Friday, March 19, 2010

A little bit of God

John Fischer's "In The Tank" article today (March 19, 2010) put me in mind of something my late mother (who passed away eight years ago this month) once said when I was a teenager.

Mom was not Religious: I believe that till the end, she knew that Jesus was the Way, the Truth and the Life, but she was so wounded by people with overt expressions of Religion that she despised anything that smacked of "churchianity". She also had a ring-side seat to the personal struggles of a lot of people who would have been judged for their behaviour and lifestyles, and she would have wanted nothing to do with those who would judge them. (I think that if she'd met someone like John Fischer, she would have heard a far different Gospel than what she'd grown up with.)

Anyway, mom said this one day, "I don't want a god who's so puny that he can fit inside my tiny mind".

At the time, I thought that was an endorsement for rejecting God altogether, but as the years went by and I found my own way to Christ, I started getting an idea of what she meant. And in a way, it melds with what John's getting at.

We tend to forget that God made us in His image -- not the other way around. And just as with David's tent, He's the one to provide us with the house: we need to stop thinking we can provide Him with creature comforts.

The other part is, if we try to cram God into our minds, our brains will explode. Even when God talked to Moses -- "as a man speaketh with his friend" -- He wouldn't let him see His face ("there shall no man see Me and live" -- Exodus 33:20). But He would let Moses see a bit of Him.

A bit of God's glory: that's about all a mortal man can handle. How can we begin to fathom how enormous God is?

But here's where mom didn't quite complete the circuit. Our minds are capable of fathoming that "bit" of God. The size of that bit depends on where we are in our walk with Him. I know the bit I had 20 years ago is far different from what it became 10 years later, and the bit I have now is light years beyond what it was then ... and nowhere near what it will be next year -- or next week, for that matter.

That being said, we have to bear in mind that there is a WHOLE LOT more to God than the little bit we can comprehend. As near as I can figure -- since God is not a man, that He would ever lie -- the "whole lot more" does not contradict anything we truly know about Him, but would build on what we do know, multiplying it infinitely.

Does our walk with God depend on how flawless or sin-free we are? Does it depend on the accumulation of holy "brownie points"? Or does it entail trying to increase the size of that bit? I believe it's that last one, praise God! Remember that Jesus did not tell us to "attain the Kingdom of God and His righteousness" but to seek it. We can't "attain" it, because that would involve looking at God face-to-face, and in these mortal bodies, we know that can't be done. But as God allowed Moses a glimpse of His glory, He allows the same to us when we ask Him ... and as we are ready for more, He gives us more.

That's why -- to return to John Fischer's point -- it's a mug's game to try to build a house for God. (We can build a house of God for people but that's not the same thing.) The best "structure" for anything to house God in our life is our life itself -- and so long as we keep that expandable and capable of moving anywhere God leads us (like a tent, right?), He will keep filling us with His presence.

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