Recently I have been struggling with that question… not in a sense of doubting my faith at all, but more in trying to realize if I truly understand God as He is. This past Sunday, I spoke with my congregation about what influences we let into our lives. The truth is simple — what we feed ourselves in regard to influence is what eventually defines us. If we dine in the world of popular media, its values will eventually define us. If we allow our friendships to define us, our friends’ values will become our own. You get the point.
The passage of scripture that has just not let me go is Romans 1:18-23: “18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.”
What has captivated me in this passage is that in pursuit of wisdom, we end up finding foolery. Idolatry simply explained is worshiping anything other than God. This also means worshiping God as something He is not. There are a lot of ways that we have tried to humanize God to make Him more comfortable for ourselves. It is popular today to see God as the enricher of me, just waiting for me to have enough faith so he can pour the riches of this world into my bank account. God is not a sugar daddy. Another view is of a God who wants me to live a good life while divorcing Him from any redemptive power. Another is that “buddy Jesus.” While driving down to visit my folks in South Texas, I saw a billboard where God was giving a fist bump to a normal guy. Is that not idolatry… making God your chum? Probably the most alarming to me is the view that God is a hopeless romantic who pursues me like I’m His long lost love. A slew of books have been written and hit bestseller lists carrying this very idea. Recently I saw this idea in fruition where a song communicating about God’s pursuit of us stated that God gives sloppy wet kisses. Does God do anything sloppy? Is the culmination of redemption our infatuation with emotion as driven from feeling to feeling? Coming around I want to ask again who is God… how do we relate to Him? Do we relate as a lover, as grandchild asking for candy, or do we relate as a child who to his fullness honors their father with an awe driven respect of God who is holy and perfect?
What do you think?