Tuesday, February 10, 2004
One of the great names for Jesus in the Bible is the "Lion of the Tribe of Judah." When noted author, C. S. Lewis, created a character to be his Christ-figure in his "Chronicles of Narnia" fantasies, he introduced us to Aslan, the lion-king of Narnia. In Lewis' enchanting books, Narnia is a land where the animals speak, where the forces of evil are strong, and where Aslan, though only seen on rare occasions, is the dominant figure. Lucy is one of the children who is transported to Narnia. In one of the later books in the Chronicles, Lucy is finally reunited with the Lion-King, Aslan. I'll let C. S. Lewis take it from here: "'Welcome child,' he said. Lucy said, 'Aslan, you're bigger.' And he answered, 'That is because you are older, little one.' 'Oh, not because you are?' Lucy said. 'Oh, I am not. But every year you grow, you will find me bigger.'"
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Shrinking Your God."
That is your King's plan for you - that every year you grow, you find Him bigger. And that's the kind of God you have if you belong to Jesus Christ. You can never reach His limits - He has none. He is all those "omni's" the Bible scholars talk about - omniscient - there's nothing He doesn't know; omnipresent - there's no place where He isn't there; omnipotent - there's nothing He cannot do. The problem is this strange tendency we have in the more challenging times in our life - the bigger the issue is, the smaller our God seems to be to us. The problem looks unsolvable, the need looks unmeetable, the mountain unmovable - and we end up handling the hard times as if our God is too small to handle this one.
For all of us God-shrinkers, there's our word for today from the Word of God in Jeremiah 32, beginning with verse 17. It is a powerful prayer of the prophet Jeremiah - and perhaps, the very prayer you need to be praying right now in the face of something overwhelming. "Ah, Sovereign Lord, You made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you. O great and powerful God, whose name is the Lord Almighty, great are Your purposes and mighty are Your deeds." Now listen to God's response: "Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 'I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for the Lord?'"
Think about it: when your problem suddenly gets bigger than it's ever been, does it get harder for God? When the financial need is greater than you've ever seen, does it suddenly get harder for God to supply it? When your medical condition gets worse, does it get beyond what God can handle? If the person you've been praying for so long seems to be getting farther from God than they've ever been, did God's rescue challenge suddenly get a lot bigger? When the issues with your child or your spouse or your parent take a turn for the worse, is it suddenly harder for God to pull this out? For every question like that, watch my lips for the answer: No! "Nothing is too hard for the Lord" - including your thing. It gets bigger and harder for us, but there's no such word as "hard" in the vocabulary of God.
When the ancient Jews saw the size of the people and the defenses in the Promised Land, they obsessed on how big their problem was and they totally forgot how much bigger their God was. And they ended up in the wilderness for a long time and so do we. You may be stressing and sinking and even sinning right now because you're underestimating your God - and under-trusting Him.
Faith is the key that unlocks all the great things God has for you. And He isn't about to let your faith stay the same size. He's in the faith-enlargement business. He's let something come into your life that defies human solution, that overwhelms human answers, so you can experience how big your King really is. When the bad news gets "badder," your God does not get smaller. He's still the Sovereign Lord, the great and powerful God. Let yourself be overwhelmed by the God you have - and you'll find that nothing but Him is truly overwhelming!