I previously shared an article titled “We’ve Made God Too Small.” This was based on a thought process I went through and a major revelation that not only changed my life but also sent me on a spiritual, philosophical and scientific journey, essentially leading me to rethink how I think about God.
I also shared in my very first blog article, “Not Gonna Lie,” how I am a hypocrite – because half of what I state here I have trouble believing myself.
It is with that understanding I present the following list. Even though I say “You” I could just as easily say “I.” I have been guilty of every one of these at various points and continue to struggle to this day.
But I also know I am not alone. I have seen this kind of thinking problem in practically everyone I’ve met.
And so I give you…
13 ways you make God too small:
1) You judge God.
If you don’t say it out loud you at least think it. You ask, “How could a God who is so powerful and good allow such bad things to happen?” At other times, you are angry with Him, disappointed or feel He cannot be trusted.
But what you don’t realize you are doing is this: you are saying there is a law higher than the creator of the universe by which He can be judged. You are insisting there is some measure of “good” that the one who defined good in the first place doesn’t live up to.
And that measure and that law is usually determined by none other than yourself. As Voddie Baucham says in this video, “The problem is I judge God based upon the way He carries out my agenda for the world. And I believe in the supremacy of me…”
You make yourself God…
…and Him something less.
2) You gripe and complain.
You may not always invoke His name when you do this, but like a patron who complains about the food served up by a chef, you make known your thoughts about the quality of His work…
…even if the griping was about yourself.
What was served up joyfully by the Designer is often bitterly rejected by you.
But exactly by what authority do you get to rate how well He did?
The next time you manage to create an entire universe, THEN, and only then, do you get to decide whether God’s work was well done.
In the meantime, sit back and stop trying to be His judge.
3) You do your own thing (AKA sin).
You obey God at least some of the time…
…but there is one thing you obey all the time: your perceptions of the way things are – even if they are false.
If you think doing that thing will make you feel good, you will do it. If you believe acting on that feeling will make things better, you will submit to it.
But you won’t always do the same when it comes to listening to God. If His ways are uncomfortable, you ignore Him. If they don’t benefit you, you walk away. If they’re scary, you hide from Him.
In short, you make your perceptions of reality and false thinking bigger than your God.
It is only when you make God big enough to be your reality that you will obey him and let God be God.
4) You barely give him the time of day.
God is the very founder and owner of time and space. He operates in every minute of every day. Without Him you wouldn’t spend a second on this earth.
Yet you hardly give Him the time. You get too busy with important things you must do.
You apportion Him out for just special days. You prioritize sleep, shower, social media and TV over time with Him.
Just imagine if He didn’t have the time for you. Would you ever get to enjoy this life at all?
You’ve made YOU time bigger in importance than the One who lets you live.
5) You’ve bought into the “secular” myth.
You’ve come to accept the idea there are times and places that belong to God and “secular” ones that don’t.
There’s secular buildings vs houses of worship. There’s secular music vs contemporary praise. There’s secular jobs vs men and women of the cloth. There’s secular activities vs Wednesday night church.
Some of you have even gone on to repeat the mantra of “separation of church and state!”
But I’ve got news for you: the God of this universe owns every square inch of it, along with every moment.
He formed the trees and stones upon which you build your public buildings. He inhabits the air through which your sound waves travel.
He enables the energy that makes it possible for you to move and make things work. He even owns the oxygen from which you breathe.
You don’t get to tell him there’s no room for Him in this or that place.
And for those of you who don’t believe He exists, I’ve got news for you, too: your belief does not determine His existence. You’re not big enough to make Him go away just by your thoughts.
He’ll still be helping your organs pump the oxygen to your brain, whether you believe in Him or not.
6) You’re a perfectionist and control freak.
You can’t stand the unpredictability of this world. You can’t stand the free-flowing winds.
You don’t like that God gave His creatures free-choice (other than for yourself, of course). You’re not sure He knew what He was doing.
If only in His design plans He had made everything run a little smoother. If only He had put you in total charge.
If only you could have complete knowledge of all there is or what’s to come. Then perhaps that “incompetent” Big Boss could get out of the way and you could be the Lord of your world… as well as over others.
But He didn’t, so…
7) You get anxious and worry.
Doesn’t He keep the planets in their orbit? Doesn’t He keep the sun burning?
Doesn’t He maintain the gravity that keeps us all in place? Doesn’t He keep every atom working?
And yet you fret.
Today might be the day He won’t keep up the pace. Today might be the day He lets you down…at least according to your bigger standards.
If only He had thought everything through when He planned things out, then you wouldn’t need to worry.
