"There's so much we cut ourselves from automatically. We amputate the experience at first look. We confuse God with being in or a part of our limited resources."
I listened and nodded. My friend was making sense. Any of the scenarios he presented where possible and they helped us to understand why God was apparently saying no to my friend's desires. But by the time my friend finished making his predictions, something bubbled to the surface for me. Something we are all guilty of: limiting God.
It's hard to admit but often my first thought to a dilemma is from a limited perspective: "How can I do..." or "How can I afford..." or "How do I have time...?" I tend to first think of my own might instead of who I am in Christ.
Grant it, energy, money, and time are just that. There's no pretending it's something other than what it is. But our thoughts about the material world are directly related to our thoughts about God. If we live from a perspective of lack (of anything), isn't it hard to see God beyond lack?
There's being "realistic" and there's being a "people of faith." There's being "in this world and not of it" and there's being "confined by the world as we see it with our natural eyes." When we limit God our experiences actually mirror that. This doesn't mean we get everything we want when we believe we will and how. But it does mean that we must surrender our attachment of the outcome and trust that God will provide in perfect timing.
Scripture tells us our thoughts are not God's and we must not lean to our own understanding. This helps remind me, especially when I'm feeling super spiritual, that I don't know it all, and honestly, I don't have to. What I am required to do is have faith. But having faith in a limited God is shooting yourself in the foot.
At the end of my friend's "predictions," I gently shared with him that I believed it was time for him to surrender his opinions and thoughts about what God was going to do, when and why. I continued to remind him that the very nature of God is beyond our imagination and when we begin to try and figure where God is taking us next, we end up painting ourselves in a box (and then say it's what God has done).
It's natural for us to want to understand God and to control our situations. We want to trust God but also be in charge, just in case. We (our ego) have the false belief that we know what's best for us and that God is there to assist. This thinking actually leads us away from what we truly desire: God and peace.
If we're going to believe and trust the God we say we love then let's do it with all of our might. Let's go 100% knowing that God covers all--even the darkness and uncertainty. There's so much we cut ourselves from automatically. We amputate the experience at first look. We confuse God with being in or a part of our limited resources.
To me, God is like the sea I was able to put my feet in during my visit to the beach. Huge, constant, available. We can either see God as endless or with edges. We can see God as Truth or with a veil. We can see God as abundant or small and stingy. It's our choice. It's our experience.
The week's questions:
How are you seeing God? Does this view limit God and therefore your experience with life? Are you ready to widen your view of God? If not, what do you think is blocking you? What can you do now to help expand your faith in an abundant God?