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January 14, 2016, 1:10 PM

GOD or a Genie!

What we think about God is often revealed in the manner in which we approach Him and what we expect from Him.  Sometimes, our image of God is often unconscious even to us.  This is true, particularly in the areas of prayer and worship!

Recently, when reading Stuart Scott’s book, The Exemplary Husband, I was struck by his description of four (4) popular views about God.  Scott wrote that God is often viewed as “A Kindly Old Grandpa or a Cosmic Santa Claus”.  In this case, God is seen as one who cannot bring Himself to really hold us responsible for our actions.  Instead, this god tends to overlook or ignore our sin.  If He is more like a Santa Claus, he is going to come through for us and give us what we want or what we think we need. 

Another view of God that Scott relays is one of a “Spiritual Psychotherapist”.  Those who hold this view live as though God only exist to merely help them feel better, function better and get more out of life.  He doesn’t give any directions or disciplines, because that would hurt one’s self-esteem.  This God is only an encourager!

For others, Scott writes, God is like a “Distant Orge”.  This view of God holds that God is someone who enjoys inflicting hardship on His children.  God is a reluctant and distant provider who is ready to punish those who step out of line. 

A final view of God (and one that had been on my mind and heart prior to reading Scott) is that God is some kind of “Domesticated Genie”.  Many people believe that God is obligated to grant their wishes. They will often use the name of God as some kind of magical incantation akin to “abracadabra”!  Scott writes, that “Man, in his own pride, thinks that if he is “good” or uses the name of God, he will be granted what he desires in life—maybe even be assured of heaven.  In this case, God is merely a means to one’s own end”.

Remember, God is the Sovereign Ruler of heaven and earth!  He is all-together Holy, Majestic, and Glorious! He has created us for His service and glory.  We are to submit to His will rather than attempt to impose or place our wills above His will!  God is just but yet God is merciful and gracious.  When we are in His presence, we should respond with the keen awareness of who He is.   A stark awareness of the other-ness of God ought to pervade our entire being—mind, body, and spirit! Anguish over our sinfulness, cries for forgiveness, humble and intense worship and loving obedience should emerge as a torrential flood!  The God of heaven and earth is not a genie whose primary focus is to grant us our wishes!  He’s GOD—we are here to be and do what He wishes! 


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