O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together. – Psalm 34:3 (KJV)
In 1989, Walt Disney Studios released a film titled, “Honey I Shrunk the Kids!” The movie tells the tale of a scientist, played by Rick Moranis. Moranis accidentally shrinks his teenaged son and daughter and two other neighborhood teens to the size of insects. The teens must now fight for their miniature lives as their father searches for them and seeks to return them to normal size. The movie spawned the inevitable sequel, “Honey I Blew Up the Kid” where instead of shrinking his children, Moranis blows up his toddler son to several stories tall.
The propensity to maintain control over our lives seems to be hard coded into the human genome. Even committed Christians grapple with this inborn trait. One of the ways we attempt to wrest control of our lives is to “shrink” the infinite, immutable God of the universe. It’s as if we believers attempt to make God into a marionette whose strings we can manipulate so he will respond to our every whim and desire. We want a God who is at our beck and call.
This might be fun for a while because we do not have to be accountable or fear a god who is under our control. Such a god allows us to rationalize our evil thoughts, desires and actions. A god like this does not mind if we sanitize the language of sin, changing words like “abortion,” “fornication” and “homosexuality” into terms likes “reproductive choice,” “living together” and “an alternative lifestyle.”
We must be careful of the type of god we wish for because as with a marionette, the power rests in the one pulling the strings. If we seek to control our own lives, sooner or later we will encounter a situation that is bigger than us and beyond our control. In those times if we look to a god we can manipulate we will be left wanting because the truth of the matter is that a god we can manipulate is not really God. This type of god is not mighty to save, but rather is a creation of our mind and is limited by our human frailties and shortcomings. When we attempt to shrink God, he does not cease being the Lord God Almighty in actuality, but he does in our lives.
Isaiah the 40th chapter gives us a glimpse at a sovereign, omnipotent and all loving God. Verses 10 and 11 states, “See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power, and his arm rules for him. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him. He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.” (NIV). Verses 14 and 15 read, “Whom did the LORD consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way? Who was it that taught him knowledge or showed him the path of understanding? Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust.”(NIV).
This is a glimpse of the true God. This is a God who is beyond our ability to control, whose ways we may not always understand. However this is also a God who loves us supremely and wants the ultimate and eternal best for us. If we ever doubt God’s love for us, we need only look at the cross. Romans 8:32 reminds us, He [God] who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? (NIV).
When we face overwhelming, heart breaking and bewildering circumstances in our own lives, we need to take our cue from the Disney sequel instead of the original movie. Instead of “shrinking” the Lord in our lives we need to “blow up” the Lord. By definition we cannot make a being that is already omnipotent and omnipresent more powerful or more present. The prefix “omni” means “all” and there is nothing that rest outside of all. The psalmist in Psalm 34:3 exhorts us to magnify the Lord with him. When an object is magnified its actual size does not increase, it is simply brought into clearer, larger focus. This is what I mean by “blowing up” the Lord. We must bring him into clearer focus in our lives. While God is all powerful, the choice to acknowledge this truth and appropriate it in our lives rest with us.
Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him – Psalm 34:8.