8) You don’t pray enough.
God is the one who set the universe in place. He’s the only one who knows fully how it operates. He is the source for every single scientific principle. He is the model and designer for how we all relate.
He spreads out to the farthest corners of the universe. He’s aware of the finest detail of every tiny particle there is.
Life is hard and confusing. It can be overwhelming and complex…and often beyond your control.
Yet where do you most often turn?
Even in just everyday decisions or needs, you literally have access to the One who knows everything there is to know, who is larger than time and space, and can change the elements with His just His voice.
Yet you turn to Him the least.
9) You wait for miracles.
You keep waiting for signs. If only God will show up today. You need more evidence for your faith.
Meanwhile, rain falls down upon the earth – only to rise back up again to repeat its life-giving dance.
Life springs forth from the ground, soaking up the sun’s light-giving rays.
Animals graze, ensuring the circle of life. Creatures make love, babies are born, and mother’s share their sustenance-giving milk.
Miracles happen all around you every minute of every day. Yet, you keep looking for God to show up.
10) You have too many certainties about God.
The edge of the observable universe is 46 billion light years away, while the entire universe is even much bigger than that. Of the observable, we understand less than 4%.
And according to Astrobiologist Dr. Scharf, of the 4% there’s still a lot we don’t know. In short, in comparison to the whole of the universe, we know practically nothing.
So just think about how much less we can know about God.
You are one of over 7 billion people, living in one corner of a tiny planet in an immense universe. But you like to live in certainties.
There are some things we can know because God has revealed them to us. But it’s highly unlikely that the entirety of all there is to possibly know about God can be captured through either science or a roughly 800,000-word book.
Meanwhile, you continue to fight with each other over your individual interpretations of the facts, afraid you might lose control over who God is…as if He can’t take care of Himself.
Instead of enjoying God for the magnificent mystery He is, you’ve turned Him into a list of absolute certainties.
Perhaps a little humility will go a lot farther as you admit that, yes it is possible to know some things, but out of all there is to possibly know about God, you still know practically nothing.
After all, complete knowledge of God is still at least 46 billion light years away.
11) You’re a people pleaser.
God is the great I Am, which means that whatever He says is what is. No one gets to define you but Him, which means that who He says you are is what is.
Yet you spend most of your life in search of people’s opinions of you. You let them define you.
Essentially, it’s just about time you admit that you let people be God above you.
12) You judge others.
Whether it’s snowflakes, right wing nuts, or people of Walmart…
…sluts, thugs, or religious fundies
…rednecks, one percenters, or inner city,
…you have made judgments about who people are.
You have made yourself God over them.
13) You think your sins are too big.
Do you think God is taken aback by your measly little sin? Do you think that He just can’t handle it?
Do you think the creator of galaxies is so focused on that one thing you did, that He’ll just never be able to get over it?
The truth is God saw it coming from eternity away and already knew the full weight of it.
The truth is God is much bigger than anything you could ever do…
but in your mind, you’ve made your sin bigger than His grace.
And those other people you judged earlier? You think their sins are too big for His grace, too.
The 1 Reason
And, thus, you make God too small. But why? There is one reason that is common to everyone, and that is:
You fail to see just how big you are to Him.
Before the beginning of the universe and the beginning of time you were a treasured idea in His mind. He planned you out, He intricately formed you in the womb, He knows every detail, including every hair on your head.
You enter His thoughts every second of every day. He’s there with you wherever you go. He excitedly awaits to hear whatever’s on your heart and looks forward to sharing you His.
And though it puts His reputation at risk, He’s glad He gave you free choice because of the specific unique touch that you bring to His great universe.
And because it breaks His heart when you don’t trust in the favor of His ways and because He knows the resulting shame causes you not to see His unending favor, He was willing to humble Himself and bare the full weight of your sin. He was willing to receive the judgment that He had every right to give us instead.
But like Adam and Eve, you fail to see the favor of his commands and often try to make yourself bigger than Him.
Like Adam and Eve, you fail to see how His favor never stops – so you hide from Him, point fingers, and forget the bigness of His love.
Imagine for a moment, what it would be like if you allowed the truth of God’s unconditional favor toward you to occupy every space of your mind for every second of every day.
Then imagine what it would be like if you believed in that same unconditional favor toward all His other kids.
Would it then be a world in which you see God as that much bigger?
I dare you to try.
Because God is bigger, closer, and more real than you think.
I would love to hear your honest thoughts. Please share in the comments section below. What are some other ways you personally make God too small? What would it be like to live believing in God’s unconditional favor and letting it occupy every space of your mind 24/7? How might that change your life?