God is NOT a Genie

One of my favorite topics of conversation about God, is the concept of “prayer.”  I think you would be surprised how many interesting and varying views there are about talking with God.  This space is too limited, and the time you have to read is insufficient to digress into a discussion on “who is God?”, so let’s cut to the chase, and I’ll assume you know I’m talking about the One and Only God, the Creator of the universe, present and revealed in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

With that brief foundation let’s stay on track and talk a little about “prayer.”  Regardless of your faith system, or denomination, the Bible (not tradition or the teachings of men) is the defining authority on the topic of prayer.  For instance, a good starting point would be Hebrews 11:6 which says, And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.  So right out of the gate, any conversation with the eternal deity is based in FAITH and has as its motivation that God “is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

Even the Bible implies that seldom does anybody really come to God for a general conversation about nothing.  Instead of “Good morning Lord,” more often than not it’s “Good Lord, it’s morning, help me get through it until I get some coffee.”  What may start out as a prayer of “thanksgiving” swiftly and most often turns into a list of needs or litany of wants.  So, I have to say it, Hebrews 11:6 does NOT imply that God is just a genie in a bottle, we release to meet our every whim, notion, or fancy.

All too often we use Jeremiah’s words like a dial up to Uber service.  Listen to the weeping prophet’s words, as he describes God’s desire to hear from us.

Jeremiah 33:3 Call to Me, and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.

Now, here’s the thing.  If we believe that God is (exists), and wants to reward our inquiries (Hebrews 11:6), and that we have his phone number (Jeremiah 33:3), then what SHOULD be the nature of our conversation, when God answers?

Rather than going off in any and every direction based on our circumstances, wants, or needs, God the Son, Jesus Christ, has already given us a real good MODEL on which to base our conversations with the Eternal Father of heaven.

Respect and reverence:
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Request for daily needs:
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

Direction and wisdom:
And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Recognition:
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever.
AMEN!

I don’t see a genie in a bottle here.  I don’t rub the bottle, watch the smoke pour out in a disembodied ghost-like appearance, with a voice that says, “What shall I do for you today, Master?”  God doesn’t call anyone “master.”

I see the Creator seeking to engage with His creation, for them to know Him as they were intended to.

I see a Creator who knows what we need, even before we ask for it, because He sees what we don’t see, and knows what we don’t know.

I see a Creator who is timeless and always present, knowing the exact direction which will lead to me fulfilling my purpose within His purposes and His will… and He is willing to guide me there.

I see a Creator who deserves my love, adoration, obedience, and trust.

God is not a genie in a bottle… please don’t be tempted to treat Him as such.  When we call God up, in faith, and in sincerity “ask” for His love, protection, guidance, healing, or blessing, but most of all HIS WILL to be done in our lives… we will get it.

Be careful what you ask for.

 

 

 

 

Genie

An Engraved Invitation

carve

If I could carve it into something tangible like a mountainside for all the world to see, I would.  If I could afford to fly around the world in a crop duster to every city, town and village on earth, to write the truth in smoke against the deep blue sky, I would.  We need to understand that “Intelligent Design” is not the same thing as “Creationism.”

Intelligent Design” is a scientific method of empirically determining the “apparent design” in nature acknowledged by virtually all biologists; that it is genuine design, and that the designer is God.  [click on the link for a full detailed explanation]

Now that sounds pretty good to most evangelical/true Christ-followers, but danger lurks in those thoughts and ideals.  Allow me to make just a few observations.  First, and maybe most importantly, the supernatural beings created for the purpose of worshiping God and doing God’s will (Angels), know that God designed and created this world.  Some of those beings were led into rebellion against God by God’s highest angel – Lucifer.  These angels turned demon (1/3 of the heavenly host according to John in the Book of Revelation), have spent all of human history trying to convince humanity that God either doesn’t exist, or that He has lost interest in them altogether.  Yet, when Jesus came to earth to reveal God’s full and complete loving plan for salvation, Satan (Lucifer) called Him “Son of God” because even Satan knew the truth about creation, and the Garden of Eden… he was there.  All the fallen angels of heaven recognize Jesus when they see Him, and cower in fear at His omniscient and omnipotent Creative nature and character.

Second, since these supernatural beings know and believe there is a God and are not saved by Him, we should not presume that just because someone says “I believe there is a ‘being’ of some kind greater than us, that created everything we see,” that this is the same thing as salvation belief.  Knowing and/or believing that God exists is only the first step in being in right relationship with your Creator.  Let’s use Hebrews 11:6 as our proof text:  “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”  Did you see the “and” there.  You might want to read that again.

The simple truth is that just because someone believes in an intelligent designer, does not mean they automatically believe that this designer rewards their efforts to know Him personally.  In fact some in this camp suggest that God “may” exist, and “may” be responsible for the design, but cares little or not at all about the humans now inhabiting this planet.  See the danger yet?

In the Bible, the authoritative, historically and scientifically proven document that reveals the Intelligent Designer Himself, truth regarding His nature and character is also revealed.  Like a huge engraved invitation across the universe of time and space, the words of Jesus ring out…

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.  [John 3:16]

The truth is that not only did God design us, but He loves us so much, He is willing to die for us.  Which brings me to my last observation.

Finally, regardless of what the world may be shouting at us today, through any means available, there are NOT many paths to find this God of Salvation.  The Creator Himself has stated with authority, that only in Himself can a human being have a personal relationship with their Creator.  He said it this way:  “I AM the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the father but through Me.”  [John 14:6]

Believing there is a God, is not the same thing as yielding your life, your mind, your soul, your attitudes, your entire belief system to the authority of the Son of God, Jesus Christ.  If you want to know the Designer of Life personally, Jesus says “Come!  And See!”

Jesus has already issued to you, your own engraved invitation… it is written in the scars on His back, the thorns in His brow, the holes in His hands and His side.

Come!  Come and see, and believe!  Come receive life… from the Creator of all things.

 

Carve