341 How Big is your God?
If you were asked to describe God in one Sentence, what would you say. If you were asked to describe Him in one Word, what would that word be? For me there is only one word which I can use to describe him, that that’s the word “Awesome”! For me God is beyond description, and it would be impossible, and indeed improper for me to try to fit God in a box, a box of my designing. In the moments left to me today, I want to ask a simple question… “HOW BIG IS YOUR GOD?”
Most of us have subconsciously summed up God in our thinking, and many have squeezed him into a box of their own making. It is not wrong for us to have a concept of God, or an imagination about God, but we should always strive to KNOW as much as possible about him, and more importantly to KNOW HIM personally. God is a personal God, and he in interested in us as individuals, and indeed created us for himself.
God has revealed himself to us in His Word, and especially in the person of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the more we can know of his word, the Bible, the more intimate we can become with Jesus. It is only in knowing Jesus that we can ever know God, for Jesus is the “way” to God. Yet I am becoming increasingly aware, as I speak with other believers, that most of us have a very “small” God, and our concept of him is not much different than our concept of some of the worlds great leaders, past or present!
Many of us view God as we do some of the great men of History. We have a God like, Martin Luther King, or a God like Ghandi, a God like Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin,
a God like Ben Hur or Christopher Columbus.
For many of us God is “too much man” for my liking, and
therefore we miss and fall short of the expectation that God has for us, and the great blessings that can be ours. Again I ask, How Big or How Great is your God?
In the Bible, in Isaiah 55, v8 & 9 God tells us “…my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts”.
Sometimes when we pray, we imagine that God is going to answer in this way or in that. We assume that God will answer us as we imagine he will. Yet as we have just seen our imagination is much lower than his higher ways. God is not restricted to answering our prayers in one way or two ways, … why in 10,000 different ways he can give us the things we desire, and more often than not,
He will give us something much better!
There are some wonderful illustrations throughout the Old and New Testaments of just how powerful, of how awesome our God really is. Consider with me for a moment, part of …
The Story of Moses.
(as we read earlier in the book of Exodus)
The reigning Pharaoh at the time of the birth of Moses had witnessed a dramatic rise in the Hebrew population and ordered that all the male babies born to the Hebrew women be thrown into the Nile river and drowned, only the female babies could be allowed to live. When Moses was born, his Mother could not part with him, and hid her Boy for three months. But hiding a living baby boy, is even more difficult than hiding a pregnancy! God, having a plan for this child, inspired his Mother to hide the boy Moses in a basket, … waterproofed with bitumen and pitch, she placed it in the reeds near the river bank. (Exodus 2:3)
Presently the Pharaoh’s daughter came to the river to bathe. Seeing the floating basket, she opened it and found the baby crying. Taking pity on the child, and knowing him to be a Hebrew baby, she sent for a nurse among the Hebrew women to come and care for the boy on her behalf. God had Moses’ Mother waiting in the wings, and not only did she find herself caring for her own son, but being paid to do it! (Exodus 2.9)
How Big is your God? You see even if the law of the land is against you, even if circumstances are backed up to thwart or destroy your plans, even if others are falling around you like flies, God is bigger than anything a mere man might throw at you. God is bigger than hatred, bigger than terrorism, bigger than Prime Ministers or Pharaoh’s! Nothing beats God,
and Nothing is bigger than God, and nothing is impossible
Then look with me for a moment at part of …
The Story of David
(as we find it in the first book of Samuel)
Having been anointed by Samuel the Prophet as the future King (1 Samuel 16:13) and in spite of the fact that his family had not even considered it worth their while to bring him in from the shepherds fields for the ceremony, David was heading for a Palace. Still only a youth of about 16 or 17, David would have to wait some time until his “crowning”. Yet David needed to be “schooled” trained for Kingship, and that could only be done in a palace. Kings are not born, they are made Kings through the influence of Kings. A Prince who lives without the Royal Parental Influence of his Kingly Father, will never make a good King. David needed Kingly influence in his life, he needed schooled in the great duties and wisdom of the Palace, but he was only a shepherd boy and a farmers son. Unlike his siblings, David wasn’t even a man of war, a soldier. At this point in his life he had not yet encountered Goliath, but he had learned courage and reliance on God in the fields around Bethlehem. God had a plan to make him king, but God had first of all, to place David in the Palace environment where he could learn more.
