“To be honest, though, I don’t know how much I like the idea of my spirituality being relational. I suppose I believe it is true, but the formulas seem much better than God because the formulas offer control; and God, well, He is like a person, and people, as we all know, are complicated. The trouble with people is they do not always do what you tell them to do. Try it with your kids or your spouse or strangers at the grocery store, and you will see what I mean. The formulas propose that if you do this and this and this, God will respond. When I was a kid I wanted a dolphin for the same reason.”
What happens when we push toward formulas and steps in a process is that God becomes more and more like a machine that we have built and less like a person with whom we interact. This continues in a manner of us controlling God. What happens when we put ourselves in a place of controlling God? We become god. The person in control is above the person being controlled. Suddenly we think we are putting God first, but all the while we are putting ourselves first. God becomes a sort of vehicle for our own desires, opinions, and agendas. We are manipulating ourselves into believing that our own desires are His, that our own ideas are from Him, and that our own agendas are in line with His plans for us.
I’ve been trying to see how in the world to fight this and it’s so hard. I feel like all we can do is pray and approach God begging for humility and for Him to intercede in our selfish desires. I am just feeling challenged to get out of the way. He is so much better at this whole thing than I will ever be.