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GOD IS (NOT) MY BUDDY – Nov. 22th

November 22, 2012

“By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host. He gathers the waters of the sea as a heap; he puts the deeps in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him! Psalm 33:4

It seems like most people have a very similar tendency.  If we are shown an image enough times we begin to accept it as real even when we know it is a caricature. Caricatures are used all the time to help communicate a point. I have seen characteristics exaggerated to highlight what can be overlooked. I have also seen caricatures used to simplify that which is hard to fathom.  The problem is when the caricature becomes so engrained that we begin to believe the distortion.

Most of us are familiar with maps of the United States like this one:

What is the largest US state?  Most of us know that Alaska is the largest state, followed by Texas. However, I think many people fail to grasp the true size of Alaska. We become so familiar with this common map of the United States that our perception of Alaska is that it is just a little bit bigger than Texas. The reason Alaska has to be shown at the scale it is on the map is in order to get it to fit. This map puts Alaska into scale for us.

Alaska is big. It is really, really big.  I mean no offence to my friends in Texas but y’all need to come up with a new slogan.

Our God is like this. God is so big that we have to use caricatures to simplify Him, so that we can explain and understand Him. The scale of God is indescribable. Louie Giglio does a great job in this video, giving us a perspective of the indescribable-ness of God.  It is so important to occasionally take our eyes off of our God caricatures and behold the true scale of the Almighty.

This is the Milky Way. Just consider that God made this with the breath of his mouth; our small, little, insignificant, backwater of the Universe that still contains billions of stars just like our own.  God not only created that but the entire Universe, with a word.  Let that sink in – with a word!

We get so familiar with the caricatures of Jesus holding us, carrying us, comforting us, defending us; all of which are very true and demonstrate wonderful characteristics of our God. However, there is a gigantic scale distortion in those images. We may begin to think that we are on God’s scale if those images are all that we behold. We can default into thinking that our glory is almost as important as God’s glory. It is so very important to take our eyes off our caricature aids and behold the grandeur of our God.  Behold the scale of the universe…that is just a word of God Almighty.

How does your glory stack up against that?

PRAYER: Lord, … wow … you truly are awesome. You know that I have a hard time even understanding your grandeur. Thank you for helping me grasp just a small portion of it. Thank you for showing me how absurd it is to worship myself or anything else on this small little planet that you have given us. Lord, give me perspective to live my in awe of you. You are great beyond my understanding. I give you all the praise and glory that I am capable of giving.   Amen

77 comments

  1. Thanks for exposing me afresh to the greatness of God.


    • Hey David – you are welcome; I am glad that it made sense. We have an incredible God! God Bless! JD


  2. Reblogged this on That Tiny Pea.


  3. Awesome! ♡


  4. Awesome post. It’s wonderful to serve such an AMAZING God!


  5. […]  RELATED POST:  GOD IS (NOT) MY BUDDY […]


  6. I believe we are very important to the Lord… if we are filled with His Spirit. The ‘New Creature in Christ’ is the greatest and most awesome creation of God. It far surpasses any other creation or creature ever created by God. The New Creature came into existence by the precious blood of God’s Son, Jesus. But…I agree… we are far from being the Lord’s buddy. We are ‘sons’ and partaker’s of God’s holy nature which in itself is awesome, but in this season we are also unprofitable servants. We are here on earth for a purpose and that is to manifest the love of God that is “In us” and glorify the Lord. John 15:14 says, “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you”. So, God does tell us that we can be friends if we obey Him, but in an earthly sense the word “buddy” is somewhat informal and denotes an ‘earthy’ or ‘worldly’ relationship. We do not have that kind of relationship with the Lord. We are in submission to Him. Sometimes ‘buddies’ may stretch the truth for us or cover us in our transgressions, but the Word of God is absolute and never changes. The Lord will never come into agreement with ungodliness or anything that does not line up with His Word.

    God bless. Great post JD.


  7. Reblogged this on quirkywritingcorner and commented:
    Getting a new perspective.


  8. […] Posts: UNKNOWN MARVELS GOD IS (NOT) MY BUDDY GOD IS LORD DENYING THE […]


  9. Wow this is very true and powerful too! Am especially taken back by the fact that this is the first time am realizing just how big Alaska is and that really brings out the point.


  10. Is Jesus your Friend or your King?

    One of the most striking differences I found between evangelicalism and orthodox (confessional) Lutheranism is the primary way in which those two Christian “Churches” view Christ.

    In evangelicalism, at least for me, the emphasis was on Christ as my friend. “Jesus is always there for you. Jesus is your friend in need. Jesus is your best friend. When you are feeling down, come to Jesus and let him wrap his arms around you and tell you that everything will be ok. What a Friend we have in Jesus!”

