There are many gods spelled in lower case. They sound a bit like this:
“I am god; I can do whatever I want and you just have to deal with it.”
It is our exposure to such gods that tricks us into thinking we have to appease the deity somehow to win him over. We have to crawl on our bellies, cater to his whims and follow his bidding. We think with this capricious god on our side we gain power and can dominate the world just like he already does. This flawed god-perception has done a lot of harm and feeds into the attitude of an abuser. We wreck a planet to cater to our needs, and we wreck relationships because we act like little gods.
This attitude, however, is foreign to the God spelled with a capital G. This God is often mistaken to be one of the gods in lower case. I call this a tragic misunderstanding, and it leads to a couple of problems:
- There are people who feel extremely frustrated with the gods and they rightly say: “I’m done with gods. We are better off without them.” Atheists have my vote, any time of the day. I too am done with gods, and the older I get, it seems, the less patient I become with those unpredictable beings with the god-complex.
- There is another group of people who cling to the gods tenaciously in hopes to better cope with everyday living. The hotter their god-pursuit, the more fanatical they become shedding a real awkward light on the real deal, the God with the capital G. God calls His competitors “foreign gods”, because they are foreign to His character.
To distinguish Him from the lower-case gods I will call God with a capital G “Original God” going forward. Over the millennia mankind has grown used to false gods to the extent that many people have a hard time imagining there is actually a genuine One. It’s confusing, isn’t it? So the question is how do we differentiate between counterfeit and original? There are several dead giveaways which stand in stark contrast to the brazen and noisy gods competing for our attention:
Original God is subtle.
We have to search Him to find Him. Unless we take a concerted effort, get quiet and listen we won’t hear His still small voice. Another clue is His commitment to free will, and I believe this must prove difficult for the Lord at times:
Original God does not abuse His power.
We are so used to being manipulated by false gods that it escapes us how the all-powerful and almighty God would refuse to simply enforce His good will. Yes, He could do that in a heartbeat. That way He could get rid of all the false gods, but the outcome, true to His divine nature, would be highly unsatisfactory. Why? Here it is:
Original God does not seek God-copycats.
Instead He seeks face-to-face encounters with independent minds. Original God, the real deal, seeks the real deal with us and a relationship unburdened with fear and manipulation. He wants honest opinions, raw feelings, and openness. The ensuing communication flow is more precious to Him than anything else.
What does Original God do to get our attention? He reveals Himself, He saves and He proclaims; and He has been doing these three things consistently to help us out. If you are a God-seeker, welcome to His mysterious heart! You are encouraged to dive deep and explore.