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BIBLE STUDY / DEVOTIONALS Comparative Analysis

Comparative Analysis

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9/23/2016


 

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About a year ago I was on-line shopping for a GPS unit, and I arrived on a website that had numerous units for sale – all with different features. I went back and forth between the units, in an effort to understand how they differed, and it became very confusing. Then I noticed a little check-box by each entry. Checking the box would allow one to easily compare the selected devices. Greatly encouraged, I checked a box, then I selected “Compare”, but I was greeted with the admonition that I had to select more than one item in order to have a comparison! Well, of course I felt a bit dim as I re-tracked my steps, and selected two items…! I’ve been grappling with the same scenario for the last several weeks, with regard to God. To whom or to what can He be compared?

My underlying error, and my point in this essay, is how routinely I think, speak, pray and relate to God the Almighty in “illegal” comparative terms. Perhaps we all do it, and as such, we rob ourselves of any ability to truly come to grips with Who and What God is. Let me give an example…

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We sing words such as, “God, you are the Greatest.”, or “There is no god like You..”. And so on…but those are comparisons, and they can’t be factually accurate. If we aren’t careful in what we think and say, we tend to bring God down to our level – and ultimately, compare Him to ourselves. That would be like the pot comparing itself to the potter. That’s stupid, and technically “illegal” because it can’t be accurate, but all of us do this, all of the time.

The fact is, God cannot be compared with other “gods” because they aren’t gods at all, in fact they are empowered by demons. We may as well compare God to a tree, or a rock. We say God is the “greatest” – and I wonder, the ‘greatest’ of what, or to whom? God, in His Essence, is not a human. And that’s one good reason for incarnating the Son of God within a human body. Jesus, in His humanity, is the one and only Bridge between ourselves and God the Almighty. While there can’t be a comparison, there can be a bridge.

If we think of Jesus as just a better human, we tend to struggle to pull ourselves up to our perceptions of His level. That’s “performance Christianity” at its best. If we think of Him as only God in a human body, we lose heart that anyone but Jesus could ever do what He did, and we forfeit His words: “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater [works] than these he will do..” (John 14:12)

Even when we praise God by proclaiming His great (‘great’ is a comparative term) mercy and grace, we still fall short, for without God pre-existing those two words, we wouldn’t have them to use; God is not so much merciful, as He is Mercy in it’s fullness. He is Mercy; He is Grace, and without Him being those things, we would have no knowledge of either. We say, “God is Love”, but without Him actually being love, love would not exist on the planet.

God IS Love, God IS Mercy, God IS Grace, God IS Good, and we would have no knowledge of any of them without Him being what He is, and Who He is. To whom or to what can He be accurately compared?

The truth is, now we see in part, and now we possess in part – the attributes of our God. As we grow into the experiential knowledge of what it is to be ‘one spirit with Him’ (1 Corinthians 6:17), we ultimately reach a point where we cannot progress without knowing Him as He really is, and for this, we are forced to forsake any and all false comparisons we may cherish.

To whom or to what can God be compared? Answer: nothing and nobody. And to think He chose us to know Him and love Him!

Now that’s incredible!

 

John

 

 


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