God in a Box
Posted on Sunday, May 25 @ 17:30:03 EDT by fspeaks
“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’” Isaiah 55:6-9
Even in the midst of this world in crisis; where people hate people, wars abound, economies are uncertain, deception is rampant, starvation and disease kills thousands every day, and fear seems to grip most of us in even the most subtle of ways, God is still moving! He is still healing people in miraculous ways, raising people from the dead both physically and spiritually, and taking the least likely to succeed and lifting them up to places of great honor.
Cancers are falling off, blind eyes are being opened, the lame are walking, the deaf are speaking, drug addicts are changed in a moment, hardened hearts are softened, the lost are being saved, and on and on it goes. I can hear people right now saying, “Where is all of this taking place?” That, my friend, is the thousand dollar question. But, perhaps even more importantly is the million dollar question, which is, “Why don’t I see these things?”
I am going to address the “Why” question rather than the “Where” question because until we understand the “why”, we will never see the “where”. Does that make sense? It will if you stay with me for a minute.
Over the course of her life my mother had had some pretty amazing supernatural encounters. She at times saw some very vivid visions and at other times had some remarkable experiences that could only be described as supernatural, but frankly would make the hair on the back of your neck rise as she told the stories. I remember a dream she had about me and my wife about 30 years ago.
In this dream she saw Jesus wearing a pair of jeans and a tee shirt standing in-between me and my wife with arms outstretched towards each of us. Really, that’s all I want to tell you about the dream right now because it was during a particularly difficult time in my life and frankly, I was being rebuked, in a very nice way, by Jesus. (Smile)
Anyway, it has only been in the last few weeks that I have come to ponder in amazement these occurrences in the life of my mother many years ago and now some eight years after her death. I now understand why it has taken so long.
You see, if you have ever heard my testimony, you will know that in my view, I had a very difficult time in my youth growing up with a mother that I felt was angry, at times violent, and very unpredictable. This all to put it mildly, but the good news is that when she died in January of 2000, I felt we were as close as we ever could be as son and mom.
So, because of all of the difficulties I grew up with, the uncertainties of life, and even the confusion as to my value and purpose in life, I could not for so many years get a hold on the fact that real supernatural things happened to my mom, things that I would so like to experience myself in many ways! Plus, there was one other fact that I have failed to mention. She was a Catholic!
Now why is all of this significant? Because, in my simple and at times flawed mind, I just could not believe that God would choose to express Himself to a woman who was in my view so darn angry! And on top of that, she was a Catholic. There, I said it.
I had limited my own experiences in life because my mom did not fit into the mold of who I thought God could and should use for some of His wonderful experiences. Maybe if she had been a June Cleaver type of mother, and if she had to be a Catholic, at least God could have made her something like Mother Theresa. You see, I had God in a box. And, it was the box of my choosing,
For so many of us we have limited God to acting within the confounds of an invisible, yet very profound box created in our minds by our own experiences and misconceptions of who He really is. If anything comes along that does not fit within this box then we quickly reject it as emotionalism, false teaching or at best, “something that is for them and not for me.”
These boxes are developed in us through many ways and experiences. Our childhood experiences are a major factor in how we come to form this box. Another forming factor is the particular denomination in which we are raised. Our faith or the lack thereof is also something that helps us create this box. Then you could add the culture and perhaps even the time and place of our birth. You can see that the material in which we have built our box is extensive.
I have had the privilege of traveling to eight times now in the last two years to Korea to teach on the Father’s love. One of the cultural boxes we face there when we teach on the Father Heart of God is the image of God as portrayed through their earthly fathers. For many Koreans they have been raised in a home where their father is/was very authoritative, distant, lacking in the ability to show expressed love and affection, and simply too busy to meet the emotional needs of their family.
It is important to see here that this does not mean these fathers do not love their children. I believe most love their children very much as fathers should. But with the influence of Confucianism deeply infused in the culture, the hierarchal ladder means the man must rise above to this place of authority and control.
So, when you begin to tell some Koreans, especially older brothers and sisters, that their Heavenly Father, Daddy, thinks they are special and wants to have a personal intimate relationship with them, it is often a hard nut to crack. When you explain that Papa thinks they are beautiful, special, wanted and needed, there is often an invisible wall that begins to resist such knowledge. They, like all of us need to let God out of the box!