    Now, don’t get me wrong. Lutherans also believe that Jesus is our friend. There is nothing wrong with the evangelical concept that Jesus is our friend. What Lutherans would have you contemplate, however, are the problems that can arise when Christians make their primary concept of Christ be: “Jesus, my buddy”.

    How does it make you feel when you expect your friend to always be there for you, to have your back, but at times, when life gets tough, he doesn’t seem to really be there? How do you feel when you call on your friend for help, but he doesn’t seem to be listening? How does it make you feel when your friend doesn’t meet your expectations?

    Answer: You get frustrated, down/depressed, impatient, demanding, and even outright angry, AND you will frequently vent your frustrations onto your friend either verbally or in your actions, to let him know how displeased you are with his failure to live up to your expectations.

    Now, go back to the questions in the paragraph above, and replace the word “friend” with the term “Almighty, sovereign Lord” or the word “King”, and let’s see how that changes your response:

    You may become frustrated, depressed, impatient, demanding and angry with your sovereign, absolutist King, but your reaction and behavior to your King will be MUCH different than in the case with your friend. What will be the big difference?

    You will obey your King regardless of your internal feelings! You have been given orders; you have been given work to do by your King, and he expects, he demands, that you do it regardless of how you feel about it!

    The Kingship of Jesus Christ, Lord God of Heaven and Earth, first and foremost demands your obedience to his sovereign will. Your obedience to the King is the focus in Lutheranism, not your internal feelings. The concept that Jesus is your “buddy” is not emphasized. Focusing your Christian life on obedience to God’s Word, rather than your feelings and the current status of your friendship with your buddy, is one of the most liberating and comforting aspects of orthodox Lutheran Christianity, at least for me.

    Gary
    Luther, Baptists, and Evangelicals
    an orthodox Lutheran blog


  11. Thank you for this refreshing post. God is (not just) my friend. In addition to this He is so much more.


  12. Oh, this is sooooo good. Brought tears to my eyes. He made it all with a word. Goosebumps and tears galore, 🙂 Thanks for the follow. I will also follow your blog, since you revere Him! God bless, be with and protect you.


  13. Love this post you have written. I tell people all the time who want to know “why we are here” – WE ARE HERE FOR GOD’S GLORY.


  14. As a Texan, I am horribly offended by this blog!

    hahaha
    Just kidding 😀


  15. Thank you so much for this Insight and another way of thinking. I re blogged this. God Bless and thank you again!


  16. Reblogged this on Spirit Seeker and commented:
    These words of insight really make you think!! This is Awesome!! Thank you for bringing me to a new way of thinking JD Blom


  17. you did it again. God truly Blessed you with Wisdom of words/insight. i should just re-blog all your work to accomplish the goal i set forth for my blog…to Show forth God’s Glory
    in response to your response to kaileigh….. This is why i can not understand why we as christians are not shouting from roof -tops God’s Praises. God creator wants to hang out with us. teach us, love us, be our Father. Hello how do i ever understand that depth of LOVE
    Father may ALL we do declare Your Glory and Goodness


  18. Thanks for the wonderful post. I love your images and your ability to put things in perspective. I too am awed by the immensity of the Universe. When I go out at night, especially a clear winter night with the moon over fresh snow and see the millions of stars in the night sky, I am truly humbled by what God’s mind can create.

    What is even more humbling that the Creator of this wonderful universe decided to be become human so that he could share the experience of being human and to share his infinite love with us in a personal, incarnate way. That core Christian concept is so incredible and counter-intuitive that we are barely able to begin to comprehend it.

    So, without in any respect diminishing the wonder and amazement I have when I worship at the Church alter or gaze out at the night sky, I humbly answer that “yes, God became incarnate because he wants to be my buddy”. That is what is truly amazing and scary because it also means that I have an obligation to set aside my petty ego and concerns and love my neighbor in the same manner that God loves me.

    Peace,
    W. Ockham
    http://www.teilhard.com


    • Amen – thank you for the addition of your comments.
      God Bless!
      JD


  19. I agree with you both. This post was helpful to reput God into perspective for me. I needed to remember how big He is. But the beauty of it is that even with how big he is, the hairs on our head are numbered. He does want that relationship with us. He loves us. God, as great and big as He is, loves us, as little and unimportant as we are. Just some food for thought…


  20. This was so good. So many of us, including myself, have distorted perceptions of things, especially God, which in turn affects our whole lives in a distorted way. As I stated in my last post. Learn the backstory before you make any decisions or life choices.


    • This blog rocks. Props to you.


