The truth is, for all our protestations about being free, we all feel more comfortable in a box.
You know where the walls are…in a box. You don’t have to guess about your boundaries.
You know where the floor and ceiling are. Identifying limits and controlling your world are easy…in a box.
However, it becomes a problem when we read the Bible through that same life-grid…when we read Bible stories about what God did in one situation and walk away with an expectation that this is how He always works.
One example jumps off the page at me this morning.
I have been in the Book of Job in my quiet times lately. This morning I was in Job 38. I love chapter 38, because, after wading through 37 chapters of what Job and his friends believed was going on, God finally breaks His silence
And when God speaks, it is out of a whirlwind.
Now that strikes me as interesting.
When the prophet Elijah had run away from Jezebel’s threats, and his own fatigue and fears, and had hidden himself away from it all in a cave on Horeb, God spoke in a low whisper (1 Kings 19:12).
A few moments earlier on Horeb, God’s presence on the mountain was accompanied by a “great strong wind that tore the mountain and broke rocks in pieces” but the Lord was not in the wind.
Just as well that Elijah had not joined the denomination of “God-speaks-in-whirlwinds” based on Job 38:1 or he would have missed his new assignments from the Lord that came, this time, in a low whisper.
The truth is that God seldom does the same thing in exactly the same way twice. And if we build a box around Him, based on how He worked in our lives last week, month or year, we may miss what He wants to do in us today, limiting ourselves to the boundaries of the box we have created.
The walls of Jericho was a once-only plan to reach that city.
Sending the singers out in front of the army was a once-only strategy that God gave Jehoshaphat to win the battle against the enemy.
Making mud out of spit for the eyes of a blind man happened only once, according to the Gospel record.
So, let’s not put God in a box, created by the limits of His previous dealings in our lives. Let’s rather live in the moment-by-moment expectation that He is God, with mercies for us and grace that is new every morning.
His thoughts and ways are infinitely higher than ours. My job is to get so close to Him that I am in a position to hear His voice and obey His command every day with faith and anticipation.