I had an epiphany the other day. I was wondering about my views on God, Christianity, and the general meaning of life; but mostly, I was pondering God himself. Having grown up in a world of mega churches, hip devotional books, and Veggie Tales, I sometimes feel as if I’m worshipping a concept and not God himself. So what should I be worshipping, I wondered? Who is it that I’ve devoted my life to? How come stories of mythology and the wild, pagan gods of civilizations past seem so much more alive than the conception of ‘God’ that comes into my head when His name is mentioned? And I realized something that, for me, was like a bolt of spiritual lightning.
So often, without thinking, I worship a notion of God. A flat, three-dimensional ‘god’ formed in my mind by the world I grew up in. We hear sermons that warn against the mindset of ‘putting God in a box’ while doing that very same thing. The ‘god’ we automatically believe in barely does justice to God’s shadow. When someone says God, we even get the mental image of a human being in our mind; of countless paintings and movie actors and statues we’ve seen depicting the so-called creator as nothing more than a finite mortal creature. Without meaning to, we have created an idol and called it god.
But this is not God.
The Real God is an all-powerful Being who existed before time and space; an ancient, beautiful, wild One who looks like nothing we could ever imagine, who loves us in ways we could never fathom, who sees into our very hearts and souls. We should worship the God who, with a wave of his hand, created something from nothing. The God who loves and wars and casts down, who raises up, who saves, and who dashes against the rocks.
He is not the God of coffee machines and six-thousand-chair church buildings and televangelism. He is not just a man in a robe. He is not a genie we can conjure whenever we want something. He is all. He is the depths of love and wisdom, and he is uncontrollable and infinite and so very alive and so much more than most of us recognize. He is the Lion. He is vengeance. He is peace. He was. He is. He will forever be.
I will be guilty of many things in my life, but I pray the one thing I will never again be guilty of is worshipping the world’s god over the God.