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A Box with God’s Name on It

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities— all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. 19 For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. –Colossians 1:15-20

If you hastily read through those verses, I really beg you to go back and read them again. Ask the Holy Spirit to make them alive to you in a new way. Let them sink in one by one–feel the enormity of what is being conveyed here.

He is beyond comprehension, powerful and majestic. He created all things and the fullness of the Father dwells in Jesus. He is not weak or small. He is not medium-sized either. He is robust and uncontainable. Our God is a consuming fire. The heavens and earth cannot hold Him. This is important!

Maybe you’ve heard as I have well-meaning people who say,

"Don't put God in a box."

How does that even make sense? Perhaps we think because He chooses to live inside of us as His chosen temple that we can limit Him or that He is subject to us, but that’s completely inaccurate.

So what about this box we’ve supposedly put God in?

I have come to realize something important. There is absolutely no way you will ever be able to put God in a box because He won’t play by your rules. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Baptist box, Methodist box, Charismatic box, Pentecostal box, or whatever your flavor is.

You may think God is in there, but we all need to realize the box is empty. When you think you have God all figured out, you’re left with nothing but an empty space and a box with “God” written on it. Methodologies and partial understandings are not God. We can’t marry ourselves to them when we are intended to be the Bride of Christ. It becomes a form of idolatry to us that destroys our relationship with Him.

That is not to say we just give up, not pressing into the deeper places because God is unknowable and unsearchable. His Spirit enables us to conceive of those inconceivable mysteries (1 Corinthians 2:9-12).

I wrote not too long ago, “We often think we’ll fit Jesus into our lives or that maybe we should work Him in a little more. The reality is, Jesus is calling us to fit into His life.” No, don’t give up. It’s a matter of positioning. God won’t fit in our box, but He will fashion us for His Kingdom. It’s a narrow road in, but the freedom and grace there is a wide-open and spacious place.

He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me. –Psalm 18:19

What are your thoughts on all this?

 

18 Comments

  1. My pastor described our new life with Him as a merger, a complete integration of our lives into His. I long for more and more of that. Thanks Jason!
    Jay Cookingham recently posted..I’m a Has BeenMy Profile

    • And He will not stage a hostile takeover (though He would have every right!). Amen, Jay. Thank you.

  2. The veil has been sundered. We now dwell in the Holy of Hollies for God is with us…

    God is not defined by our (human) space.
    God defines us.
    Dusty Rayburn recently posted..The God of All ComfortMy Profile

    • I’m really just blown away by this truth. I always think of the Rich Mullins song, Creed that says, “I did not make it, no, it is making me. It is the very truth of God not the invention of any man.” Powerful. Thanks Dusty.

  3. Those of us who have come to have a slim understanding of God have always tried to come up with a description of what He ultimately is. We may not do this to limit Him, but we could never do Him justice in any description. As long as we continue to grasp at Him to try to put Him in the places we’d like Him to go, we’ll never receive the fullness until we allow that total abandonment of ourselves into Him to truly take place. I’ve been guilty so many times of trying to place Him in a box, but my desire still remains to live in all He really is. Great reminder today
    Philip recently posted..Prometheus and FaithMy Profile

    • Definitely, we’re all guilty! Usually multiple times. Movements get started by powerful revelation and then somehow people begin to believe that this is all there is to God. It’s incredible how arrogant we can be! But still, He loves us so much. He is so patient and kind. He continues to show us and reveal Himself to those who are open with ears to hear. He is faithful! Thanks Philip.

  4. When I use that statement I am referring to the whole idea of limiting God. We try to say, “This is what I believe so this is what God does also.” But I also go on record as saying God will not be confined by my (or anyone else’s) puny thoughts. Good thinking post today Jason.
    bill (cycleguy) recently posted..AloneMy Profile

    • I’ve said it plenty of times too, Bill. It just struck me the other day how impossible this was. It’s very interesting to think about. I appreciate your thoughts!

  5. Very well said. It is sad that we so often try to work God into our lives instead of letting Him rule our hearts/minds/lives. I was created for God, He was not created for me.

    • And it’s so beautiful to know Him as Dad, as Abba, but yeah, it doesn’t change the reality that He is so much bigger and more vast than I can comprehend. It’s a joy to be close but we reverence and honor Him too. We can never lose that side. Thanks TC.

  6. I agree the whole notion is ridiculous, but I think that’s the point. I like to use the analogy of “thinking God is some type of Genie in a Bottle.” The point is that the omnipotent Father of all is the very power that supplies our breath. He is incomprensible. I think it’s a small brain that thinks they have God all figured out.

    • Job thought he had God all figured out until God showed up in a whirlwind and set the record straight (and he was known as a blameless man so he should have known something about God). We can all fall into that trap, but He is gracious and awesome enough to show us who He truly is in the most incredible ways. Thanks Floyd.

  7. I have definitely been guilty of putting God in a box more times than I would like to admit. I am thankful that God is not limited by my puny view of Him.
    Kevin Martineau recently posted..Jesus, Friend of SinnersMy Profile

    • So true, we are limited by our puny view of Him not the other way around. But there is grace for a greater revelation! Thank you, Kevin.

  8. Tonight at our bible study we talked about Matthew 12:30-32 About if you blasphemy against the holy spirit you won’t be forgiven. Well in my eyes the worst thing we can do next to blaspheming the holy spirit is putting God in a box. There’s many accounts where people of the law could have experienced the wonders of Jesus but choose to stick to the old ways and stay in there box. But many choose including us to step out of that box and accept his love. So as a challenge to all of us lets keep Thinking out of the box and never let your relationship with Jesus be stale.

    • And I think that’s the real key, they put themselves in a box and excluded the fullness of God! To me that’s huge. We may think we’re with God, but if our relationship is stale and unproductive, we have to take a closer look. He wants to renew and revive us! Thanks Andrew.

  9. “We often think we’ll fit Jesus into our lives or that maybe we should work Him in a little more. The reality is, Jesus is calling us to fit into His life.”

    I love this thought, Jason. I know I’ve been guilty of just doing my own think and trying to sprinkle some Jesus in there as seasoning. We are called to give our whole lives to Him, not just our leftovers. Challenging post!
    Jason Vana recently posted..Killing our IdentityMy Profile

    • I think that’s a huge perspective change for us. What does that mean and what does it look like? It’s exciting and scary to think about, but I know there’s grace in that place. Thanks so much, Jason.