Hey, keep your minds elevated! There was one “t” in the last word of that very first sentence.
So yes, God is bigger than your but, no matter the form it takes. Big, small, overpowering, underwhelming–to God, it’s no big whoop.
The thing is, our buts tend to be shape-shifters, channeling different formats to deceive us into thinking that they are worthy of our time and energy. Think about how these attitudes create spiritual roadblocks:
Buts of fear
- Doubt: “But I don’t believe God will answer my prayer.”
- Worry: “But I don’t think I’ll ever be able to pay this debt off.”
- Depression: “But no-one understands how lonely I am!”
- Distress: “But what if this sickness causes me to lose my job?”
- Disappointment: “But if she hadn’t lied on me, I would have gotten that promotion!”
- Disillusionment: “But what’s the point in trying to rebuild this relationship? It’s beyond repair!”
Scrutinize each of these scenarios. They’re all rooted in some form of fear.
Our fears find a vocal gateway into the atmosphere through our words. And often, the first word that manifests that fear is “but.” Our “buts” butt into the work God’s trying to do in and through us and can sometimes paralyze and disable us from being effective Christians.
Buts of faith
That’s one of my favorite exclamations. It speaks to God’s ability to overcome, intervene, override, and supersede all of my buts. To me, it’s the best but to launch into the spiritual atmosphere. Take that, satan!
We know that our words have power. How we think, speak, and act are conditioned by the level of faith behind the words we utter.
So what if we decided to take God at His Word and utter “power buts” of faith instead of puny buts of fear?
“But God is my King from long ago; he brings salvation on the earth.” (Psalm 74:12)
“But the Lord has become my fortress, and my God the rock in whom I take refuge.” (Psalm 94:22)
“But God has helped me to this very day; so I stand here and testify to small and great alike.” (Acts 24:22)
“But God promised him that he and his descendants after him would possess the land, even though at that time Abraham had no child.” (Acts 7:5)
“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” (1 Corinthians 1:27)
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” (Ephesians 2:4-5)
Questioning God’s decisions
I sometimes wonder whether it is right to question God, to literally “bring my but” before Him. Is He offended by our buts? I think of Job, to whom God gave a lengthy explanation as to why the questions Job raised (despite his misfortunes) were irrelevant in light of who God is. I also think of David, who lays his complaints (buts) before the Lord. My heart responds with Mark 9: 24: “I believe; help my unbelief!”
A very dear friend once said to me: “But how big is your God?” That question always stuck with me. When I’m about to cave in to fear and doubt, I recall those words. I gather strength to deal with my big “but” when I realize that the God of angel armies is by my side.
So, guys, keep an eye on your “but.” Make sure you’re proclaiming buts of steely faith rather than wimpy buts of fear. Go!