Genie In A Bottle
I fear that many people today, both Christian and non-Christian alike think about God in such away that it could be best described as a genie in a bottle. Rub the lamp three times, beg three times, whine three times…. And He pops into action.
That my friends is NOT who God is. Nor can He be begged, cajoled, threatened, bribed or whined into acting on your behalf. If that was the case, He would not be worth worshiping because you could basically buy or beg your way to getting what you want out of Him and it would be you running the show. Believe me, you are not.
God is worth worshipping because #1) He is God #2) He is God #3) He is God and you and I are not.
God is for us: absolutely, but that does NOT mean that bad, sad or mean things will not ever happen to you. That would be an absolute lie to let you believe something like that.
We live in a world where people abound. People have had issues from the beginning. Adam and Eve’s 2 sons – fought and one killed the other. You see what I mean? Right from the beginning, mom and dad got kicked out of the garden! Some serious family issues!
Basically, life would be easier without other people. Now I mean that in a nice kind of way, but you know if you had to live in a world with no other people think of the peace and quiet you would have. Then picture yourself on day 2 or 3 of peace and quiet and you would be going crazy because it is too quiet and no one to talk to! People are naturally not happy unless they have something to complain about and someone to complain to. We actually really need other people.
If the very first people, Adam and Eve could not withstand the wily, slimy serpent in the garden and fell from God’s favour, it would not have been any different whether it was you or me. We all would have succumbed to his trickery.
The genie in a bottle concept of God is one of those satanic images. Satan would love to have you believe that God does not love you, He simply does not care, or he gets you to ask, is He even there, because you know, He is not answering your prayers and that proves it.
The other widely accepted satanic lie is the one of “angels” or “cherubs” sitting on fluffy white clouds, floating around in heaven. Horse manure! Angels are God’s messengers and there are many kinds and many job descriptions for them listed in the Bible. Not one of those descriptions mentions floating around on the clouds.
It does however mention created beings who are messengers of God. They work on behalf of God, they help people, they intervene when God tells them too. They fight for God and people when God tells them too. They are described as having flaming swords, being large, some have wings – not just two, some have four, some are covered in eyes all over their body, one description is of a creature with four faces. Angels can look bright and white others can look like humans and blend in. Angels live for eternity, they cannot die. Some are invisible and yet others show their presence. Angels are never to be worshipped; they are quick to tell you that only God alone is to be worshipped. Angels are mentioned over 270 times in the Bible.
So why? Why, if God knew that mankind would blow it right from the get-go, and listen to the satanic lies, why would God even invest in us human beings? Why would He send His angels to help us, fight for us, be with us?
God tells us that He created mankind because He wanted a relationship with us; with you and me, each, individually. God wants to be a part of your life. Kind of freaky when you really think about it, the King of the Universe wants to get to know you and interact with you.
When you are the official King of the Universe you get to call the shots, make the rules and run things pretty much the way you want, you can even write an instruction manual to help the people know what is expected; we call it the Bible.
I hear over and over – “well God is not working for me. I do not think He cares. I am pretty much thinking He does not exist. I have prayed and prayed and asked and asked and nothing happened.”
I do not know how God continues to be patient with us humans. He has told us what He expects and how to behave and yet we think we only have to do certain parts of the instruction book: like not kill people.
In fact, He expects us to do all of it, including the very hard part of forgiving others; do not lie; worship Him only above everything else (things like: tv, Netflix, money, food, drugs, sex… you know the list).
Picture yourself as Henry Ford, you have just invented this supreme motorized vehicle, you call it the automobile. It is a fine looking thing and it is now sitting out in front of your house beaming. Stunning!
Joe the neighbour down the road spies this stunning machine and he invites himself over to have a look. He walks around it, looks in it, under it and then asks you, “Hey Henry, what does this thing do?”
You are so proud of this project, your chest puffs up as you start to explain to Joe, the details of your machine, you start up the engine and the whole machine roars into action. Joe is so stunned that he steps back when it starts up and the marvel is evident on his face. Inquisitively he asks, “What does it do now?”
You take the time to explain that it is a new mode of transportation, no more horses, no more walking, in fact, the whole world will be wanting one of these! You lift the hood and let Joe look over the motor.
He bends in and has a long and piercing look and then he straightens up and says, “You know Henry, I reckon if you joined this hose to that thing-a-me-jig over there, it would not be so noisy and probably it would run a whole lot smoother.”
Insulted now that Joe would who knows nothing about automobiles, after all he raises cows of all things, would even think that he has any ideas to improve on your magnificent creation, you slam the hood, turn the vehicle off and storm into the house, leaving poor Joe outside scratching his head wondering if it was something he said.
Kind of a far fetched story? I call it an analogy – a comparison.
God created mankind, He told mankind if they want to live their best life exactly how to do it. Then mankind looks under the hood, instead of into the instruction manual and starts pointing out the flaws we think we see and then we blame God when the life we want does not happen and we stand there scratching our heads, wondering where God is.
When we only follow the instruction manual some of the time, we can get ourselves into a whole heap of trouble. The trouble hits and we start begging, whining, doubting, cajoling, and threatening God to work on our behalf, we start rubbing the genie bottle furiously. When He doesn’t work on our behalf or do it the way we want, even though it was us, ourselves, that put us in that position, we blame Him.
God is God. You and I are not.
You do not get to call the shots, neither do I, although there are many times where I want to or think I know better what is “right” for me.
I have found that in life, one of the best ways to let life sort itself out is to take my hands off of it, you know not try to control it. That includes trying to change people, things, and me. If I truly let God be God and then I step out of the way, and do not look under the hood and think I have a much better plan, God is perfectly capable to sort the messes in my life. Will there be consequences, of course.
I rob a bank and then am hiding out with the police surrounding me – is not the best time to think God will fix the problem and make it all go away. That is rubbing the genie in the bottle. The only one going away would be me, to jail and that would not be God’s fault.
Is this making sense? In a nutshell: I cannot live and run my life my way, get myself into trouble because I did not choose to listen to God and then expect God to come running in and “fix it”. It is exactly like Joe the neighbor standing there except it is me scratching my head and wondering why God is not rescuing me.
When I humble myself, fall on my knees or even on my face before Him and say, “Oh God, I screwed up and I am so sorry. I did it my way, not yours. I deserve everything coming at me, but I am asking God that you use this situation and work it for my good, and help me learn from it and to learn to follow You and Your rules.” - that is a prayer and person God can work with. Trust me I know, I have had to do this many, many times (not because I robbed any banks).
A person who whole heartedly wants to follow God and His ways, I can assure you God will meet you, He will hear you, He will send His angels to you, God is so invested in you and He is waiting for you to invite Him to join you in your life.
Let’s stop rubbing the lamp and wishing for magic and instead open the instruction book and do what it says. Things really work smoother when you know exactly how all the pieces fit and work together and only the creator knows how that really is.