“Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.” Psalm 68:19
”Believing in God is not practical in this modern world we live in.”
“This is no big deal – it’s too little to bother God about.”
“God is way up in heaven; He is too far away to notice me.”
You may have heard – perhaps even said – statements similar to these. I know I have thought and said some of them myself. It is hard to believe that God, who created and ordered the sun, the moon, the stars and this earth, would concern Himself with human beings and our seemingly insignificant lives. Is it even practical to believe that God will help us? Isn’t “faith” nothing more than wishful thinking?
While the three opening comments seem to come from different directions, they really are rooted in the same false beliefs about God; that He is outdated and impractical and far too removed to notice or care about you and me. It is the world and Satan’s favorite message. But I would like to share with you from Scripture and experience why I believe God is real, practical and intimately involved in our everyday lives.
Our post-modern society has pitched us the false theology of “self-empowerment,” that we have within ourselves all the power we need to overcome anything we might face and become anything we choose to be. It is the world’s way of telling us that we don’t need God; that faith is for weak people who rely on superstition and religion as a crutch. In fact, even within the church, we are espousing a twisted version of Philippians 4: 13 which says “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” We focus on the “I can do all things” part, and forget that the source of our strength is the “through Christ” part. After His resurrection, Jesus told the Disciples, “You will be My witnesses” and called them proclaim the Gospel “to the ends of the earth.” But he also told them “wait…you will receive power.” (Acts 1:4- 8) He was saying –“Don’t try to do this on your own – My Spirit will help you. Wait for it.” Jesus even said “By myself I can do nothing;” (John 5:30) If Jesus knows that He can do nothing without the power of His Father, what on earth makes us think we can? Friends, there is no verse that says “God helps those who help themselves.” I have read the Bible through several times, and I cannot find any Scripture where God chastises people for relying on Him too much. In truth, God chastises those who don’t depend on Him, those who think they don’t need Him. He calls that pride, and pride is perhaps the greatest offense against Him. God created man for an intimate love relationship, for a unique oneness that He couldn’t have with any other creation. He created us to love Him and to need Him. And that goes against everything the world wants us to believe. It is only when we come to the end of our own strength that we realize we do need Him, and we find that He is more than able and willing to help us.
Then there is the thought that God should not be bothered with our insignificant problems. We tend to put our needs into different boxes “too big for me,” and “too little for God.” We call for prayer when Grandma is near death, our child is hurt in an accident, or when there has been a national or world crisis; but seem to think that God does not want to be bothered with our petty problems. Does He really care that your washing machine has quit working? Should I even bother Him about my boss snapping at me? Why would God be concerned about a teething baby who has kept you up three nights in a row? He does care about your everyday needs, He wants you to come to Him about your frustrations and the demands of your day that wear you down. 1 Peter 5:7 says “Cast all your cares on Him, because He cares for you.” In Moses’ address to the people of Israel, He reminded them “During the forty years that I led you through the desert, your clothes did not wear out, not did the sandals on your feet. (Deuteronomy 29:5)” If God was concerned about their clothes and sandals, I think it is right to say that He cares about your everyday needs as well. Jesus said “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Your Heavenly Father knows that you need these things. (Matthew 6:25, 32) He knows what you need every day, and He promises to provide. In the prayer He taught to the Disciples, Jesus said “Give us this day our daily bread. (Matthew 6:11, emphasis mine)” Daily bread, daily needs – He is a daily God.
Proverbs 5:2 says “God is in heaven, and you are on earth.” So does that mean He is too far removed to notice us? Not at all. Remember, God created us for an intimate love relationship. He told Moses “Have [the Israelites] make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. (Exodus 25:8) He said “I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be mu people. (Leviticus 26:12) The very name of Jesus tells us God’s heart is to be with His people – “Immanuel – which means ‘God with us. (Matthew 1: 23)” It has always been God’s desire to be near us – even in the earliest days of man, “God walked in the garden…among the trees. (Genesis 3:8)” The original context of the words in this verse indicate this “walk in the Garden” was God’s daily custom, as He enjoyed fellowship with Adam and Eve.
It is easier to dismiss someone’s needs if we distance ourselves from them, but when we draw closer, when we get to know them, their needs become evident and our hearts are moved to help. God, your Creator, wants to be involved in the “everydayness” of your life. He has committed Himself to be with you, to care for you and about you.
God has not left you to manage this life on your own. He has drawn closed to you and sees the big and small issues you face. He cares about the most intimate details of your life. He is near, as near as your next breath. He is as near as your whispered prayer.
Holy Father, You are high and exalted in heaven; but you gave it all up to be my Savior and my everyday God. Please help me to remember today that You are near. Amen