Thursday, February 14, 2013

God Is Not The Force

The Force in Star Wars is very convenient. It is always there to tap into. This is true whether you are good or evil; you just tap into a different side. It is there to help you accomplish your goals. To give you ability to do what you want. Some Christians see God that way. That He is someone we tap into to accomplish our purpose. A power source we can use to obtain supernatural abilities. Or even just a source we can use to meet our personal goals for holiness. But this is not who God really is.

The Christian belongs to God, and we are obligated to live entirely for Him (1 Corinthians 6:20; Romans 12:1,2; Titus 2:11-14). This is because He redeemed us (Romans 5:6-8; Colossians 2:13,14; 1 Peter 2:24,25) when we were unable to help ourselves (John 15:5; Romans 3:10-12; Isaiah 64:6). And while God does empower us (2 Corinthians 3:18; Philippians 2:13; 2 Peter 1:3), it is to accomplish His purposes (Ephesians 2:10; 1 Corinthians 3:5,6; Colossians 1:28,29). But it is easy to fall into the idea that God empowers us to accomplish what we want. When we do, we can start to see God's power as a kind of magic that we control. Then we can become discouraged and blame God when we feel He does not come through for us. Note that in this I am not just speaking of the health-and-wealth preachers, though they are the most obvious offenders. It is easy to take a more spiritual-looking approach but allow pride to slip in the back door. When we do, we can become more concerned with the things that will make us look good rather than doing what God wants (Philippians 2:3,4; Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 13:1-3).

C. S. Lewis in the Screwtape Letters points out that there are different senses of the word "my." Satan's strategy is to reduce all the senses down to the level of "my boots." It then becomes possible to reduce "my ministry" or "my church" down to something that is my possession, that exists to feed my ego. It then appears to us that we are working for something spiritual when we are working for something selfish. That we are building the kingdom of God when we are really building our own little domain. This is one of the most subtle of temptations and one that all of us (including me) need to be continually on the on the alert for. For God is not our servant to accomplish our purposes; we are His servants to accomplish His. 

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