Is Not This Thing a Lie?!

AW Tozer makes a dramatic statement when he says, “What comes to our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” He continues later in A Knowledge of the Holy, “A low view of God entertained almost universally among Christians is the cause of a hundred lesser evils everywhere among us.” Brian Walsh, in his book, Subversive Christianity, continues the thought, “Perhaps we tend toward a reduction of God because the claim of a sovereign Lord is so radical, so all-encompassing, and so total. This Lord wants so much. If only we could limit His divine claim on our lives, if only we could domesticate God a little. This is more comfortable than the radical obedience that might entail a cross; more safe than a discipleship that calls us to risk all for Jesus’ sake.”

It has been said that God made man in His image, and that man has been returning the favor ever since. We have reduced God to where we can manage and manipulate Him. We try to coax Him into answering a selfish prayer, we want Him to bless our every venture (confirm that it is “His will”), and we want Him to deliver us from any difficulty or crisis. And when He doesn’t live up to our expectations, we get angry.

The “domestication of God” usually follows a familiar pattern:

  • Craft your own reality which includes compartmentalizing your life into the secular and the sacred.
  • Your self-made god should be able to conform to your particular combination of circumstances, culture, and resources. He is being tailor made for you.
  • He must conform to, and then confirm (justify), your actions and thoughts (opinions , presumptions, and prejudices).
  • Eventually, you are controlled by your deception. That which you have crafted takes you captive.
  • When a crisis comes, your god crumbles. “This thing in my hand is a lie.” (Isaiah 44:9-20)

Tozer warns us that “the essence of idolatry is the entertainment of thoughts about God that are unworthy of Him.” John, the apostle is succinct, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.”