Author Tim Keller has said, “Religious people find God useful. Christians find God beautiful.”
A God who is useful is a bit like an accessory in our cars, or an app on our phones. This God exists to help us when we look for help. Useful. And, of course, then this God is optional. When we feel like a little bit of God, we access God’s usefulness.
A God who is useful can be molded to fit into our lives, to fit in with our moods, attitudes and opinions. A useful God will get us what we want when we want it. A useful God quickly becomes a God of our creation.
A beautiful God invades our space and grabs our attention. A beautiful God presents himself and we respond with awe and wonder and humility. A beautiful God captures our imagination and leaves us wanting more. A beautiful God is worshipped, praised, thanked, applauded.
The God who has made himself known by revelation – in Creation, the Bible and Jesus Christ – is a beautiful God. Perfect. Awesome. Consider just a few of the amazing things that have been revealed to us about his beautiful God: God spoke the great variety and complexity of untold universes into existence with a word; God became flesh in Jesus Christ and gave himself away in death for the rescue of the world; and God brought Jesus back from the dead. How and why God did those things is the definition of beautiful.
“Religious people find God useful. Christians find God beautiful.” A useful God caters to us so we can do life on our terms. A beautiful God reveals and calls forth a response of awe.
Is God useful? Yes. A life rightly related to the God who makes himself known in the Jesus of the cross will be better lived than one that is not. Yet, the most ‘useful’ thing about God is the beauty God reveals about himself. For we are most ourselves when our lives our filled with wonder at who God is.
Read the Bible with fresh eyes. See God. See Jesus. Fall to your knees in wonder. Beautiful God.
“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (2 Corinthians 12:14)
Dr. Stu Dix
The Village Church, Baldwin