  21. Reblogged this on Tricia's Journal Jots Blog and commented:
    Good post by JD Blom.


  22. Thanks for the renewed perspective


  23. That was fantastic! I am definitely going to share this link! Great job!!!!!!!!


  24. While I know He calls me friend and His child, it is His place as my heavenly husband that means the most. Probably makes Him unfathomably infinite as well? :J


  25. Dearest brothers in the Lord:

    At the risk of offending you both, and seeming to “toot my own horn,” may I refer you to http://lessonsbyheart.wordpress.com/2013/04/10/standardized-christianity/. Everyone comes to the Throne of Grace from a different background – and thus has a different perspective of our multi-faceted Lord. Not necessarily wrong – just different.

    Besides, we are all a work in progress (Phil. 1:6). Those of us who have not yet attained spiritual maturity will get there eventually.

    In the meantime, grace and peace to you both – for we cannot have peace without grace.

    In Christ’s love – \o/


  26. I gleaned from the post that an over-familiarity and comfort in the relationship based on our expectations is a poor substitute for the friendship God calls us to based upon His standards and sacrifice.


  27. I am restating my case here CHRIST Called me HIS friend, and that makes GOD my buddy, and I will stand on that because without this recognition I cannot walk truly in the spirit it is easier to walk side by side with a buddy than a total stranger. With this in mind GOD is MY BUDDY.


    • Jesus does call us friend. I fully agree with your statement that we a friend of God. Better than a friend, we are children of God. I see a distinction between the words buddy and friend. Therefore, I am hesitant to make the jump from Christ is my friend, therefore, God is my buddy. In this post, I was trying to highlight the magnitude of the statements that we are a friend and a child of God because they truly are mind blowing when you consider that we have been adopted as children of the Creator of the Universe. Jesus became a man, fully God and fully man in order to fulfill the righteous requirement of the law for you and me. That is truly amazing when you consider who he is. I was trying to highlight that just because we are called a friend of Jesus does not make us equal to or on the same level with Jesus. He came down to us. Just because we are fellow heirs with Christ does not make us equal or on the same level with God. That is the distinction that I was trying to make by using the word buddy. I am only buddies with those who are on my same level. Every person who has ever come into the presence of God falls on their face in worship. I don’t do that with my buddies. Our relationship with Jesus as friend is wholly unique to any other friendship that we have ever had. Therefore, we need to really understand that uniqueness. The use of the word buddy was my attempt to distinguish between the commonality with Jesus that is often portrayed and the reality of his divine nature. It is amazing to think that we are a friend of Jesus; we are heirs of God, who is so powerful and incredible and wonderful. However, I do not like to consider myself a buddy, a home-boy, a bro, a chum, comrade, a mate, an ombre, a peep, or a pal of Jesus because of my personal view of the implicit context of all those words for friendship. For me, they represent a commonality that does not recognize Christ’s full nature. I never want to a concept to creep into my mindset that elevates my nature up to his or diminishes his nature. I am most assuredly not God and never will be. If you have a different concept of the term buddy and it’s synonyms, that magnifies both his human nature and his divine nature, then I praise God in your relishing amazing reality of gift of that friendship.
      God Bless!
      JD


      • Yeah – that’s what I was trying to say. He certainly is my friend – but not just a “bud!”


      • Thank you for understanding why i never want to look at salvation as a thing to throw around. never wanting to think i too have an inheritance just because. you so spoke my heart here. i wish i had these words to share with those who can not understand why i don’t just proclaim “i am saved i believe in Jesus” for me it don’t work that way, i leave final judgment to God Alone.. For me it is WOW What an HONOR! how can i serve in Gratitude NOW, Without hope of future blessing? Serve for all that is given NOW. Blessing Blessings to you my brother in Christ


  28. Two of my favorite songs are “How Great Thou Art” and “Indescribable” (Louie Giglio’s podcast is great, BTW). I stand in awe of His majesty – hard to miss when it’s all around us.

    However, I grew up in a religion where God was presented more like a grouchy grandpa who watched me like a hawk, waiting for me to do, say – or even think – something wrong so he could zap me. I served that god for many years…what was the alternative? Hell? No thank you. I’d put up with the mean god before I’d choose that place!

    Did I love Him when I believed Him to be like that? No. I worked real hard to keep all “His” rules, and stay on His “good” side. I was just hoping to stay off His radar.

    It’s taken Him many years to transform me by renewing my mind about what He is really like (and He has a long way to go). One of the great wonders to me is that the God who created everything I see (and much more that I don’t), who is omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, and altogether “Other” calls me “friend.” Not “buddy,” mind you, but friend. Wow.

    “He walks with me, and He talks with me, and He tells me I am His own; and the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known!” (From “In the Garden” – an old hymn that’s another of my favorites.)

    What an awesome, magnificent, glorious God we serve!

    Thanks for the reminder to keep the “buddy” thing in mind as I blog. The last thing I want to do is present Him as the Great Teddy Bear in the Sky who winks at sin. After all, His Son had to DIE to reconcile man and make it possible for our relationship with Him to exist at all. Sin is no small affair.

