Reducing God

God. He’s huge. Actually, the Bible says He’s everywhere; Spirit, not simply a gigantic being separate from Jesus, sitting somewhere beyond the universe. We actually live, move and breath in Him. He is all-powerful and knows everything. What I think about God is solidly based on Scripture.

But, what do my actions say?

Often, the way we behave proves that we don’t always view God as all that big. We actually think of Him as quite small at times.

What do I mean?

The last few days, I’ve been thinking about the ways we reduce God. That is, making Him smaller than He is. Making Him equal to us. Or even worse, making Him less than us.

How do we reduce God?

  • We reduce God by thinking He’s angry all the time or gets mad at every little wrong thing we do. That makes Him as small as us – grouchy and over-sensitive, (folded arms included).
  • We reduce God when we think He hasn’t forgiven us after we’ve confessed and sincerely repented. We think He holds onto our sins for loooooooooooooooooooooooong periods of time. At times, that makes Him as small as some of us – touchy martyrs who are prize-winning grudge holders. Other times, it makes Him even smaller; we assume God is still holding onto unforgiveness for things that we ourselves would have forgiven another person for in a heart-beat.
  • We reduce God when we don’t trust Him to make right decisions. Our prayers are more like, “My will be done” rather than, “Thy will be done.” We tell Him over and over what we think He should do. We give Him advice on how a situation should play out. And then, we get angry when it doesn’t turn out the way WE think it should. This makes us wiser than God and He becomes quite small.
  • We reduce God when we freak out about the current political, economic and social conditions of the world. This makes God uninterested at the least, or uncaring at most. He becomes much smaller than the always-involved God of the Bible who cares about even the smallest details of our lives, guaranteeing good to all who love Him.
  • We reduce God when we think He doesn’t love certain people as much as He loves “mature” Christians. Like non-Believers who are living sinful lifestyles. Or carnal Christians. This makes God picky and bias. It diminishes Him, making Him equal to us if we, too, have a hard time loving everybody. At worst, it makes us bigger than God, if we ourselves are able to love people that we think God will have nothing to do with.

I think you get my point. But here’s another question: Why do we reduce God?

Maybe we do it to serve our own interests; we’re comfortable with the predictable and familiar God we’ve created in our own minds. Or, maybe it’s our pride; we want to feel as good as God, if not superior at times. But I think there’s a more basic, fundamental reason why we reduce Him . . .

We don’t really know God.

Our assumptions of Him are primarily based on our earthly experiences, rather than a solid understanding of who He is and an intimate relationship with Him to go with it. We think studying God’s Word is archaic and unnecessary. Church on Sundays is more than enough. Perhaps our pride and fulfilling our own self-interests are instead the reasons for us not getting to know God more.

What a dumb thing, to reduce God. I mean really; who wants to follow a grouchy, over-sensitive, picky, non-caring grudge holder? No wonder we have a hard time serving Him with all of our hearts, minds and souls. We’ve reduced Him to us.

I don’t want a small God. I want to know Him so well that there is no place for Him to be small in my life. I want Him to be as big as my mind will allow Him to be – and then some.

How about you? Have you ever reduced God?

(For further reflection on the truth about God: Jer. 23:24, John 4:24, Acts 17:28, Ex. 34:6, Ps. 86:5, 103:12,14, 1 John 1:9, Ps. 84:11, 147:5, Rom. 11:32-34, Dan. 2:20-22, John 19:10-11, Rom. 8:28, 2 Pet. 3:9, Acts 10:34, John 3:16, Rom. 5:8)

8 thoughts on “Reducing God

  1. Michelle Rankin

    Wow I really love reading your blogs, there is always something in each one that speaks to me. Thank you , I look forward to each one.

    Reply
  2. Anonymous

    With shame I can totally relate to ‘reducing’ God from a capital “G” to a small ‘g’. And you are absolutely right ~ it is because we do not know Who God Is… BUT His word tells us, teaches us, shows us who He is and how He really feels about us, thinks about us and loves us… so much that He doesn’t want us to stay where we are. it’s a really good idea to let the Lord of all creation come out of ‘our box’ and show us what He is capable of….Great post Sherri!

