The Reduction of God

I have never been a fan of quotes from famous people. They can be used out of context and even be misquoted if the intention is misunderstood. You will rarely hear them in my sermons and teaching unless I know the exact details in which they were given.

With that said, I was reading The Door magazine while in college. If you are not familiar with this little publication, in the late eighties and early nineties, it was cutting edge material. They interviewed people on the fringes of faith and wrote articles that challenged the status quo. At my college library, you had to go to the front desk and ask for it by name. They kept it hidden under the counter, so new students didn’t get their hands on it and misuse or misunderstand it.

Every month I was excited as the new issue arrived, and I had a chance to dive into a world I only knew through its pages. One issue contained an interview with Christian musician and music producer Charlie Peacock. It had one of the parts of the article enlarged as a quote to stand out from the rest of the material. I read it and immediately spent a nickel to photocopy it there in the library. I then cut it out and glued it to the last page of my Bible. While that Bible is very worn and is no longer the one I use every day, it still sits on the filing cabinet directly to the right of my desk.

Occasionally I flip open that old Bible and read this quote from Charlie Peacock,

“I believe that all of life is lived out under the gaze of God, from our worship to our sexuality, from the deep pain of the soul to the sound of laughter. If I believe that God’s gaze or sovereignty excludes any part of this life, then I have created a small god of my imagination.”

I keep this quote because there is always a temptation to compartmentalize my life. To say to mentally, “this part is for God, and this part is for me.” Whenever I do that, I reduce God and make him into a tiny creation of my imagination.

This week I pray that God will be present in every minute of your life, and you will resist the urge to reduce him for the sake of convenience, pride, or the enjoyment of sin.

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