The God of the Bible is NOT a Magician!

cosmic magicanThe God that is revealed in the Bible is NOT a magician! I say that emphatically because it seems that many church people think that God is! Let me show you what I’m talking about! As we look in the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, every since the creation of man, whenever God wanted to do something in the earth, God used men to do it (I am using the term “men” to denote species, not gender). It is God’s modus operandi to involved human agents to perform God’s will upon the earth. When it was time to liberate the Children of Israel from Egyptian slavery, God used Moses to lead them out. When it was time for the Children of Israel to inherit the Promised Land, God used Joshua to lead them in! When the people needed deliverance, direction or to hear a word from the Lord, God used judges, prophets, prophetesses, preachers, shepherds, farmers, fishermen, and common everyday people to do it! Whatever God wanted done on earth in the biblical text, God did it through human agency!

So why is it that many Christians today think that whatever God wants done on the earth, God is going to magically do it Himself? In the Black Church (my neck of the woods), I can’t count the number of prayers I have heard and still hear in which the petitioners ask the Lord to “Go by the hospital and see Brother __________ and Sister _________.” Sunday after Sunday, the Lord is summoned to “Go behind the prison walls” and to “Visit the widows and orphans!” Can you imagine what would happened if the Lord actually answered those prayers? If the Lord actually went by the hospital to “see” the sick and the sick were able to “see” the Lord when he came to see them, they would die from fright!

No! The God of the Bible is not some “Cosmic Bellhop” waiting for orders to come and go at our beck and call! God WILL NOT do what God has given for us to do! God is spirit, but we live in a material world. Therefore, in order for God to operate in the material world, the Spirit of God influences the spirits of those who have material bodies designed to operate in the material world! God does not go by the hospital to see anyone, but God does influence and empower human beings to go in his name! Those who have submitted to the will of God are God’s hands, feet, and mouth! In fact, the primary reason for the creation of humanity was for humanity to be the visible and practical representation and agency of the invisible spiritual God upon the earth!

If God is going to do anything in your house, God is going to do it through you! If God is going to do anything in your neighborhood, in your community, in your town, in your city, in your country, in your world, God is going to do it through you and people like you! Therefore, if God seems to be inactive, it is because God has chosen to limit God’s self to a certain extent to the actions or in-actions of human beings! All that is needed for God’s will to be done is for the people of God to get up off of their “blessed assurances” and do the will of God! All that is needed for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven is for the people of God to quit believing in magic and start believing in and start working with the God who does His will on earth through them!

Who Is Our God?

who is godWho is our God? Sounds like a fairly simple question, but in reality, it is not so simple! For the Christian community, the textbook answer is: “Our God is the God of the Bible!” But I want to ask, those of us who are part to the Christian community in America, is the God of the Bible really our God? I mean, think about it for a minute. A recent survey by the American Bible Society revealed that 88 percent of respondents said they own a Bible, 80 percent think the Bible is sacred, 61 percent wish they read the Bible more, and the average household has 4.4 Bibles, yet only one in five Americans read the Bible on a regular basis! My question is this: How can we say that our God is the God of the Bible when we really don’t know the God of the Bible? I say we really don’t know that God of the Bible because the only way we can know the God of the Bible is by reading and studying the Bible! Therefore, if we don’t know the Bible, we can’t know the God of the Bible because the God of the Bible reveals Himself and makes Himself knowable and known through the Bible!

So, if we (Americans) as a whole don’t really know the God of the Bible (because we don’t read and study the Bible), then who is our God? From what I am hearing in many so-called Christian camps today, our God is Mammon: The God of Wealth and Prosperity; The Money God! Jesus said: “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” (Mat 6:24 ESV) This passage and many others are in direct contradiction to those who preach and teach that the primary aim of Christianity is health, wealth and prosperity. The God of the Bible is not the least bit excited by silver or gold. In fact, I read somewhere in the Bible that gold is of such low value in the God of the Bible’s economy that it is used to pave the streets of Heaven! It’s ironic that many people are robbing, killing, and selling their souls to get what the God of the Bible uses as asphalt!

There is also a tradition that says Barabbas’ first name was also “Jesus.” So when Pilate presented the choice to the Jewish crowd in Matthew 27:17, he actually asked which “Jesus” they wanted: Jesus Barabbas or Jesus of Nazareth? Now the irony of the situation was that the name; Barabbas actually meant: “son of the father!” The crowd picked “the (false) son of the father” to go free and chose to allow Jesus of Nazareth (who was and is actually the “real” Son of the Father) to be crucified! Now, I said all of that to say this: There are many in Christian circles today who are calling on the name of Jesus, but my question is: Which Jesus? When people used profanity and say “Jesus @#*n% Christ” that is not the Jesus of the Bible! That is a “Jesus” of their own making; that Jesus is an idol! When we as Christians say we love Jesus, yet we are not willing to submit to his lordship over our lives, the Jesus we love is not the Jesus of the Bible! The Jesus of the Bible plainly declares to love him is to obey him! (see John 14:23-24)

If the God we serve only loves the people we love, doesn’t disagree with anything we do, never rebukes or correct us and doesn’t require a change in attitude or behavior from anybody, that is a god of our own making! If we serve a god like that; we are serving an idol! A god shaped in our image! In fact, the reality of the situation is, a god like that serves us! And if that is the case, then we make ourselves to be god!

The God of the Bible cannot and will not be manipulated by our prayers or by our faith! It is He who has made us and not us who made Him! Therefore the only proper and correct response is humble submission to His will and to His way. For that is the purpose for which we were created: To do God’s will upon the earth. Therefore, when we live life oblivious to the God of the Bible’s will and purpose for our lives, then the answer to the original question is “us!” We are our god!