    Reply
  3. Brad Stanton

    Hi I am following your blog, and just now I put your blog on my list of blogs that I follow on my front page (right hand column, towards the bottom).That helps u get more visitors to your blog in at least a couple of ways. Would you consider doing the same for me? Thanks
    Come and visit mine sometime http://www.bradstanton.com Have a great week, love your photo’s.

    Reply
    1. sherribennettblog Post author

      Hi Brad – I am honored that you would include my blog; I enjoy reading your blog as well. Unfortunately, for reasons that I cannot go into here, I have a blanket policy about not promoting other blogs – even though I know it could be very beneficial for my own site if I do. I appreciate your understanding and pray Gods favor over all of your work. Blessings!

      Reply
  4. Keith

    Thank you, Sherri, for these Spirit-filled words. I so needed to read this today. Kris suggested your blog to me, and I am very thankful for her recommendation. So many times on this journey through life, I am perplexed and saddened by the apparent absence of God. I know He is good, and I believe with all of my heart that He loves me (just as I am, right now, this very moment) but when my journey leads me through the lonely and silent places, I often find myself asking: “Where are you, God? Why do I not sense your love, your comfort, or your caring heart?” I wrongly imagine Him to be so immense in His otherness and holiness that He is somehow unmoved by my struggles and sorrows. I interpret His silence as indifference. And in this false assumption, I reduce him to something so much tinier than He truly is. If He cares enough about me to die for me, then He cares about all of me, all the time. In my heart, I know this to be true. And yet…

    How do I explain these dark nights of the soul? These long and winding roads with not even the faintest whisper of His words. How do I reconcile His silence with the knowledge that nothing can separate me from His love—that He so desires a deep and full relationship with me that He suffered and died on my behalf?

    I honestly don’t know. Better informed and more highly educated men and women have been wrestling with this issue for thousands of years now, and I don’t think I can understand the mind of God any more than they do. I don’t know why He seems so silent when I so desperately need to hear His voice. I don’t understand it, and perhaps I am not supposed to. I must learn to live in the humility of my dependence on a God too big for me to figure out. It is a frustrating, confusing, unpredictably beautiful journey. I must rely on Him today, in this moment, on every step of these trails. And He wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Thank you for your blog, Sherri. Thank you for reminding me that God is never truly silent. He is here—with each and every one of us right now—speaking words of comfort and encouragement through us, His children. He is so immense in his holiness that He exists beyond all human comprehension, and yet so close to us that He dwells within our very hearts. And I am reduced once again—gratefully—to amazement and awe.

    Have a great day, Sherri

    Keith

    Reply
    1. sherribennettblog Post author

      Thank you, Keith, for your generous comments. I apologize for not responding sooner than I would have liked to; I’ve been extremely sick since Friday.

      Your response made me really think . . . how can we know something in our heads (like how big God is) and yet act as if He’s not at other times? How can we be so convinced of His greatness one minute and yet, through our actions, doubt it the next?

      Is it because we go by our feelings? Is it because there are different levels of “owning” truths – like the longer we walk with God, the more we get “it?” Sometimes it feels like the more I walk with God and the closer I get to Him, the less I know Him. He becomes more and more mysterious, awesome and unexplainable.

      You said something very interesting: “Better informed and more highly educated men and women have been wrestling with this issue for thousands of years now, and I don’t think I can understand the mind of God any more than they do.” That reminded me of Romans 11:34, which says, “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” (NIV)

      Maybe God wants it that way. Because if we always knew . . . were always comfortable . . . if God was always predictable – there would be no room for faith.

      Interestingly, last night I heard Pastor Mike Erre preach and he said something along these lines: “The opposite of faith is not doubt. It’s sight. If we see, we don’t need faith.” Hm . . .

      Thanks again, for such deep reflection. I look forward to reading many more!

      Reply

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