Getting Personal with “The Force”
Bible Reading: Proverbs 8:17-21
I love all who love me. Those who search for me will surely find me. Proverbs 8:17
Talk about this: When have you heard someone describe God in a way that doesn’t match what the Bible says?
Here’s one you’ve probably heard: Remember the first three Star Wars movies? Luke Skywalker was the big hero. In the first movie, Skywalker meets Obi-Wan Kenobi and learns that he was the Jedi knight who had fought in the Clone Wars with Luke’s father. Obi-Wan gives Luke a light saber that once belonged to Luke’s father and, in the course of the conversation, mentions “The Force.”
“The Force?” Luke says.
Obi-Wan responds, “The Force is what gives the Jedi his power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.”
The idea of The Force sounds spookily familiar-and not just because we hear about it over and over throughout the Star Wars movies. The Force is what many people imagine God to be. They picture God as faceless, formless energy.
That’s a way-off idea about God. It’s a myth. Think hard about these truths:
• God created, surrounds, and guides the universe.
• God is present everywhere.
• God is spirit.
• God is not some mysterious, elusive energy force out there somewhere.
• Most importantly, God is not a thing or an it—he is a person.
Read again Proverbs 8:17 at the top of this page. Notice all the personal pronouns God uses to refer to himself: “I… me … me .. . me.” Does that sound like some kind of cosmic energy talking?
God, the true God, is personally interested in you. He knows your name. “See,” he said to his people, “I have written your name on my hand” (Isaiah 49:16). “He cares about what happens to you,” the apostle Peter said (1 Peter 5:7). Jesus said that “the very hairs on your head are all numbered” (Matthew 10:30). And God promised that “when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me in earnest, you will find me when you seek me. I will be found by you” (Jeremiah 29:12-14). Those are personal promises that could only come from a loving, personal God.
TALK: The Bible is clear that God is so much more than a force. How would you explain to a friend why it matters that God is personal?
PRAY: God, thank you for being a personal God who is involved in each one of our lives.
ACT: Jot down a list of other ways you have seen and heard people misunderstand who God is. Talk about how you might answer each misunderstanding.