I want to briefly share what we talked about at CYF Sunday night. First off... what an awesome time! We had about 200 teenagers out for the event and had a great time of worship!
Here are a couple big points that I want you to consider:
Imagine this scenario (I had a couple of our teens act this out as a skit at CYF) - ever had a friend (or been the friend) who you never really talked to or called upon or hung out with if there were any other options? But if there's not anything else going on, then you'd answer their messages or go do something with them? Pretty much a 0 maintenance back-up plan kind of relationship.
But don't we do God that same way? Don't we divide up our time everywhere else and then if Nothing else is going on, there's no place to go, and there's nothing good to watch on TV, then we'll take some time for God?
What about this next one: (another skit acted out by a couple of our teens) you have this friend/sibling/boyfriend/girlfriend who you go to church with, or have them come to church with you, and when you need something, or when a crisis happens, they are the first person you think of. But you wouldn't ever take them to that party, or that bar, or out with that group of friends. Because, they're belief makes them essential in times of need, but that same belief is just a little too radical for your "weekend outings".
Again... sound familiar? Anyone ever done that to God? The first 'person' to run to in a crisis or a time of need, but other than that..... you get the idea.
Enter "Backpack God":
See, backpack God is the God that we limit, like we limit everything about God, in to small bites that our feeble human minds can rationalize, by placing Him (you know, the great almighty, creator of the universe, ruler over all things past, present, and future) into a backpack.
We carry backpack God with us where we want to take Him, and we leave backpack God behind when we're going somewhere we'd rather him not be around.
Sounds ludicrous right? But only when we say it out loud like that - we've all done it!
"alright God, I'm taking off for Vegas this weekend, so I'm just going to leave you right here at home until I get ba.. uh, you know.. on second thought, actually - I have to FLY to Vegas, so I'll take you along on the plane ride so you can do your whole protect and save me bless the pilots bit, but understand right now, are you listening in there God? Understand right now that once we're off the plane buddy, I'm leaving you in this backpack back in the hotel room! (...until time to Fly back home again)."
Well, then we're in Vegas doing our thing and we get a call from home that grandma is sick and in the hospital. So we rush back to the hotel room and unzip (just barely) the corner of the backpack and it goes something like this:
"hey, uh, God - listen, here's the deal. Back home, grandma is sick, so what I need you to do is - now understand, you're just getting out for a minute, then right back in - go and fix her, ok? hey, you in there?"
it's the "sic 'em!" approach.
Then, we wont let God be God - we wont let Him be God over everything, everywhere, in all of our lives, we wont submit to His awe inspiring self (more on submission next entry...) and we lock Him up in our little backpacks, and then we have the nerve to get Mad when, when we need Him, God doesn't show up (immediately) in all his awesome glory!
Any of this sound familiar?