God in a Box

21 06 2013

One challenge we face is to get God out of the “box,” by which we mean our preconceived restrictions concerning what He can and can’t do. However, the idea of “God in a box” did not originate with us, but with God Himself!

How could a king woo and win a peasant girl’s heart? If he showed up in his limousine, accompanied by his body guards and told the woman that he wanted her for his wife. She would go. After all, he is the king, and what the king wants, the king gets.

Would she love him? Ah, there’s the dilemma. How would the king ever know she was with him by choice, not by obligation?

If, instead, he dressed the part of a peasant, he could let her get to know him. He could court her without any reticence on her part. By the time she knew he was a king, he would be certain of her love for him. They could live “happily ever after.” It would take humility on his part, and patience as well. The result, if he was successful, would be well worth the effort.

We have a God who took this approach.

Israel’s time to leave Egypt had come, but by then the relationship between God and man had become strained. There were so many gods, malevolent in nature. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob seemed no different.

At Sinai, God, the King of kings, called the people near. He was loud; all lightning flashes and thunder. Fire and smoke covered the top of the mountain. Understandably, the people stood afar off and told Moses, “Yyyooou ggo speak to Him. Wwee’ll wwwait here!” (Exodus 20:19)

On the mountain, God told Moses, in essence, “I love every one of you. I want to be with you. If they won’t come to me, then built me a tent – I’ll camp with you.” He humbled Himself, desiring to be more approachable. He “tamed” Himself…put Himself in a “box.”

Work commenced, and soon God was happily situated in their midst. All were invited to drop by for a visit (Exodus 33:7). Instead, whenever Moses went to the tabernacle, the people stood at their tents’ door and watched.

For forty years God led them round and round in the wilderness. He stayed with them, no matter how they treated Him.

In time, the Israelites were situated in the land God promised them. Because they were no longer wandering, a permanent “box” was built for Him – the temple. There He lived for hundreds of years.

This wasn’t close enough for the King, though, so one day He moved into a much smaller “tent” – a human tent. They called Him “Jesus.” It was a perfect disguise. Many loved Him, talked to Him, and touched Him. He was free to interact with them – almost like in the Garden of Eden.

Then came the day of the great unveiling. In John 14:9, Jesus tells His followers, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.” Tada!

And yet, being close to us in this way had its restrictions. He could only be in one place at a time. It was not quite satisfactory. Jesus left His earthly tent behind…

…and sent His Spirit…

…to live in our tents with us! (1 Corinthians 6:19)

***

I will dwell in them

And walk among them

I will be their God,

And they shall be My people.

(2 Corinthians 6:16)

***

And they shall call His name Immanuel,

Which is translated

God with us.

(Matthew 1:23)

God created us because He loves us. Love cannot be forced, though. How patiently and humbly He pursues us, His heart on His sleeve. He longs for us to know Him intimately, and to love Him deeply.

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18 responses

22 06 2013
K Cutler

loved this! Exactly what I needed to hear today – thank you 🙂

22 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

You’re most welcome. God is so good!

\o/

21 06 2013
Heather Mertens @ 40YearWanderer

What a beautiful post! Just makes my heart smile!!

25 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

Thanks, Heather. Sorry for the slow response. I’ve been having computer issues. 😦

\o/

26 06 2013
Heather Mertens @ 40YearWanderer

Oh no! o.O

Computer issues make life tingly.
Hope they are fixed, friend!

26 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

The computer fix was easy…I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t think of it myself. Sue suggested prayer. 🙂
Right after I did, I knew what was needed. I unplugged and replugged the wi-fi and modem. All better!

Seriously? Why didn’t I think of that myself? Oh, Lord, I so need Your help. 😉

Have a blessed day!
\o/

26 06 2013
Heather Mertens @ 40YearWanderer

I prayed over a friends computer one day – at a dance production my daughter was in so it houses ticket sales! – and God answered. 🙂

I’ve prayed over mine many times thru the years. Then I switched from pc to a Mac and haven’t had to near as much. 😉 LOL

26 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

🙂

\o/

21 06 2013
Pure Glory

Thanks for a great post showing us why God doesn’t live in a box!

25 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

🙂

\o/

21 06 2013
Heather Marsten

I’m so glad that God can’t be confined, I need God bigger than all of my stuff. My pastor once told me that God is patient, that He waits for us to approach Him because God is not a bully. He loves us so much, He’s willing to be patient.

21 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

Me too! He was incredibly patient with me – decades worth. I found it humorous that He chose to “live in a box” (the Holy of Holies) in order to draw us closer to Him. 🙂
He is far more humble than we realize, I think.

\o/

21 06 2013
Heather Marsten

LOL, I think he descended and hovered between the angels on top of the Holy of Holies , but I know what you mean, He walked with us, and even came in a human suit (Jesus) to be close to us. I spent decades too. I called it my forty years in the wilderness. And God was still there in remarkable ways. To gain some peace from the abuse I received as a child I spent a lot of time in a fantasy world – imaginary mother/father. They would speak to me, comfort me, calm me. One day I was asking God where was He when I was being so terribly abused. When I was able to receive it (healed enough to hear Him) He said, “Who do you think your imaginary mother and father was?”

21 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

Mmm. When I was healed enough, He took me back to several instances and showed me where He was in each one. The one that broke my heart was His body between mine and my molester.

He is so good to us.

\o/

21 06 2013
Toni Sprandel

Oh so true! I love your writing!

21 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

Thanks, Toni (again!) 🙂

\o/

21 06 2013
Larry Who

Amen.

21 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

🙂
\o/

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