God allowed a “Spirit of depression” to descend on King Saul, and Saul was tormented daily. It was suggested to the King that music might cheer him up, and that a skilled musician and singer might be found who could lift his spirits and dispel his depression. One of the Palace Courtiers, already in Saul’s employ, had heard Jesse’s son David play the flute and harp, and put his name forward. Eventually David’s Father Jesse, was asked permission, and David was granted leave to entertain the King.(1 Samuel 16:21) The prophet Samuel records that King Saul loved David, and David’s music, singing and entertainment pleased him a lot, so much so that he made David his “armour-bearer”. “And Saul sent to Jesse (his father) saying: Let David remain in my service, for he has found favour in my sight”(1 Samuel 16:22)
How big is your God? Can God furnish a table in the wilderness? Can God put you, or me in the palace He wants us, even if that should be on the “Throne” ? Yes He can, nothing beats God and nothing is bigger than God!
Let us think then about Joseph as we look at part of …
The Story of Joseph
(as we find that in the Book of Genesis)
Thrown into a pit for his dreaming and visions, but then sold as a slave into Egypt, Joseph, Jacobs favourite son found himself in prison, because a foolish woman told lies about him. God had a plan for Joseph also, that plan, was to make him next in line to the Pharaoh, so that in time of famine, he could provide for Gods people Israel, as well as for the population of Egypt. It seemed
that God and everyone else had forgotten and forsaken Joseph as he spent many long days in that prison cell. But God had to get him into the Pharaohs favour, and that would take time,
and that would need a Divine Plan.
God is bigger than any Prison, and bigger than any scheme to destroy his servants. No weapon that is formed against the child of God will prosper. ( Isaiah 54:17) No evil against Gods “anointed” can ever succeed. In Genesis 41 we read that the reigning Pharaoh had a dream about fat cows and thin cows, about full ears of grain and wasted ears of grain, and had no perception of what these troubling dreams meant. Coincidently, the chief Butler remembered that when he had spent a brief spell in the Prison, Joseph, the Hebrew Slave had interpreted his dream. So the “Pharaoh sent and called Joseph and they brought him hastily out of the prison” (Gen 41:14) Joseph then gave the interpretation … that there would be seven years of plenty, followed by seven years of famine in the land: And consequently he was appointed as overseer of the farming processes that would store grain in the years of plenty, and provide for the future, the time of famine. Verses 41-44 record that the Pharaoh made him second in command and gifted him with fine garments, gold jewellery, and a chariot of his own,
in essence, Joseph became as powerful as the Pharaoh!
God did the miracle for him, as He did for Moses and David, because God could see that their Faith was in His awesome power and might! How big is your God?
Over in the Gospels, Jesus did not merely teach us to “have faith” rather he taught us to “have Faith in God” I am glad that when I have no one to turn to, I can turn to him, …
I simply could not live without God in my life.
I could not face the day, its troubles and traumas, its trials and tests, without first of all committing that day into His care and keeping. I am glad that there is a God on the throne, who sits in the heights (where He is) so that he can reach down to the depths (where I am). Someone who is bigger than me, stronger than me, wiser than me, smarter than me, and more reliable than me. Someone who loves me more than anyone else, even more than I could love myself. Someone who in spite of the fact that I fail him every single day, He has never failed me. Someone who loved me yesterday, will love me today and will still love me tomorrow. Someone who is so awesome, so mind-boggling, so incredible, so spectacular, so amazing, so forgiving, and so condescending that he chooses to befriend me? And someone who is so powerful that if I could just grasp it, get my head around it, that I am his child and He is my Father, then there would be nothing in the whole wide world that could ever cause me a moments care or anxiety, nothing I say!
Let me share with you, what I have been trying to do, and the reason behind this message today. When my day throws up a problem, an unexpected pressure, an unwelcome pain, I am trying to get into the habit of saying to myself “God is Bigger than that” Maybe it is a criticism from a Colleague, God is bigger than that. Maybe a disappointment from a friend, God is bigger than that. Or a bill for which there are insufficient funds, God is bigger than that. Maybe a sickness that confines me to the house, or to my bed, and God is bigger than that also. You see dear friends, we will never truly come in to the Blessings that God has for us, if we continually “belittle God”. If your faith, your confidence is in yourself, your ability to sort the problem, your funds to take off the pressure, your experience to see you through the pain, then these will ultimately fail.
God will allow it, just to prove to you that you do need Him. Many today have confidence in their own ability to solve and resolve most, if not all of their problems. Many Christian too are reluctant to ask for Gods help, and even more reluctant to trust in Him. In the three Bible Illustrations we looked at a moment ago, all of these Children of God were put in circumstances where they had no help, unless God came to their help, and all of them proved that God was bigger than the troubling circumstances of life that surrounded them.
NOW THIS FINAL WORD.
