“King Herod’s violent lust for power points to our natural resistance and hatred on the claims of God on our lives. We create Gods of our liking to mask our own hostility to the real God, who reveals himself as our absolute King.”- Timothy Keller
“For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.”- Romans 7:15 (ESV)
Timothy Keller concludes Chapter 4 of Hidden Christmas as he cites the apostle Paul’s words in Romans 3:11. That no person exists who seeks God. To back up that assertion, Christian theologians over the centuries make two distinctions.
First, the theologians argue, one cannot equate the desire for the things God gives with actually seeking or wanting God Himself. Because, Pastor Keller notes, many people confess that they left the faith because: (a) life failed to play out in step with their game plan and (b) their prayers went unanswered by God.
Second, these theologians argue, no one seeks God as He reveals Himself to be in the Bible. Rather, people may seek a God made in their image. Thus, Pastor Keller stresses, no one asks for the Lord born at Christmas without a supernatural change in their hearts.
Therefore, we must recognize that our hearts retain residual anger and hostility to God. Even though we’re forgiven and reconciled to Christ. Until we get to heaven and receive our perfect bodies and our perfect souls, it is still there. Hence, Pastor Keller counsels, always take that fact into consideration.
In conclusion, the author exhorts, because there’s still a ‘little King Herod’ inside you:
“It means you have got to be far more intentional about Christian growth, about prayer, and about accountability to other people to overcome your bad habits. You can’t just glide through the Christian life. There is still something in you that fights it.”
Today’s question: When do you find that we create Gods of our liking? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Some doubt seeks answers”