It is a beautiful day in Southern California. The kind that you see only in the movies. A gentle breeze, a bit of sun, and the birds singing in the trees. The day is perfect, the only thing that would make it better is maybe some talking animals, and breaking into a chorus of The Hills Are Alive from The Sound of Music.
On such a glorious day I found myself sitting outside on a blanket with a book in hand. Today, also, just happens to be one of the only days I have to just slow down for the next couple of weeks, so I had to take advantage of it.
I am an avid book reader. I will read just about anything you put in my hands. My only issue is that I get started on like four books at a time. Most of the time I finish them, but sometimes I just don’t. I get caught up in one book, and then I forget that I even started another book. I said all of that to say, I started a new book.
Have you ever opened a book and the words seemed to spring off the page at you, hit you in between the eyes, and challenge your heart?
That is what happened today, on my perfect day, with the breeze and the birds, the words leaped off the page and sunk deep into my soul.
Do you ever think about what we allow people to be to us?
Think about it. We allow people to take the place that should and is only God’s. We allow others to take up our awe for God, we transfer our affections from God to people, dreams, and quests. We begin to lose sight of the majesty set before us in God, and begin to see with tainted glasses our own majesty.
In the book I am reading, None Like Him by Jen Wilkin, she starts the book out with a one-two punch. She challenges the reader to look at Psalm 111:10 with new eyes.
Jen begins to dive into the idea of what the fear of God is. Which is a wonderful topic, but not even close to what captured my attention. She made a statement that was a dagger to my heart, in a good way, and that got me thinking.
“When we fear God rightly, we recognize him for who he truly is; a God of no limits, and therefore, utterly unlike anyone or anything we know.”
This one statement had me stopped dead in my tracks.
Have I settled in my “understanding” of God?
Am I, by thinking I am aware of who God is, putting limits on a God who is limitless?
If God is so “other” than us, yes, we are made in His image, how can I begin to expect His thinking to be anything like my own?
This thought brought me back to my childhood, and learning Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.” Again I had to question that maybe in my life, in my good intentions, I have begun to dumb God down. Dumb Him down to my way of thinking. My way of understanding. Making Him less “other” and more like me, instead of me becoming more like Him.
Too often in our lives we make excuses for ourselves, we make it less our fault and we become the victim. We become the one that has been wounded, and we blame so many around us for doing the wounding, when it has been us crippling ourselves this whole time.
We have been using our own ways of thinking, and hindering if not completely tying the hands of God by our way of thinking, and then we get fired up when God doesn’t come through for us, or grant us our every desire. When the issue has been and will always be us.
Only He is God.
“Lean not on your own understanding.” There is nothing more frustrating than having to think the way someone else does. For reals! That old adage about “walking a mile in someone else’s shoes” is a hard concept to swallow. It is the same with God. God is not us. When we make Him small like us, then its no wonder that our version of God isn’t capable of healing, fixing, changing, and transforming lives, because lets be honest, we are pretty small. Small minded, small hearted, and small attention span kinda people.
If we live out of our own understanding, and not out of God’s knowing, we lose sight of the majesty of God, and can I be honest? What would be the point of serving a God like that?
There wouldn’t be a point to serving that God, a God void of majesty and mystery, a God empty of all His godliness.
We need that majesty and mystery. We need to have God being “other” than us, because there are too many fakes around. Too many wannabes in the world looking for their own bit of glory and praise.
“When we lose sight of the majesty of God, we invariably fill the gap in our vision with the fable of the majesty of someone else. We even give reverence and awe to ourselves.”
When we focus on ourselves more than the majesty of the God who created it all, even us, then we have lost the fear of God. We have taken the place of God. We are no better than the idol worshipping, golden calf making, and shout’in-our-own-praises kind people from the bible, and all through history.
We need to stop asking others and even ourselves to be what only God is, what only God can be.
Instead we need to get back to seeking the majesty of God first hand, not through other people, but directly from this creative God whose understanding is so much bigger than ours. When we turn back to fully face God in all His glory, majesty, and mystery, I think that will be the beginning of our search for wisdom, for worship, and ultimately, for freedom.
For me, I have to recognize when I am rebelling against God, and see that my understanding, or wisdom, insomuch as I have, is not the way I should be thinking, but instead I have to lean not on my understanding instead I have to cultivate a mindset of focusing in on the majesty maker, creative power holding, life giving God who can see all in all.
Because after all, only He is God.
Only He is.