Growing up in the South there really isn’t a question as to whether or not you will go to church. The only question is what kind of church will you go to? Baptist? Pentecostal? Catholic? Church of Christ?
Regardless of what kind of church you attend, when you grow up in church, you tend to get into a routine. It’s not the church’s fault – there’s just the tendency for the routine of a church service to bleed into your relationship with God. And before long, if you aren’t careful, you will find yourself exchanging relationship for religion. I say that because I’ve been guilty of it.
For most of my life, that’s the exchange I made. I lived as if God could fit into a box. I believed that He kept business hours and only showed up on Sundays. I prayed with little faith and lived with even less faith. Even now, knowing that God doesn’t fit in a box, I still sometimes try to wrongly put Him there.
Letting God outside of your box can be a scary thing – but scripture demands it. Jesus made it a habit of teaching that our faith doesn’t belong in a box.
Time after time the religious rulers of the day approached Jesus attempting to trap Him with their limited belief. They brought matters of the law, political pinch points, and even trick questions before Him. With each attempt, they did their best to put Jesus inside of a box.
They had one big problem, though. Jesus would not fit inside their box. He didn’t match their pre-conceived idea of a Messiah. In their minds, the Savior of the world wouldn’t be born in a feeding trough and live as a carpenter for most of his life. In their minds, the Savior of the world would never eat with sinners and tax collectors. In their minds, the Savior of the world would never give grace in the place of judgment to a woman caught in the act of adultery.
It drove them mad. And because Jesus didn’t fit inside of their box – they couldn’t imagine Him fitting into their life. And this is where it gets scary – because I do the same thing. I think we all do to some degree.
We miss God’s power because of the box we try to put Him in. Instead of praying audacious, faith-filled prayers we offer weak and faithless requests. Instead of putting all of my worries, concerns, and fears in His hands – we hold on to them and try to manage our burdens on our own. Instead of realizing that God’s presence is available in every moment of our life – we compartmentalize Him to a two-hour block of time on Sunday.
When we put Jesus in a box – what we are really trying to do is make Him safe, and in turn, make our life safe. But Jesus isn’t safe and He will not be confined to a box. If we choose to put Him there we aren’t limiting Him, we are limiting ourselves. He will still be God and perform miracles and wonders. He will simply move on to someone else who hasn’t confined Him with their limited belief.
Psalm 77:14 says that our God is a God who works miracles. That’s who He is. The question is, do we pray and live like that’s who He is?
“You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.” Psalm 77:14