Pastor David Cho, Minister of the Worlds largest Church, tells the story of how in his early ministry he was Pastoring a Church which had about 400 members. He was happy and contented in his ministry and the Church was growing and the people were friendly. He was thanking God for the blessings that were his in Pastoring such a Church: when God spoke to him and told him that he was to resign his post, and move to a neighbouring city and build a Church to seat 12,000 people!
Cho put the very idea to the back of his mind and spoke of it to no-one. However the Lord persisted, and Cho found himself unable to sleep, and unable to work for the weight of Gods calling on his heart. “Lord”, he said prayerfully, “it will cost about six million dollars ($6m) to build such a Church, and I don’t even have $1000”. It was then that God told him to plant a seed of Faith! He went to His Church board, and attempted to offer his resignation and told them of his vision and call from God. They all, without exception, believed the man to have lost his mind. “This is not a vision, they told him, this is a fantasy” they told him: “and we can have no part in it, and will not help you in any way.” This negative response forced Cho back on His knees in Prayer to God. “Father” he said “I told you that this would be impossible, I consulted with my board members and they all think I have lost my mind”!
God answered Cho and said “I am Almighty God, when I command you to do something, you have no need to consult with anyone” … ” now sow that seed of faith, sell your home, and give all the money to the Church”. God said.
David Cho had given the title deeds of that home to his wife as
a wedding present, and he knew that it would be next to impossible to get her to part with those deeds. So he hatched a plan… He bought her a large box of Chocolates and a beautiful Silk Scarf! Living in Korea in those days, a silk scarf was a real luxury. Taking his wife out for a meal, he presented her with the chocolates and the beautiful scarf. “Thank you darling” said his wife, “this is beautiful, very thoughtful and very kind” she added “but what do you want?”
Women are not easily fooled, and so Cho told her what God was calling him to do, and what God had asked in return, the sale of their home! “Take your chocolates and your scarf” said his wife, thrusting them back in his face, ” I will never be able to trust you again” she said, and stormed out of the restaurant. Pastor David Cho was forced to come back to God in prayer: “Dear Lord I told you that this was impossible, and you didn’t believe me. My wife will never give up our beautiful home, I just don’t know what to do” But when man has exhausted his own and every effort, it is then that Gods power alone, is free to work. So God set to work on his wife, and she tossed and turned in her bed night after night. Weeks passed and she scarcely had an hour of sleep. Finally exhausted and beaten, she came to Cho with the Title Deed. “Here she said, take this, we cannot fight God, He’s too big for us”.
Having sold their home and sown that seed of faith, God enabled them to move forward into his will. Plans were drawn for the new 12,000 seater Church. Permission to build was granted, but Cho needed a down payment of half a million dollars ($Ωm) for the developer! He had been a long time customer of a local South Korean Bank, and God said, “Go to THAT Bank and ask the Manger, the Chairman, for the loan of half a million.” “But Lord” responded Cho “I have no collateral, nothing to secure any loan?” Nevertheless, Gods leading was clear, and on the last day of the year, December 31st, Cho arrived to see the Chairman of the Bank. There was a large queue of people waiting in line that day to see the Manager, and Cho was asked if he had an appointment?
Suddenly, and without thinking he said “No, … I have no appointment, but I’ve come from the very Highest Authority!” Assuming he was a diplomat from the Presidents office, the Bank Managers Secretary rushed into his office and emerged a few seconds later, beckoning Cho to enter. “You are representing the President” the Chairman of the Bank began. “Oh no, replied Cho, I represent an Authority even Higher than the President! I am a Pastor and I come from Almighty God” The Bank Manager laughed, and sat down. Listening to Cho tell his story, the man replied “you will know Dr Cho, that the Bank cannot possibly give you a loan without the corresponding security, so as a “Banker” I must refuse your request”
Cho’s heart sank! “However” continued the Bank Manager, “I must say that I do admire your Boldness, and your Determination, and marvel at your Faith. No one in all my History with this Bank has ever made such an amazing request of me. Now I am a Christian myself, and I do, (as fortune would have it) have in my own possession an amount not much less than half a million dollars, and I am prepared to make you a personal loan of that amount myself!”
The MIRACLE was done, the prayer was answered,
….how Big is your God?
Remove God from the Prison you have caged him up in, set him free to be God in your life, in your Home, in your work-place, and in your Destiny. God has only greatness and good for you, nothing but the very best is in his plan.
I have often said that our lives here are like a story in the telling. As the years pass, we also pass through differing stages and differing experiences, all of which make up the story of our life.
Don’t imagine that the best bits are over, for as in most books, the best chapters are usually at the last.
Your best Chapter could begin today, and only God knows how the story will end.
Give your life and your love to Him and remember,
whatever your problem … God is Bigger than that.
May Almighty God bless the message of His Word to all our Hearts, for His dear names sake, Amen