When I Am God
Tim ChalliesTim Challies, a self-employed web designer, is a pioneer in the Christian blogosphere, having one of the most widely read and recognized Christian blogs anywhere (www.challies.com). He is also editor of Discerning Reader (www.discerningreader.com), a site dedicated to offering thoughtful reviews of books that are of interest to Christians. He is author of The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment, published by Crossway.
- 2012 Mar 22
Sin is inherently anti-God, inherently pro-self. Each time I sin I make a statement about myself and a statement about (and against) God. Each time I sin, I declare my own independence, my own desire to be rid of God; I declare that I can do better than God, that I can be a better god than God. Recently I took some time to think about how life changes when I am god. The results were not pretty.
When I am god, it is against me, me only, that you may sin and do evil in my sight. This world exists for my pleasure, for my glory, and the gravity of your sin is measured according to how badly it interferes with my sovereign will. My wrath falls upon those who do their will instead of mine.
When God is God, your sin against me is light when weighed against its offense to God. This is the Father’s world and it exists to bring glory to him. Sin is any lack of obedience to God or any lack of conformity to his just and holy ways. For such sinners I have sympathy, and love, and hope in the gospel.
When I am god, worship of God interferes with my plans, with my slumber, with my loyalty to pleasure, to socializing, to sport, to amusement. I hate the thought of worshipping another, but long to worship myself or have others worship me.
When God is God, worship is joy, it is nourishment, it is life. There is no greater joy than to gather with God’s people to bring glory to the Creator, to give thanks to the Redeemer.
When I am god, sexual fulfillment is my right; sex exists to bring me pleasure and the value of other people is measured only in their ability to fulfill what I am convinced that I need.
When God is God, sex is a gift given to strengthen my marriage through service to my spouse. It is guarded and treasured and hallowed and motivates me to joyfully give thanks and praise to God.
When I am god, love is directed to me, the one most worthy of it. True love, meaningful love, meets the desires of my heart right here and right now. It grants peace when I long for peace, silence when I need silence, attention, affection, whatever it is that I demand. This is love. Greater love has no man than this—that he lay it all down for me.
When God is God, love is directed outward. Love for another is simply a means of expressing love to God; it is loving much as one who has been loved much. Love is not asking “What do I need?” but “What does God desire?” Greater love has no man than this—that he lay down his life for a friend, just as Jesus Christ, the friend of sinners, has done for me.
When I am god, I myself am the source of all wisdom. Folly is bound up in the heart of a child or in the heart of anyone who contradicts or contravenes me. I am good and do good and long to teach you my statutes.
When God is God, wisdom flows from a source outside of me; wisdom is extrinsic and other-worldly and infinitely, eternally good. This is wisdom from above, wisdom from a book.
When I am god, I am enslaved. When God is God, I am free. I thank God that God is God.