The Edifier

West Allen Church of Christ

The Edifier Index

Letting God Be God

Jason E. Stringer, Waco, Texas

In our service to God, no attitude is more important than reverence. "Know that Jehovah, He is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture," (Psa 100:3)

Manís attempts at self-rule have always gotten him into trouble (Gen 3:1-6). Our sense of pride and independence often times leads us to try to be gods unto ourselves, and this is at the heart of sin (Rom 1:21). Before God can rule us, we must stop trying to rule ourselves, and to rule Him. Pharaoh demonstrates the attitude that we often display in Exodus 5:2; however, Christís attitude is what we should strive to have (Lk 22:42; Jn 6:38). We should gratefully acknowledge, each day, Godís sovereignty over us. We should recognize Him not only as the Creator, but also as our Sustainer and Ruler. We must humbly, confidently, and contentedly let God be God in our lives.

We live in an age that is obsessed with self. Too often times we let that interfere with our worship to God and our worship becomes dedicated to our own desires (2 Tim 4:3-4). We do our level best to make God over in our image and demand that our worship be according to our own desires and wisdom, rather than His. We try to set our own terms rather than accept Godís (Gen 4:3-8; Heb 11:4). In so doing we make the demand of God that He be whatever we wish for Him to be and to solve all of our problems in the manner that we prescribe (Mal 3:13-14).

However, God does not exist for our own pragmatic purposes. We must stop seeing God as existing only to solve our problems. President John F. Kennedy once said, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." Our attitude with God should be the same; what can we do to please Him as the Almighty Creator, Sustainer, and Life-Giver. Rather than giving orders to God, we must learn to take them from Him (1 Sam 3:10; Lk 1:38). We must not try to dictate to God the things that we will allow as conditions of our obedience to Him, but rather let God dictate to us what He would have us to do.

We need to rest confidence in Godís sovereignty over us as His creation. We worry, fret, and labor trying to govern the events that concern us, never realizing that we are agonizing over things that we ourselves cannot control. We need to let God control the things that are in His power, for His tasks are too stressful for us as mere humans. Job questioned Godís management of the universe, and beginning in Job 38 God asks Job some pertinent questions. Questions that led Job to realize that God is the one who is in control. Later we find Job being humbled by the tasks that belong to God and His amazing power to accomplish them (Job 42:1-6). The greatest stress reliever that man can ever have is to let God handle and control His universe.

Reverence demands that we have confidence in God. Enough confidence in Him to supervise the world without our advice and assistance. For God is the Master Planner, and He will bring about His purposes. Often times we have the idea that God needs us and exists only for our purposes, not realizing that we have the relationship backwards. We exist for Him.

Having this sort of confidence in God leads us to be content with God and His decisions for our lives. We must grow to the point where God is our center (Gal 2:20), the complete source of our adequacy (2 Cor 3:3-5), and the one thing we truly have to have; the only thing that we cannot do without (Phil 1:21). Once we are contented enough to let God be God our own lives will be contented as well (Phil 4:6-7; 11-13).

David says that, ". . .we are the sheep of His pasture. . . ." Think about the qualities of sheep for a moment. They are humble, willing to let another lead them. They are confident, trusting their shepherd to do them no harm. And they are content, always believing their shepherd has led them to the best place for them. No wonder Godís inspired writers often refer to His people as His sheep.

Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, "The great act of faith is when a man decides that he is not God." Itís Godís prerogative to set the terms or our relationship with Him. We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Letís let Him do the leading and live our lives the way He would have us to live them.