Let me address the Catholic issue that I mentioned above concerning my mom. When Rose and I first became Christians we were immediately confronted with the “fact” (apparently not actually) that “we” (our religious flavor) were right and “they” (the, you know who’s) were wrong. Armed with the arsenal of two months of intensive teaching we immediately proceeded to tell our very Catholic families our new found revelation.
Well, as you can imagine that didn’t go so well to say the least, but in our determination to remain “correct” we held fast as true martyrs and maintained our feelings for many years. We would avoid anything that hinted of Catholicism, and when visiting family in other states, we went along to church with them only to silently criticize everything and probably more so to rebuke all the demons we felt were present. (Ugh)
For so many years of just knowing that God was “on our side” and in our box we maintained our spiritual distance. But, I have to tell you that in the last several years, having allowed parts of my box to erode and allowing Daddy to be Daddy, I have come to discover some of the most deep, intimate portraits of our loving Father from the pen of some amazing Catholic writers. Who would of thunk it? Needless to say I had some repenting to do.
Let me expose another box that many of us have locked God into. At the writing of this article, there is a revival going on into its fifty-second day in
Lakeland, Florida , which has been labeled “The Great Florida Healing Revival.” With a potential of over 500 million viewers in more than 200 countries around the world, as it is being broadcast live by God-TV in the
, some amazing supernatural things are happening.
I have been watching via the internet as Jesus is being preached, souls are being saved, and the most amazing miracles are taking place. I am not talking about colds being healed and migraine headache’s disappearing (although that too is happening), but I am talking about cancers falling off, people with MS and CP getting up and walking, the deaf hearing, and yes, some dead folks coming back to life!
The problem with all of this, and that which has challenged the “God box” of so many people, is the man God has been using to spearhead this revival. I would like to tell you that he is a tall dark handsome man with rugged features, sparkling in his beautiful Italian suit and tie. Surely he has been a denominational leader for years and carries the credentials of someone who has graduated from one of the most respected Theological Institutions in the world. Right? Wrong!
God is using a guy with more tattoos than a tattoo parlor, with lip and ear piercings to boot. Not to mention the balding, bearded and a little over weight part. Certainly he is not who I would have chosen. At least I don’t have all the tattoos! (Smile)
Do you know how badly this has messed up the Theology of so many people who have kept God neatly packaged in their box of choosing? And the sad fact is that many will miss their healing or a greater revelation of God’s love for them because of it. There is no telling what else they will miss because of their undersized box!
All of this is to say that God for many of us is stuck in a box, but being the warm and loving God He is, He gently waits for us to tear down those walls that keep us from seeing and experiencing Him for who He is. In fact, I believe He is more than willing to help us tear the box up if we just ask and allow Him to show us a better way.
One of the things Daddy has been teaching me more and more in these last few weeks is how much He really wants to meet with me in one on one fellowship and to reveal more of Himself to me. Now that I have allowed a couple of the sides of my God box to fall down it is amazing what I have been discovering!
Here are just a few things He has shown me, and my prayer is that you too will allow Him to reveal these things to you as well. Are you ready? Just before I do, clench you fists, and quickly, with force and determination, strike your hands into the air. Did you do it? What you just did was to knock the top off you box so you can receive! Now, you are ready to hear what Papa has shown me.
He said that He loved me without any conditions regardless of where I’ve been and what I’ve done. He said He has NEVER once given up on me, and in fact, He never could. He said that I have never failed Him because I have been hidden in Christ, and Christ could never fail Him. Wow! He told me that He is safe and that I could trust Him with anything and everything without fear of retribution. He said, “There is more!”
To say the least, my box has been somewhat shattered in these last few weeks as I ponder these things. So, I have decided it is better to tear the box down and let Him be who He really is in my life. Will you? Oh how I hope you will as I can promise you it will open to you more possibilities than you have ever thought possible.
Join me in a box burning! The truth is that the Father could never be contained in any of our boxes, but He has not forced us to see Him beyond what we have built to contain Him. Give Him a chance to reveal Himself to you. He will help you do this if you ask Him!