Thursday, December 17, 2009

Pokémons and God

God is not some Pokémon character you can just order around or fight your battles. But sad to say, a lot of us Christians behave that way towards Him. Consider these thoughts:

We like to keep a stash of Pokémon Gods

We like to choose our own idea of "God" - depending on our need. I'm not saying that it is wrong to recognize God for His attributes; rather, what is wrong is when we become selective of what we think God should be during various circumstances. For example: when we want to get or have something, we instantly claim that God is our "Provider".

Well, that is true.

But when He doesn't provide what we want, does that mean He's not our Provider - or God?

How about when we are sick, and we pull out the title that God is our "Healer".

Still, it is true. But when He doesn't heal us the way we want or expect Him to, does that make Him less of a "Healer" - or God?

While most people mean well on this matter, it is quite alarming that we tend to view God not as the omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient God He is, but rather as a congregate of various, specialized "gods" that suit our each and every need.

God is God. Well, names don't really matter that much - in fact, who is man to invent a name for Him? But it is these very names that create in us a confusion about who and what God is.

We like to think that God fights for us - as if we are His Masters.

Most of us probably will complain about this statement, but think again - how do we treat God during our struggles? Do we wail that He will fight for us, or do we implore Him to fight for us? Do we brag about His promise, or do we fearfully remind Him of His graceful mercy?

Sadly, a lot of us has grown to a point where we can't tell the difference, or even bother to notice or care at all - all that matters is the end result.

God will do as He pleases, despite everything we do. But in the process, what attitude will we show towards Him? When the storms of our life are over, when the dust has settled, and we finally sigh in relief - when we reflect back on what has happened and see God's work, are we gonna say, "Hey God, good job!" or will we humbly exclaim, "We are honored, Lord!"

We like to think we can keep God in Pokémon balls. Or boxes.

Ever heard how Christians loved to quote the Bible verse that goes, "Prayer can move mountains"? And that "Prayer is the hand that moves God's heart"?

Isn't that tantamount to saying that our prayer overpowers God?

I don't doubt in the power of prayer and faith: it is one of the most powerful weapons (so to say) for a Christian. But the power is not in our faith per se, but in whom our faith is.

One of the misconceptions about faith was treating God like a perpetual genie: You ask, He gives.  But the more troubling misconception is that God's miracles/actions/power is proportional to how big our faith is.

That's like saying our Pokémon is only as strong as its Pokémon trainer.

Again: God is Omnipotent. There is no way your faith can make Him any more powerful than He already is; He doesn't need your power boost.

Another misconception is that our prayer/faith enables God to act. And just like Pokémon, that's like saying that unless He is out of that stupid ball, He can't do anything.

Well since He is omnipresent, it won't be impossible for Him to get inside those red and white balls - but who says He can't get out on His own? Whether we pray or not won't stop Him from doing what He wants to do. He is God. Need I say anything else?

So what?

I don't hate Pokémon - let me get that straight (though I'm no fan, either). But all I want us to remember who God really is. Not as some man-made ideal, or some uber-powerful summoned being, but as the Creator - the only Being with claim to reality.

Yet despite His awesomeness, He chose to love us. This love paved the way to grace and mercy. This love moves Him to consider our trivial cries. This love brought Him to Earth, live as a human being, die as a human being - not so that we can have the right make Him our spiritual ATM/credit card but so that we can see beyond this insignificant plane we call reality and be restored to His presence.

He honors our prayers, He values our faith - so that we can realize His sovereignty, His supremacy above all and over all. This is our God.

Now try putting that truth into some stupid ball.


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