We are all children of a lesser god at one time or another in our lives. What I mean to say is we have all formed God in our head to meet our needs and often this picture is much less than the God on high and a lot more like ourselves. We put God in a box. We call on Him when we need him and hope he’ll wave a magic wand to fix what ails us.
When we do this, our God becomes controllable, changeable, and biddable. Is that the kind of God you want? If we’re perfectly honest, we would answer “sometimes.” Sometimes this kind of God is exactly what we want but it’s never what we need. We need a God that is not changeable, not caused, not governed. We need a God that we can trust and know will not have a mood shift, a change of mind, or an alteration in belief system.
Our world is unstable enough. When you check the news, you see a world in constant flux. It’s hard to keep everything in order. The world is unreliable, impulsive, and unpredictable. It changes on a dime motivated by moods, trends, and markets. This state of unsteadiness keeps us on edge and filled with anxiety. Why would we want a God that mimics this unpredictable landscape? Why would we want a God swayed by our emotions?
I’ve prayed to that kind of God before. I’ve prayed to the “genie in a bottle” god and ticked off a wish list as long as a football field. Those prayers often end with an unsatisfied amen because deep down I know I’m praying to the wrong god. It’s my own version of God, and we know what God says about having gods before Him—it’s not a good idea.
So, who is your God? Is He bigger than this world and it’s varying moods? Is he unchanging, ungoverned, lasting? As the Christian author, Max Lucado says, “You don’t need to carry the burden of a lesser god… a god on a shelf, a god in a box, or a god in a bottle…. you need a God who, while so mind-numbingly mighty, can come in the soft of night and touch you with the tenderness of an April snow. You need a Yahweh. And, according to David, you have one. He is your shepherd.” Thank goodness for that!