False Postures: Life Over God
As we continue to look at some false postures which we as believers can falsely assume characteristics of, today we will look at what we will call a "Life Over God" posture.
I think about today as many students head back to school in some form or fashion, whether it be on-line or in the classroom, and not only do I encourage everyone to be praying for students and parents as they venture into new territories, but also as we end summer and the busyness of school comes back upon us, be prayerful that we won't assume this posture as we get busy again. It can take various forms, and we must be on the lookout for these, as they all attack the pre-eminence of Christ.
In summary, The Life Over God posture has very little room for God in the practical every day affairs of life. It could be busyness, it could be science and technology and the supposed "wisdom" of an ever-changing world, but the effect can be to live as if God were not supreme, no real relationship.
The effect and outcome of this posture is that an individual has no need for God on an everyday level because science and rationale or human wisdom seem to explain everything. In the rare event that science and technology cannot explain something, then we will turn to God for an explanation. The Life OVER God posture amounts to deism, not Christianity. In many ways it amounts to practical atheism.
Here is the danger for all of to be deceived about ourselves but also the attack on the pre-eminence of Christ - A deist would say there is a god, but that god is unknown and instead relies upon reason and the natural world. Deism is a position which believes that god does not interfere directly with the world. God sort of wound everything up and let it go, and whatever happens is up to us.
This posture wouldn’t deny God altogether, it just believes god is distant and relatively uninvolved in the matters of ordinary life. Non-relational. This posture would operate under the belief that God constructed the world, wound it up, set everything in motion thru laws and such, then He let it go.
The practical implications of the Life Over God posture is that God has no real bearing on our daily existence. This posture dismisses God and His activity in our everyday lives and gives us control thru laws and science that are predictable. The lie that if we just implement the right principles, everything works out. Something totally contradictory to the Bible. Like saying to God, “I will take your salvation, but you stay out of my everyday affairs.” Or that God cannot be truly known. John dealt with this in John 1:1, 14, 18. Even Hebrews 1:3 says “Jesus is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His nature”. Jesus revealed God perfectly. We can know God. That is Christianity and where it is different.
Paul dealt with this in Acts 17:22-31. The god that they thought they couldn’t know has revealed Himself clearly in the Person of Jesus Christ. Even raised Him from the dead. Christ is pre-eminent. The only proper response is seen in vv. 30-31. Paul addresses this and more as we will see in Col. 2:8-10. These philosophies are empty. They do not provide what they promise. No real answers. Christ is pre-eminent. And what it boils down to is which wisdom will we choose to live by: God’s or man’s?
At every turn nowadays Godly wisdom and the Bible are pitted against worldly wisdom. We see this in issues such as gender, marriage, roles, homosexuality, race, world view in general. Do we allow the Bible to inform us in these endeavors, or something else, such as science or natural laws or our supposed new understanding that people didn’t have when the Bible was written? Put another way: Do you allow the Bible to inform you with regards to salvation, and then the world’s ways for everything else, such as business and government and relationships and more so-called practical areas of life? Or is Christianity and the Word good for all areas of life?
2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:3-9. Equipped for every good work. Everything we need for life and godliness. The Bible is sufficient to inform us on every area of life, for godliness sake. At the heart of Christianity is a relationship with God that is ushered in thru the gospel. Again, the why over the what. We can’t miss the relational aspect. Parent to child.
What if your kids only came to you when they needed something? Never saw them or heard from them except when you needed something from them?
In a Life OVER God posture, the relationship with God is neglected in exchange for practical principles to govern our lives. Christianity is not deism. It is a relationship. I mean, after all, if you can fix it yourself, why do you need the architect or mechanic? We cannot diminish the Bible to simply a divine revelation of principles versus a divine revelation of God by God.
Self-evaluation: When you come to the Bible, is it for information or transformation? Is it growing in information or a relationship? Do you see simply words or God and His character being revealed?
The Pharisees were experts at knowing the Word. Memorized it, studied it like nobody else. And yet they missed the person of God. They missed knowing God to the point where they didn’t recognize Him when He was standing right in front of them, to the point that they crucified Him.
Look at John 5:39-43. They missed God in the Scriptures. We have to be careful of the same error. We become pre-eminent, not the relationship. We can begin to use God to get a better marriage, become better managers of money so we can be rich, better leader, better parents. None of which require a relationship with God. We can put all of these practices into our live without having a relationship with God.
The danger is that we assume a posture where we put all of these principles into our lives and practice without God being involved. God is set aside while we control our lives based upon proven practices, not living by faith. Heb. 11:6 – without faith it is impossible to please God. Miss the relationship offered. The word and God become a means to self-help. We begin to approach the Bible with an eye towards self-help and not knowing God. John 17:3 – knowing God is eternal life.
In the Life Over God posture, the Bible ceases being a way to know God and fostering communion with him, rather the Bible becomes for us a set of truths or principles that we use to get the results we want.
Don't miss the relationship by making everything about yourself. Don't subtly or not so subtly replace the pre-eminence of Christ with your own.