Your God is Not Too Small!

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Psalm 50:21 makes an interesting statement. In the previous verses God has mentioned several things the wicked have done or ways they have acted. Then God says, “When you did these things and I kept silent, you thought I was exactly like you.”

Many years ago, I came across a little book by J. B. Phillips entitled Your God is Too Small. In the Introduction he says, 

“The trouble with many people today is that they have not found a God big enough for modern needs. While their experience of life has grown in a score of directions, and their mental horizons have been expanded to the point of bewilderment by world events and by scientific discoveries, their ideas of God have remained largely static.”[1]

Is that your problem? Does the God you heard about in Sunday School seem either too simplistic or too distant to have any relevance for your life in the 21st century? Can God really be trusted to help you navigate the issues that bombard us daily in our own lives as well as television and in the media? 

Does God care about issues like gender confusion, artificial intelligence, cyber bullying, the erosion of truth, not to mention persecution, terrorism, and gun violence?

Phillips goes on to say:

“It is obviously impossible for an adult to worship the conception of God that exists in the mind of a child of Sunday school age, unless he is prepared to deny his own experience of life.  If, by a great effort of will, he does do this he will always be secretly afraid lest some new truth may expose the juvenility of his faith.  And it will always be by such an effort that he either worships or serves a God who is really too small to command his adult loyalty and co-operation.”[2]

But there’s a fairly simple, if time-consuming, solution to our problem. If we would know God as He really is rather than through the filter of our own limitations, we must spend time with Him. We must take time to really learn what He has told us through His written word, the Bible. Ron Rhodes says of the Bible, “In this one book, God has provided everything He wants us to know about Him and how we can have a relationship with Him.”[3]

Then, quoting J.I. Packer’s Knowing Christianity, Dr. Rhodes continues, 

“The Scriptures are… God preaching, God talking, God telling, God instructing, God setting before us the right way to think and speak about him. The Scriptures are God showing us himself: God communicating to us who he is and what he has done so that in the response of faith we may truly know him and live our lives in fellowship with Him.”[4]

As we spend time in God’s Word, as we spend time speaking to God in prayer and listening for Him to speak to us through His Word, as we allow God’s Holy Spirit to come into us and open the Bible to us, we will come to understand that He is “big enough to rule His mighty universe, yet small enough to live within my heart!”[5]

Go Deeper

  1. J.B. Phillips, Your God is Too Small (Old LandMark Publishing. Kindle Edition), p. 9.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ron Rhodes, Christianity According to the Bible: Separating Cultural Religion from Biblical Truth (Kindle Edition).
  4. J.I. Packer, Knowing Christianity (Wheaton: Harold Shaw, 1995), p. 138.
  5. Stuart Hamblen, “How Big is God?” (1959 Hamblen Music Co.)

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