I remember when I heard a certain talk show host say that she could never believe in a God who is jealous. I wasn't aware that we had the option of picking and choosing the attributes of our God, but that's what many of us do. We explain away the parts of God that our limited selves cannot accept. Wrath? Angry gods aren't fun. Jealousy? Possessive boyfriends are terrible, so imagine a possessive god! Sovereign? How can I accept a good God who allows suffering, even in the lives of good people?
So we reduce God to a nice, pocket-sized edition that meets our expectations, but never exceeds them. He's portable, easy to love, easy to accept, and rarely asks much of us. But there's a problem with this comfortable god of ours. What happens when we meet a situation that we can't handle? What happens when we try to introduce our miniature god to a problem that is bigger than we are? If I can't handle it, how can a god reduced to fit into my understanding handle it?
I don't know about you, but I need a God that I can't understand. I need a God whose ways are higher than mine. I need a God who gets angry at sin. I need a God who will pursue justice at any price, including the life of His Son. I need a God who is unlimited in resources and wisdom. I need an infinite God whose plan will take more than my lifetime to complete and an eternity to comprehend. I need a God whose glory is worth anything and everything that I have. I need a God who warrants sacrifice, and who never falls short of the investments I make into Him. I need a God who forces me to live supernaturally. Forget comfortable! I need Jesus!
(Yes, I am reading Radical by David Platt. Although I've been contemplating the content of this post for a long time, the truth of our radical God has been hitting me with growing force lately. Platt's exceptional book has been one of many factors that has increased my awareness of my need for the true God of the Bible.)