Sometimes, I Think God is Selfish

I almost loathe myself for typing that, and then I typed it in the title line, like I’m simply asking for God to work on his aim, my head being His target, as if He could miss in the first place. As if that expressed the depth of my heresy.

But, sometimes, when I think about how all was by Him, for Him, and through Him, I take a step back in my mind and consider its weight - what it means for God to be both operator and creator; both means and end.

My adulterous heart longs for the kind of glory God receives. He gets to call the shots and demand how things get done, on top of that, He furthermore gets to command the emotions and intentions of every acting heart. I ponder that and my mind swims with rage. I consider how available He made sin. I know God did not make sin - He did not and could not create that, I tell myself sarcastically, like a piece of mental satire.

All God does is by Him. But what does that mean exactly? The initial chapters of Genesis expound on this doctrine. God created, designed, and intentioned the universe to respond to Him and His laws of creation.

He calls the shots. At times, when I am weak-willed, I loathe that authority. The story of Scripture is that of submission. Wife to husband, son to father, created to Creator. This system of submission is only worked by Him, but sometimes I wish to supplant it and substitute with it my own broken understanding of this world’s relationships.

These systems of submission are only one example of His authority and power. I mean, “for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” There is nothing done on His creation He did not ordain. It is and was and will be done by Him.

Now, all things are also done through Him. Namely, the biggest example of this is His atoning work, that work of Christ, that could not have happened but through His overarching plan of redemption. It was God’s inserting of wills and wants to put Jesus on the cross where He brutally died for you and me. And years and years prior, it was God working through Pharaoh to convince Him to first reject Moses’ plea, accept it, then experience remorse at the exodus of 90%of his labor force and employ his army, he at the helm, to retrieve the Hebrews.

God worked through Pharaoh, and it was by His power that the Israelites were finally set free, given to rely on His sole providence, only to forsake it what seemed like minutes later.

I get jealous that I cannot do that, like that’s what I was created to do in the first place. When we do that, it is considered by many to be deception and manipulation, as if those are dirty words, but God’s off the hook, largely because He is God. Sometimes I, myself, the created, want to work through people.

Lastly, now this one might be the biggest one, is that all things are for Him. Not for us, for Him. He works all things by and through Him that He might get all the credit for it. Now, I reckon that makes sense, but where I get lost is in my place in this.

Doesn’t God love me?

Doesn’t God use me?

Where’s my glory?

Paul wrote this in Colossians: “For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.” 

Even kings do things for Him. Even those evildoers do things for Him.

I do things for Him.

Despite all of this, it is He on the middle podium, the paramount victor in the story, despite my willingness. I’m left un-renowned. I’m left glory-less. Where’s mine?

It is in that place of selfishness that I remember the point of my life. Jesus. When He didn’t have to, He became human flesh, died, to bring me the atonement I didn’t know I needed, for without it, I’m as lost as Atlantis.

A wise man once said that (after Jesus saved me) if He never answered another prayer, He would still be worthy of praise. My jealous heart is forced to remember that fact. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts,” so echoes in my mind and heart. God gets to see the full picture. In my tantrums, God sees further in the future and past to bring context to His own world, consequently, often leaving His beloved in the dark.

But - that is His sovereign prerogative. That is up to Him and what He wills for His good purpose for me and each and every one of us with a covenant relationship with Christ.

Part of that was because of Jesus. Things have to happen in my life to bring me to a closer understanding of Christ and His role in my redemption. The rest of that is owed to God and His glory. All things are bound by the law of giving God glory, of being used for His purposes. Those inanimate things mirror the glory of God, the rocks, trees, and wind, as does the humans He created, or rather, those who have the revelation of Christ and His saving work.

All things were created by, through, and for the Lord, and it does my heart good at times to remember that, and cower beneath the weight of God’s glory. It’s that not-so-subtle reminder that He reigns and I subject - and that is His order, and it brings Him marvelous glory.