God’s Currency

It’s really common to demand that God come down and make Himself known. People expect Him to make an appearance, answer for what they perceive as His flaws and mistakes, and otherwise prove to them what they are supposed to take on faith.

On the face of it, it seems like a reasonable request. It isn’t.

There is only one thing that we humans have that is truly ours: Free will. God owns everything else; our will and our capacity to choose Him (or not) is the only thing that we really own. God has an entire universe. It all belongs to Him. Because free will is the only thing we own, faith is the only currency we have that is worth anything to God.

He wants us to believe in Him and to follow his word. But that requires faith. We pay God with our faith.

If you look at the Old Testament, the folks that God said were people after His own heart were folks like Abraham, David, Moses, Isaiah and the like. A very small percentage of the Hebrew people truly had faith in God. Those faithful folks didn’t always behave properly, but they always knew and acknowledged that God was in charge, that He existed and that they owed everything to Him. They had faith that He was bringing a messiah; they had faith that God loved them and that they should love Him in turn.

When we also look at the Old Testament, we see time and time again how God would appear in some dramatic form with big-time, special effects-laden miracles to get the Hebrews out of a jam, and then after a while they just went back to doing their own thing and got hard-headed again. Then God left them to their own devices until they got into trouble again. Then He reappears. Rinse and repeat.

Point is, when God made Himself openly “visible” to the Hebrews through His actions and his voice and such, they still didn’t behave right. They did what they did out of fear and maybe even some respect, but not out of love or true faith, which are the two things God wants from us. The ancient Hebrews are the example to us today of why God doesn’t just open the skies and say, “Yoo-hoo! Up here! Could you all listen to me for a change? Otherwise, I’ve got this place called Hell. Thanks, I appreciate it.”

If we knew God was up there because he made Himself visible to us, most of us who did try to obey Him would be doing so because of fear. We would act better because of a very big stick and not because we choose to.

God must remain invisible, and call upon us to have faith in His word and through His word, or else our currency—our faith—loses its value sharply.


2 Responses to “God’s Currency”

  1. July 10, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    “Power can do everything but the most important thing: it cannot control love. In a concentration camp, the guards possess almost unlimited power. By applying force, they can make you renounce your God, curse your family, Work without pay, eat human excrement, kill and then bury your closest friend or even your own mother. All this is within their power. Only one thing is not: they cannot force you to love them. This fact may help explain why God sometimes seems shy to use his power. He created us to love him, but his most impressive displays of miracle—the kinds we may secretly long for—do nothing to foster that love.” – Phillip Yancy

  2. 2 Deacon Blue
    July 10, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    Thanks Chris…that’s a nice quote.

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Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

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