I was walking back from the park with my six-year-old grandson a few weeks ago and we decided to walk on the railroad tracks for a while. Sure enough it wasn’t long before we heard the sound of a train approaching so we climbed down the embankment and waited for it to arrive. Now I’m not a completely irresponsible grandpa, so I made sure we were well back from the tracks when the much anticipated moment arrived. I closely watched young Jack and when that diesel engine roared by, blowing its whistle, he must have jumped a good two feet backward. It was one big sound, with big vibration coming from one big piece of machinery. Everything about it was big and Jack loved it, even if he was just a little bit scared.
There’s a popular saying today and it goes something like this, “Everyone needs to believe in something bigger than them self.” Sometimes, it’s that we all should be involved in something bigger, but the point is pretty much the same. I have to say that every time I hear it said, I say to myself, “What nonsense.” First of all, our world is largely made up of people who think they are the center of the universe; at least they act that way. Second of all, there is no question that my grandson believed in the reality of that train speeding by, but if he had chosen to involve him self with it; well we don’t want to think about that. Size isn’t everything in fact it is sometimes meaningless.
There are a lot of things bigger, stronger, smarter, better and more worthy than we are but none of them are of any significance when compared to God. The fact that He created everything in the universe should be our first clue to just how big God is. There are a lot of theological words used to describe just how big God is, omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent; to name just a few. How is it then that we feel free to minimize God so, even marginalize Him? I’m not just talking about unbelievers, but especially those of us who claim Christ as our Lord and Savior. Is it because we haven’t heard the sound of His mighty voice, felt the power of His presence or seen what can happen if we were come into His presence when we ought not to?
The God of the Israelites in the Old Testament was to be feared by all who opposed Him, even His own chosen people. We read in Genesis that God went so far as to destroy by flood the entire population, save Noah and His family, when they had evolved into a degenerate and Godless society. In most of the kingdom accounts of the Old Testament we read how God stood behind His royal family as they conquered all the enemies of Israel; that is until Israel refused to repent of their sin and return God to throne of their lives. Is this the fate that we will ultimately face for minimizing and marginalizing God? Are we behaving like the fool who hears the tornado siren, hears the sound of the storm exploding around them but still refuses to seek shelter?
I think part of our problem is that not only have we elevated ourselves above and before God, but also have read or heard the testimony to and by Christ in the New Testament and concluded that God is not so high and mighty after all. After all, Christ is all about love, more like a caring parent than an all powerful deity. Not to mention the historical fact that Christ allowed Himself to be nailed to a cross at the request of an angry mob, by a murderous dictator, after having been framed for a crime he was innocent of, by leaders of the faith His Father had founded. Is this a picture of an all powerful, all knowledgeable and ever present God of the universe, the creator of all things? It is a reasonable question? I think many like the idea of a loving and caring God, but to fear and revere him, I don’t think so.
Size is largely a matter of perspective. If you were able to look down on Manhattan Island in New York from the mountain peaks of Colorado, those sky scrapers wouldn’t look so big. For the next few days I would like to explore the subject of perspective and help us to answer the question, “How big is my God?” In preparation we we’ll dig into Matthew, chapter ten, where we read how Jesus “called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness (v.1).”
Tool #400 There’s an old saying my mom would use when I was sassy with her, “You’re starting to get a little too big for your britches.” I can imagine God saying the same thing to me, how about you?