By Tamara Hartzell
Exalting man above God is not minor in any way, shape, or form. God makes that abundantly clear from Genesis to Revelation. Even so, this idolatry is at the heart of the transformation that is changing every aspect of today’s shifting Christianity. More and more people are seeking to “rethink” and “reimagine” God, His Word, and Christianity into a fashion they are willing to accept, which conveniently conforms to man and his expectations.
• Man expects God to have a relationship with man on man’s terms, yet man is not willing to have a relationship with God on God’s terms.
• Man expects God to believe in man, yet man is not willing to believe in God.
• Man expects God to come to man in whatever fashion man will accept, yet man is not willing to come to God in whatever fashion God will accept.
• Man expects God to shift from light to darkness to have fellowship with man, yet man is not willing to shift from darkness to light to have fellowship with God.
• Man expects God to travel man’s broad way to find man, yet man is not willing to travel God’s narrow way to find God.
• Man expects God to be faithful to man no matter what, yet man is not willing to be faithful to God no matter what.
• Man expects God to allow man to angrily rebuke and stand in judgment of God, yet man is not willing to allow God to angrily rebuke and stand in judgment of man.
• Man expects God to submit to man, yet man is not willing to submit to God.
• Man expects God to have no rules or expectations for man, yet man has plenty of rules and expectations for God.
So who is man’s “God” in this upside-down “relationship”?
O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. (Jeremiah 10:23)
Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:6-9)
And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM. (Exodus 3:14)
The true God is Who He is. We either receive Him and believe in Him as He is, or we do not. It is that simple. Those who do not are choosing to turn their ears away from the truth and unto fables. They are “reimagining” God into another “God” that is not “I AM THAT I AM,” but rather “I WILL BE WHATEVER MAN WANTS ME TO BE,” or “I WILL BE WHATEVER MAN WILL ACCEPT,” or “I WILL BE WHATEVER MAN’S IMAGINATION CREATES ME TO BE.” This “reimagines” the certainty of truth into the uncertainty of man’s imaginations.
People especially feel justified in “reimagining” God and the certainty of Who He is when bad things happen in life. Yes, there are very hard and difficult trials in life, and they bring much pain and sadness. Why they happen and how to find God’s peace, comfort, and help in the midst of them is plainly answered throughout God’s Word for those who are willing to accept it. Yet the growing number of those who are not willing are choosing to do the opposite of Proverbs 3:5-7. They angrily stand in judgment of God, condemning Him for not conforming to man’s expectations and feelings, and then they “reimagine” God into a fashion they are willing to accept in order to find “healing.” Neither standing in judgment of God nor “reimagining” the true God into a counterfeit is the path to “healing”! It may seemingly feel that way, but those who have deceived themselves into believing that pain or trials or even anything at all justifies exalting themselves above God will only be adding to their woes.
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. (Proverbs 3:5-7)
Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! (Isaiah 5:21)
Moreover the Lord answered Job, and said, Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it. Then Job answered the Lord, and said, Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth. Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further. Then answered the Lord unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous? (Job 40:1-8)
It is very clear throughout God’s unchanging Word of truth that every single one of man’s expectations listed earlier are not scriptural. This used to be common knowledge in Christianity. The fact that many people and even leaders of today’s Christianity no longer know this and now believe and teach otherwise speaks to the pervasiveness of today’s scriptural illiteracy. If people in today’s Christianity spent more time reading God’s Word than they do man’s word, rather than the other way around, they would know this. But, sadly, for too many people that would defeat their purpose of turning away from the truth and unto fables to “rethink” and “reimagine” God and His Word.
Further compounding today’s scriptural illiteracy is that man has been so busy repeatedly rewriting and rewriting God’s Word for Him, believing that God needs man’s help to say what man thinks God actually meant to say and should have said, that man no longer knows what God actually said. Shifting from light to darkness is occurring on many levels. But this shouldn’t be surprising. After all, the multitudes didn’t even have ears to hear truth from the Lord Jesus Christ Himself and corrupting the Word of God was already common in the apostle Paul’s day so why should today be any different? People weren’t willing to accept the certainty of God’s Word back then, either.
For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ. (2 Corinthians 2:17)
For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.… We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (2 Peter 1:16, 19-21)
For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven. (Psalm 119:89)
Instead of “God said it; that settles it,” now it’s “God said it, man rewrote it, so now man believes it, but that only settles it until man decides to rewrite man’s rewrite of what God wrote through holy men of God, through unholy men of man, until the next time.” If this sounds absurd, it’s because it is! Even so, instead of being recognized for the absurdity that it is, incredibly, this circle is actually the preferred source of “faith” for those who are turning away from the certainty of God’s settled Word of truth.
This absurd never-ending circle of changes doesn’t even faze those who remain undeterred in their unholy desire for freedom to “rethink” and “reimagine” God and His Word. They claim to be of God and yet are not willing to accept the true God. They refuse to believe that God is Who He is and said what He meant and meant what He said. People are willing to live with man’s expectations of God but not with God’s expectations of man and are determined to find relief for their light intolerance. Many are resisting God being God and resisting the Word of God being God’s Word of truth that is settled forever by God Himself.
(This is an excerpt from Tamara Hartzell’s book Reimagining God: Turning the light off to look for “truth” in the corner of a dark round room; used with permission.)
The Father’s House, and the Way There by Harry Ironside
(painting from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)