want us to.  As we attempt to decode the Word, we are limited by our understanding of the language and our experience with the Scripture.  We try to understand but do you think your interpretation is the interpretation or quite possibly there are additional ways to understanding the Scripture?  I never feel like I have it all correct when I read the Bible; numerous readings over the years have revealed new things to me on every reading.

My limited ability to think puts God in a box.

As we leave Chapter 2 and move to Chapter 3, Hamilton cites a book by J.B. Phillips entitled Your God is Too Small. I have not read this book but it sounds like it expresses the point that I am trying to make.  Hamilton says of the book, “I fear that today the Christian church (along with every other religion) is often guilty of worshipping a small God whose mystery we think we’ve nailed down in our black-and-white theology.”

Maybe, just maybe we all need to go out in the night and look up in the sky and ponder the limitless power of God…and see how wrong we truly are.

 

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