God is not at our disposal

Yesterday I told a story about a family who really struggled with fear. Read that before reading today’s blog, if you haven’t yet.

In the story, the family was so afraid something bad had already happened that they then put God to work, and they were certain God did what they told him to do. Now, sometimes this is just a perfectly natural dynamic in prayer. But something about the way they told made me think they viewed God as an employee, so to speak.

God is not at our disposal. We are at his disposal. He’s not a pixie we use to do magic when we’re scared. He’s an all-powerful being who uses us to reveal himself to the world! In the process, he comforts, provides, secures, and reminds us that there is more going on in the world than darkness. He can tame the waters, the chaos. But we have to make sure we’re not pulling the cart before the horse.

Are we calling on God when we’re afraid so that we have someone to make us unafraid? That makes us in charge. That makes us God. Scary.

Or, instead, are we calling on God when we’re afraid because we realize that our perspective is out of whack?

See the difference? The difference is this: In the first scenario we’re making a demand that God change the way things are. In the second, we’re realizing that we’re not in charge and we need to submit to a higher power out of humility.