Is Your God too Small?

“Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.They remembered not -- his hand, nor the day when he delivered them from the enemy.” - Ps 78.41-42

“And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honor, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. And he could there do no -- mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.” - Mark 6:2-6

The Almighty God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth and all its wonders can be limited. He can be limited by our unbelief. Unbelief is simply forgetting the Hand of God in your life.

In J.B. Phillips’ "Your God is Too Small" (1952) short volume—124 pages—Phillips (1906-1982) details what he refers to as destructive ideas about God, which he says leads to “limiting God”

Resident Policeman “To make conscience into God is a highly dangerous thing to do. For one thing . . . conscience is by no means an infallible guide; and for another it is extremely unlikely that we shall ever be moved to worship, love, and serve a nagging inner voice that at worst spoils our pleasure and at best keeps us rather negatively on the path of virtue.”

Parental Hangover “What we are concerned in establishing here is that the conception of God which is based upon a fear-relationship in childhood is not a satisfactory foundation for an adult Christianity.”

Grand Old Man “But there is nevertheless a very real danger that the child will imagine this God not merely as ‘old,’ but as ‘old-fashioned.’”

Meek-and-Mild “We can hardly be surprised if children feel fairly soon that they have outgrown the ‘tender Shepherd’ and find their heroes elsewhere.”

Absolute Perfection “This one-hundred-per-cent standard is a real menace to Christians of various schools of thought, and has led quite a number of sensitive conscientious people to what is popularly called a ‘nervous breakdown.’ And it has taken the joy and spontaneity out of the Christian lives of many more who dimly realize that what was meant to be a life of ‘perfect freedom’ has become an anxious slavery.”

Heavenly Bosom “The critics of the Christian religion have often contended that a religious faith is a form of psychological ‘escapism.’ A man, they say, finding the problems and demands of adult life too much for him will attempt to return to the comfort and dependence of childhood by picturing for himself a loving parent, whom he calls God.”

God-in-a-Box “But if the Churches give the outsider the impression that God works almost exclusively through the machinery they have erected and, what is worse, damns all other machinery which does not bear their label, then they cannot be surprised if he finds their version of God cramped and inadequate and refuses to ‘join their union.’”

Managing Director “It is to think that the God who is responsible for the terrifying vastnesses of the Universe cannot possibly be interested in the lives of the minute specks of consciousness which exist on this insignificant planet.”

Second-hand God “The conception of the Character of God which slowly forms in our minds is largely made by the conclusions we draw from the ‘providences’ and ‘judgments’ of life. We envisage ‘God’ very largely from the way in which He appears to deal with (or not to deal with) His creatures.” [In other words, reaching conclusions about God apart from studying the Bible.]

Perennial Grievance “To some people the mental image of God is a kind of blur of disappointment. ‘Here,’ they say resentfully and usually with more than a trace of self-pity, ‘is One whom I trusted, but He let me down.’ The rest of their lives is consequently shadowed by this letdown.”

Pale Galilean “Compared with their non-Christian [friends] their lives seem to have less life and color, less spontaneity and less confidence. Their god surrounds them with prohibitions [and boredom] but he does not supply them with vitality and courage.”

The Word and the Holy Spirit must reveal to us the true Nature of God the Father. This is what Jesus said to Peter: Matthew 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona:for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.