    Thanks for your visit!


    • Blessings i am with you my sister. How can i ever comprehend How Much He loves me, that He Creator wants to be my friend. How do we share that with people, when you yourself can never this side of heaven understand?
      Thank You Father for transforming our mind-set from God of wrath to God of LOVE. That wasn’t fear of God we had, it was intimidation man instilled in us. Gotta love those religious folks. Bless them Father for they know not what they teach us children!!!!!


  29. Wow…thanks for the scale…and the exhortation.


  30. My blog: http://smallstudentbiggod.wordpress.com/
    Great, great post. I was just considering this the other day! Going outside and looking at the stars, I thought, “Why do I always draw a picture of God in my mind? He spoke each of these stars into being, and knows them by name!” He is so far beyond anything we could comprehend.

    Paul told his readers that he was speaking to them in human terms – anything else is too big for us. We need to stop putting God in a box and start worshiping Him for who He is! He created the heavens so we could comprehend a fraction of His majesty.

    Thanks for the thought starter. God bless!


    • I should add, I came to this post in particular because some people in my youth group say, “Jesus is my homeboy.” Is that modern language for, “I’ve never encountered the Risen Saviour?


      • Their comment might inspire an interesting group discussion:
        “What role does Jesus as homeboy play in your life?”

        Perhaps —
        Them: “I can relate to him.”

        You: And that’s only possible because He relates to you first. (1 John 4:19: 19 “We love Him because He first loved us.”).
        So, he knew you first and wanted you in his life. What things are you doing to know him and keep him in your life?


  31. Mmm, mmm, good JD. I like how you think and what you see…


  32. Well done.


  33. Thank you for putting it in perspective.


  34. Wise words!


  35. We can’t put our heads around the omniscience as well as the omnipresence of God. He is everywhere but more than that: He is present in all places and in all times simultaneously. We are confined to finite and linear time and space, while God is not.

    Thanks for the reality check- yes, Jesus is our personal Savior- but at the same time He is the Author of the Universe.


  36. Now that is a post worth rebloging.


  37. Reblogged this on THOUGHTS OF AN OLD MAN.


  38. Wow! What a pleasant find! And, I had no idea Alaska was that big. I guess I wasn’t listening well enough in Geography class, eh? Thanks for liking my recent blog post, too.


  39. Thanks for visiting my blog. Because my blog deals with depression, I often have to focus on the “caring’ side of God. But I so agree that God is far greater and far more powerful than we can imagine. I love Job 38-40 where He reminds Job (I’m guessing in a loud voice) who is really in power. I need to be reminded of His greatness as well as His love. I love Giglios video as well. Tx.


  40. Love Louie Giglio’s version. Amazing, but still does not gether the hugeness of God. Good word.


  41. Just this evening I was singing “How great Thou art”. I am always overwhelmed with the refrain “Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee, how great Thou art…” The greatness of God is amazing! Imagine, that if there was only one sinner on this earth and that sinner was me, this great God would still have sent His only Son to die for me. Thanks for sharing.


  42. A very overwhelming thought to say the least. Our God IS massive – yet he loves me when it seems no one else will.


  43. Christ is GOD and Christ called me HIS friend, and I can call HIM buddy,
    that is my one on one relationship with my GOD, so HE is my buddy. Sorry I do not agree with your article


  44. […] GOD IS (NOT) MY BUDDY – Nov. 22th. […]


  45. Love the fact that you aren’t negative against the caricatures depicting God carrying us, while still pointing out that God is far more awesome and “big” than we tend to think. Amazing!


    • It would be a little scary if we only focused on a big and powerful God. I truly is amazing that a God like that would be willing to be a loving and gentle Father to us. It really blows my mind.
      JD


  46. For the one who spoke star on fire, never to need refueling also spoke the nervous system of a butterfly into being. The one who designed the intricate properties of water so the highest leaf in the tallest tree can drink of the earth without a mechanical delivery system. He speaks great things, but perfected intricate details. What a mighty God we serve! Thanks for the word.
    Pastor Tim White @ pastortimwhite.wordpress.com.


    • Thank you for the great God glorifying words, Pastor Tim


  47. […] GOD IS (NOT) MY BUDDY – Nov. 22th. […]


  48. Thanks for visiting wordimagery:) Really so much appreciate this devotional! Thanks for sharing..
    His grace and peace for your journey brother. Please stop by and check out our virtual mall. My wife and I just launched hareswares.com last week.
    Steve and Mary


  49. […] a former Alaskan, I really love the analogy A Devoted Life uses to help us understand just how big God is.  If I didn’t know God cares about me even though I’m so puny, I would run inside and […]


  50. So good! Such a great perspective check and reality check that we aren’t as big and important as we think we are. Thanks for another excellent post! God Bless!



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