How big is your God?
August 26 2011 by D.E. Parkerson

The trouble with a lot of people is that their God is too small. The Apostle Paul said to the Christians at Philippi, “My God shall supply all your need” (4:9). Unless your God is that big, then He is too small. The truth Paul emphasizes in this verse can be summed up in three statements:

God will never let you down. The psalmist had a God that big: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” He believed that nothing could happen to you that God was not able to handle. The writer of Psalm 37 observed: “I have been young, and now I am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging for bread.”

When our God is bigger than our needs, it means the dread and fear we often face is taken away. This does not mean that we are immune to difficulty or hardship. It simply means that God will supply the strength and resources we need to face such times. God will never let you down!

Persons who feel that God has let them down are often those who give God no credit when things are going well, but when things suddenly turn in the opposite direction find it easy to blame Him. Their problem is not that God has let them down. It is that their concept of God is not big enough to believe He is able and willing to supply their needs — even in the toughest of times.

God will never let you off
. When God created our universe, He made the laws by which it operates. It has been in existence for a long time since the beginning, but the earth still revolves around the sun, and the law of gravity has not been repealed.

Likewise, God forged into this world the principles of life — love is better than hate, righteousness is better than sin, goodness is better than evil. But as time passes, we sometimes decide we do not want to be bound by the laws of God. So, instead of living up to God’s standard, we reduce God to the level of our living. The result is that we end up with a God not big enough to be the Sovereign of the universe and the Lord of our lives. Jesus said that God is our Father. A father is one who keeps control of his children as long as they are children. Children may disobey, but the true father, because he loves his children, is compelled to punish that disobedience. God is a true Father — we are His children, thus He never lets us off. But there is one more fact about God that needs to be emphasized.

God will never let us go
. I read recently the story of a young man who constantly was in trouble with the law and would generally end up in jail. His father would pay his fine and get him off free. Finally it cost the father almost everything he owned and left him with a broken heart.

A friend said to the father, “If he were my boy, I would let him go.” The father replied, “If he were your boy, I would let him go too, but he is my boy and I can’t let him go.”

That is precisely the message Jesus was trying to get across in the story of the Prodigal Son. When the son wanted to leave home and get away from his father, he was free to go. The father did not go after him and force him to return. Instead, he maintained the home until the son became hungry, realized he had made a huge mistake, and decided to come home. He was there waiting for his son, with the door wide open, abundantly able and ready to satisfy those hungers.

We sometimes talk about the “free will” that God has given us, as if He has completely cut us loose from Himself. Don’t believe it for a minute. We do not have free will when it comes to eating or not eating. Our very hunger demands that we eat or we will die. God has also built into us certain other hungers as well. There comes a time when material things do not satisfy.

God is patient and He can wait. But while He waits, the hungers of our soul keep us dissatisfied. We seek this and that, and rush here and there, but we find nothing that satisfies our deepest needs. Finally we turn to Him who said, “I am the bread of life: he who comes to me shall never hunger” (John 6:35). That is when we realize God will never let us go.

(EDITOR’S NOTE — Parkerson is a native of Georgia, a graduate of Mercer University (B.A.), Southeastern Seminary (M. Div. and Th.M.), and Campbell University (D.D.). He has served as pastor of one church in Georgia and five churches in North Carolina. Following retirement as pastor of the First Baptist Church in Sanford on Sept. 30, 1996, he has served 10 North Carolina churches as interim pastor. His column, The Paper Pulpit, has appeared weekly in a few newspapers and other publications since 1958. He and his wife, Jessie, live in Wilmington near their daughter and family.)
8/26/2011 8:50:00 AM by D.E. Parkerson | with 0 comments

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