Thursday, 22 November 2012

Is your god a superhero?

Photo credit: favim
Today is was thinking about the word “god” or “king” and what they mean in general to the average person. I can maybe imagine a Thor or Zeus like figure riding on clouds, being able to control the wind, rain and lightning. I was thinking about what I would want a good god or king to be like if I had to design one whom I can serve to. I would want him to be powerful, courageous, admirable, glorious, wise, gracious and fair, someone I can aspire to, who is confident in himself and his decisions, someone who is not swayed by fleeting emotions or the opinions of the peanut gallery. He should have authority and respect, be feared in love and admired. He has to have vision to lead the people and put good structures in place to protect them from enemies or a financial crisis. Actually the list goes on and on. Maybe you should take a moment and consider what you would want in a god or a king who you can admire, love, respect and serve.
I think it is quite easy to imagine, because we have so many superhero movies and TV shows today which portray the lives and adventures of kings and gods.
My question then is this, if we can imagine for ourselves the perfect god or king, then why do we so often ask God not to act like the perfect god or king (that we want Him to be) and actually contradict ourselves and our own expectations? Let me explain by example, we want a god who has a backbone, who is confident and secure, but we daily tell God what to do and how to make situations work and then indirectly tell Him that we know better than Him. Or we want a god who is consistent and fair, but we try and manipulate Him by our words or actions and we tell Him to whom He can show mercy and whom we don’t think deserve mercy. We tell Him whom He should judge and discipline, but we let ourselves off the hook too easily.
Do we really think that He is so insecure to fall for our feeble demands, manipulations and tantrums? Do we not realise that He can see through it all, through every thought we have ever had and every motive behind every deed. “But if I do this, surely God will do that” and “if I act like this then surely God would respond like that”.
We are just so foolish. We desire to know an all-powerful God, but we want Him to be controlled by us to suit our needs and selfish desires. Surely a god who bows down to the beck and call of every one of his followers, like an insecure slave, is NOT attractive. I’m not sure about you, but that’s not the type of god that I want to follow. I want to follow a warrior, someone who can lead me to greatness with love and kindness, but fear and respect, someone whom I can trust, who commands with authority and confidence. I don’t want a god who begs: “please follow me, I’ll do anything for you”. No, I want a god who says: “follow me and I’ll teach you how to live a victorious life”
“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” James 4:10
I think you get my point. Today I just realised how small I am in relation to God. I’m a million times smaller than an ant and He is bigger than the universe. Then I started thinking how ridiculous I am. Me the little puny ant making demands at an all-powerful God. If anything, I show say: “God, please have mercy on me, I am but a humble servant”. How amazing that God then takes this humble servant and makes her a princess, the daughter of a King. Wraps her in robes of righteousness and gives her an eternal inheritance. How merciful is He? How just is He? How gracious and faithful is He that even though we mock, slander and tempt Him, He still shows us mercy and kindness.
I want a king and a kingdom that I am willing to die for and how amazing is it that my King has already set the example by dying for me.
“For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.” Romans 9:15-16
“For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:7-8
“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”” Gal 3:13
“For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.” 2 Cor 5:21

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