Wednesday, September 13, 2017


But this happens all the time, right? We are living in a world where even the most useless idea becomes valuable when there's all of a sudden a benefit in it for us. Tell us what we can gain by it, and we're on board. Take our greatest enemy and make him useful for our gain, and all of a sudden, he's our best friend.

Let us fall on hard times, and we'll start looking around for God. At least until those hard times pass.

There are a lot of verbs God gives us in the Bible for relating to Him. There are all kinds of ways we can approach Him. We can love Him; we can hate Him. We can worship Him; we can reject Him. We can serve Him; we can rob Him. We can please Him; we can grieve Him. We can call out to Him, cry out to Him, pray to Him. We can ask, seek, knock. Heck, we can even ignore God if we want to. We can curse God. We can forsake God.

The one thing we can't do is use Him. God never says "use me."

He says we can take refuge in Him. We can trust Him. We can obey Him. We can disobey Him. We can seek Him. We can find Him. We can turn away from Him. We can turn back to Him. We can embrace Him. We can adore Him. We can despise Him.

Still, we cannot use Him.

To use God is to fundamentally change the relationship that He wants to have with us. Out of all of these other verbs that He's given us, what we can easily see is that they are all relationship verbs. These are all things that we do with other persons. Some of this language, we use also for things, but they are words meant for people. We were never meant to "love" burgers or to "hate" broccoli; we use these words, but that's not how they were intended. They're relational words. Every one of them.

But "use" - this is not a relational word, not in the same sense. When you use something, one thing is a person and the other is an object. We use tools. We use resources. We use goods and services. Even though we have a turn of phrase that says that we "use" persons, we were never meant to. "Use" is not a relational word; it's a power word. It's objectifying. And when we only use God, we objectify Him. He's no longer a "He;" He's an "It."

The God whose wild imagination created you did not come to this earth and die on a Cross to be your "It."

That's why He says you have to choose. That's why He says if you choose against Him, you can't just call on Him. You can do anything you want - that's the nature of free will - but you cannot objectify Him. He will always be a He, so whatever you do, it's relational. It's interpersonal. And the minute that it's not relational in your eyes, God has every right to step back and say, you have made your choice.

Had you hated Him, He would have loved you back. Had you turned away, He would have pursued you. Had you turned back, He would have embraced you. Had you sought Him, He would have been found. Had you ignored Him, He would have grieved. Had you forsake Him, He would have wept.

But if you think you're going to use Him, He's the one who will turn away. He has to. Because He values so much the relationship, and He won't let you trash that. How could He? It would change everything.

Because how do you turn back and love a God who let you use Him? How do you respect Him enough to ever see Him as a living, breathing God? Why would you even want to? There's nothing to pull you back into relationship if God lets you go rogue by not choosing.

So choose. 

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