I remember very clearly the first time I made a purchase at a Starbucks - it was in America. There were so many choices available! I struggled to be coherent when it came to putting in my order as I was completely unacquainted with the idea of ‘customising’ a cup of coffee. I never knew there could be more to ordering coffee than choosing to either add or leave out the milk and sugar! The rest of the customers did not seem to have this problem. The coffee companies seem to have played very cleverly into desires of the modern market: “this is MY coffee and I will have it the way I want!”
Customising coffee is one thing (I now finally know exactly how I like it!), but customising God is quite another. Unlike a hot drink, we don’t have any real choices available. We either choose God or we don’t. What we can choose, however, is how much we want of Him. Do we want Him a lot or do we want Him a little? Despite this fact, human (read: sinful) nature does its best to keep ‘creating’ a god which fits our liking- a god we can have a handle on. It says: I’ll have some of this, and some of that, but none of the stuff I don’t particularly like. Thus we can be guilty of making a god in our own image, which no longer truly represents the God of Israel, the God Jesus came to reconcile us to.
In the healing ministry we understand it to be our primary goal to bring people closer to the living God. We would argue that all real, lasting, worthwhile healing flows from a relationship with the eternal God- our Creator and our source of life. Therefore, we seek to help people accept God as He really is - the way He has disclosed Himself in the Bible.
Sadly, if we reject aspects of God’s unchanging nature, we really choose to have less of Him. If we have less of Him, we will inevitably end up with less of the goodness and blessing which flows from a deep, intimate knowing and bonding with our Creator, our Father.
Sometimes, God can seem scary to us. This definitely was the case with the Israelites at the foot of Mount Sinai. They didn’t like the look of that thunder and lightning and they did not draw near. They tried to stay ‘safe’ at a distance. A little later on they built themselves a golden calf - an image of a ‘god’ that they could handle.
To which extent have we done the same thing? Have we focussed primarily on those parts of God and the Bible which speak to us of kindness, meekness, mercy and help at the expense of studying (for example) God’s wrath, judgement and righteousness? I know I have (and I would guess you have too). Yet even now we can pray together, and we can cry out to Him, that we may know Him better than we ever did before.
Prayer: Father in heaven, please help me draw near to You. Help me to take in the whole of Your counsel. Forgive me for the sin of trying to fit You into my liking. In Jesus’ name, Amen.