A flea market view of God

By Dave Henning / November 25, 2023

“Nothing stunts spiritual development more than a flea market view of God.  If you and I think he is puny enough to need our help, we’ll soon abandon our pursuit of him. . . .  God does not exist for us.  We exist for God.”- Max Lucado

“That they may know that you alone, whose name is the LORD, are the Most High over all the earth.”- Psalm 83:18 (ESV)

Max Lucado concludes Chapter 4 of God Never Gives Up on You with the clear statement that there’s no quid pro quo (a favor or advantage granted or expected in return for something) with God.  God bears no resemblance to a flea market peddler.  Therefore, we cannot put God in a box.  Rather, He contains.  Our universe, Max notes, could sit in His palm.

Hence, writing in Church Dogmatics (1957), Karl Barth described the true nature of most people’s anger with God.  Barth wrote:

“Here’s the reality: most people who are angry with God are angry with him for being God.  They’re not angry because he has failed to deliver what he promised.  They’re angry because he has failed to deliver what they have craved, expected, or demanded.  When awe of self replaces are of God, God ceases to be your Lord and is reduced to being your indentured servant.”

Consequently, Pastor Lucado counsels, we must understand that God does not exist to make a big deal out of us.  Instead, we exist to make a big deal out of God.

In conclusion, Max underscores our obedience when we ask for help from God.  However, Pastor Lucado cautions, we must take care when we pray.  Because prayer isn’t asking God to do what we want.  In prayer we trust God to do what is best.

We cannot reduce God to a God of the quid pro quo.  For He is too large — and we are too small.

Today’s question: What, if anything, make you prone to a flea market vies of God?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Crooked path = spiritual walk”

About the author

Dave Henning

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