I often hear people say that we try to put God in a box.  That is, of course, what smart folks call a metaphor.  By putting God in a box, they mean that we try to fully define God in a few simple ways that make His character easy to understand.  Sometimes, people even put God in a box so that they can justify their own sinful behavior.  Either way, doing so limits His power, His love, and ultimately creates a barrier in our relationships with Him.

So that’s definitely a bad thing, right?  Yeah?  Good, we are on the same page.

Recently I heard the concept of putting God in a box in a different context, one that is more about containing God.  Many Christians try to keep God, and even their own Christianity, at church.  They don’t take God to work.  They don’t take God to the movies.  And even more unfortunately, some of them don’t take God home.

Yeah, we know God is everywhere.  But do we always act like it?  I always get frustrated when people say, “Oh, you can’t say that at church” or “I wouldn’t do that at church.”  If you are truly being the same person all of the time, then you should include church in that.  Does that mean you should take all of your bad habits to church?  No, that means you should take God home with you and let Him help you get rid of those habits.

Another element of leaving God at church is that we do not treat others as He has commanded us.  We don’t love them as if Jesus is watching, we don’t meet their needs like we are supposed to, and we don’t even tell them about our relationship with God which is the last thing Jesus told us to do.  Nah, that’s for church and church-sponsored ministry activities.

I also hear people containing God by directly underestimating His power.  We refrain from stepping out in faith because we don’t have a plan.  We avoid moving forward with projects because we believe we don’t have the resources.  We have even coined the phrase, “all we can do now is pray” because we are to untrusting to let prayer be our first option.

I realize that we do not have the ability to contain God.  However, we do have enough free will to keep ourselves from being used by Him.  We need to get out of the way and let God do His work.  But in order to be a part of that, we have to be all-in and let God direct who we are all of the time, not just at church. 

Come on, what do you say we let God out of the box?  I’d be willing to bet that something amazing would happen.

charles
9/21/2013 07:37:20 am

That "Let God out of the Box" was so plainly put and extremely helpful for my daily living, not just a show off for Sunday church. Thank you so much for your article!

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