Have you ever had the idea that God is just this one-dimensional Being Who really only belongs to one area of a person’s life? Maybe you’ve observed “Jesus Freaks” and wondered what the hubbub was all about. Are they just nuts, or is there something to this stuff they believe?
Have you felt that you have no reason for God, but could make the most of your life with a lot of much smaller-version deities? I know I have. I have given Him a sidelong glance and decided that He just wouldn’t work for me. Yeah, we think, He could be good for me –I won’t deny it — but there’s no way that He could be everything He would need to be to pass muster with me!
I have challenged God to prove me wrong in my thinking, and to my total surprise, He has had no problem in doing so! The problem seems to be that I think of God as being a lot like myself and the things that crowd my life.
These things have a certain function, and beyond that they are pretty limited. They can give me some good and important things, but I can’t expect everything I need to come out of a single one of these places.
On a daily basis I have a multiplicity of needs — food, water, sleep, companionship, encouragement, and an occupation, etc — and that means that I need a lot of things that will provide me with varied forms of satisfaction. Sometimes I will focus on one of these needs and let that become my biggest concern, behaving as if knowing the fullness of a single form of need-relief (like food or companionship or occupation) will make me complete. But, if you’re like me, you’ve done this enough times to see the futility in this — its a dying hope.
So if we can’t put all of our stock into one of these necessary elements of life, than how can we expect to be able to change the rules when it comes to God? Doesn’t everything work the same way?
Well, as I’ve discovered, the answer is no, it doesn’t. But the reason why we can believe this to be so is cooler than you might think.
God isn’t like a power-aid that quenches our thirst on a particularly hot day or a workout that helps get us in shape and look good. When we are filled with Him, we will have our soul’s thirst quenched, and we will be changed into the best version of ourselves. But, God isn’t restricted to these things; His sole function is not to fill our needs and make much of who and what we are — He is so much more than that.
If we try to treat Him like He’s nothing more, we will dwarf Him into something that is as much use to us as a suit case on a desert island. We don’t want Him to “work” for us on a limited basis. We want to be able to see how He is everything we need in every circumstance and instance-of-need in our lives.
And the first and only way that can happen is when we take our eyes off of our needs — and how we think God should meet these — and seek to discover who He is.
Alright, before you let the horrors of self-denial and martyrdom, consider why you can reasonably do this. For one thing, we don’t have to worry about trying to live without the essentials. Whether we realize it or not, we have already been depend on God to supply our every need since our embryonic introduction to the world. We are not self-sustaining individuals — we may go out and work for everything we enjoy, but if the Creator of our bodies, minds and hearts did not prevent them from becoming unserviceable, we would not be able to boast any of this work we do for ourselves.
And, for another thing, when God claims to be all that we need in excess, He is not pulling a fancy, prize-winning classification out of the sky to boost His appearance in our eyes. He is everything we need, all that we have to hold onto even if we never see it, or choose not to believe it when we do see it. The truth is that God couldn’t ask us to make Him first priority in our lives — even above the most indispensable props to our existence — if all of those things did not naturally come with Him. He would be misleading us, working in a way that would be contrary to our highest benefit. And that is not God.
God asks us to give Him license to everything we have because He wants us to become fully confident that He is more crucial to our hearts and lives than any of these things. When we see this, we are set free from constantly searching for the next thing that will give us meaning and hope. We also discover that we don’t ever have to worry or get upset about what we do have — no matter how little it may seem — because God is providing in Himself all we need. If You are a part of Him, He will not let you suffer needlessly — but in everything will make you know abundant life. Contrary to opinions spawned from hearts made weak by an absence of faith, God always knows how to take care of us, and He will always do it in the ways that will most wholly bless us.
So, lets open our hearts to a God who defies dimension and give our three-dimensional beings a chance to become acquainted with life and relationship that spans eternity and beyond.