Trying to Be Like God
Trying to stay in control. Trying to know everything. Trying to be at every event. Trying to… be like God. Since Genesis 3, we’ve fallen time and time again for the false promise that we can be like God (Genesis 3:5). This came home to me recently at a conference I attended. A Pastor by the name of Zack Eswine shared how we struggle to accept the boundaries God has given us.
You see, we want to be able to do everything! In theology, we call that ‘omnipotence’. Only God is able to do anything he pleases. We overbook our calendars, wanting to be everywhere at all times. In theology, that’s called ‘omnipresence’. Only God can be in all places at all times. We want to know everything and answer every question with a Google search. In theology, that’s called ‘omniscience’. Only God knows all things.
The Bible teaches that there is a massive Creator-creature distinction between us and God.
25 “To whom will you compare me?
Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one
and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing. (Isaiah 40:25-26)
If we resist the difference between us and the Creator, and transgress the boundaries of our creatureliness, we end up doing damage. We end up frustrated and exhausted. Yesterday I noticed I was getting frustrated with my two little energetic boys. Michanne asked if I was ok and suggested I sit down for a moment. As I prayed and reflected, I realised my frustration came from my desire to control everything, to stop them from breaking things and creating mess! But I’m not God, I can’t control every variable, and if I try to do that I’m just going to end up exasperated.
Consider Jesus for a moment. He lived a fully human life. He took on our creatureliness. He never ‘cheated’ and used his divine power to sidestep his human needs (e.g. Matthew 4:3-4). He knew hunger, thirst, pain and suffering. Yet, he lived a fully human life. In fact, he lived the greatest life that human history has ever witnessed, and yet he never rushed, or frantically took matters into his own hands. Sure, he had to press on and deny his desire for solitude at times (Matthew 14:10-23), but he did everything in step with the Spirit and the will of his Father. Where are you transgressing your creaturely limits? Where are you trying to know all things, do all things and be all places? Take a breath, pray, are you overstepping your boundaries? Or is this a burden that Jesus has called you to and will empower you for? Jesus said:
28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Jesus, the God-Man, lived a beautifully, perfectly human life (compare Genesis 1:26 to Colossians 1:15). Let him teach you how to live and enjoy God’s wise and loving design for your life.
Grace and peace,