Letting God Be God

In the very first chapter of the very first book of the Bible, we are given an identity. We are creatures made “in the image of God.” Later in the story we discover that our problems began with the temptation to “be like God” (Genesis 3:5).

There is a subtle but deadly difference between these two things. While we are made in God’s image, we are still creatures, and so all that we possess are derived qualities and free gifts.

We were created neither to be independent nor self-sufficient. Yet that is what our now-fallen nature constantly is striving to be. We love our freedom and we like to provide for ourselves.

Within creaturely limits, of course, those are not bad things. We were made to make decisions, work, and enjoy the fruit of our labor, and the Bible is clear we should do all we can to provide for ourselves.

But to view independence and self-sufficiency in absolute terms is unreal and misguided. When we forget that the air we breathe, the food we eat, the health we enjoy, and the opportunities we have, all are gifts, we have set aside creatureliness and taken on the divine.

So how do we let God be God? By acknowledging that all things are from His hand. That is, they come by grace. That is far more than gratitude; it is an acknowledgment of our total dependence upon God’s love and goodness. That’s where worship begins.

Psalm 116:12-14 says it beautifully:
“What shall I render to the Lord
for all of his benefits to me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation
and call upon the name of the Lord,
I will pay my vows to the Lord
in the presence of his people.

The “payment” is an acknowledgement before God and others of grace received, not for services rendered. (See “Make Room for Grace,” from June 17.) We say, “Lord, you rescued me when I called out to you, helpless, and I lift my empty cup again to you, for you supply all things, even salvation itself.”

See it? It’s a great way to live, and it takes the pressure off when we are tempted to “play God” ourselves. Moment by moment, as His beloved child, let God be God. Only He fills that big job description.

“Our Father and Creator, we acknowledge you as the Provider of all things, for this life and the next. We lift our cups for you to fill them with forgiveness, mercy, and grace, so that these things can overflow to everyone around us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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