He is God and we are not

Published 7:30 am Sunday, November 13, 2022

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“Oh, God!” That was the title of a 1977 comedy movie starring George Burns as God and John Denver as a man chosen as his messenger in the modern world. In 2004, a remake of the movie was filmed with different actors. A headline in bold letters announced, “Guess Who’s Playing God?”

That question really startled me and started me thinking. Could that be a question each of us should answer? Are there times we try to play God?

When it comes to going our own way or following His way, which do we choose? The first of the Ten Commandments tell us that He is God and there should be no other gods before Him.

In our heart of hearts, there is a place only God can fill. We make Him the Lord of our lives by giving Him His rightful place. Jesus told us we should, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33).

I wonder if I’m not playing God when I tell Him what I think He should do. Someone once said, “Most people wish to serve God – but only in an advisory capacity.”

Isaiah 55:8 says, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.

C.S. Lewis has written, “There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, ‘All right, then, have it your way.’” James Weldon Johnson once said to a young man, “Your arms are too short to box with God.”

It’s human nature to want to do what we can and then call on God when we realize we can’t handle a situation. An anonymous author once wrote, “There are two things I’ve learned: There is a God.  And I’m not Him.”

There is only one true God. “No one is holy like the Lord, For there is none besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God,” we read in 1 Samuel 2:2.

“Therefore You are great, O Lord God. For there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You,” says 2 Samuel 7:22. We can’t put God in a box. He’s greater than we can comprehend. He is in control.

One of my favorite authors, Philip Yancey, has written a book titled “The Question That Never Goes Away.” He’s referring to the question – why? – that all of us ask God at one time or another. “Faith, I’ve concluded, means believing in advance what will only make sense in reverse.”

Yancey writes, “For us who are Christians, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is proof positive that love is stronger than hate, that life is stronger than death, that light is stronger than darkness, that laughter and joy, and compassion and gentleness and truth, all these are so much stronger than their ghastly counterparts.”

In moments of both dangerous crisis and joyful excitement, I often hear people cry out, “Oh, God!” Let’s make those two words our heartfelt prayer. Then, let go and let God be God.

— Jan White has compiled a collection of her columns in her book, “Everyday Faith for Daily Life.”