Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Playing Poker with God

Ever wondered what a poker game with God would be like?

I’m not a poker player. I know the rules, but it’s been decades since I played poker. And I never played poker for money; I’m not widely known for having a poker face.

But I was reading The Cure: What if God Isn’t Who You Think He Is and Neither Are You, by John Lynch, Bruce McNichol and Bill Thrall, and they talk about the idea of playing poker with God.

My first thought was that he would know every card I held.

That’s because I’m looking at the poker game from my perspective.

The authors of Slow Church take another approach.

In effect, you are in a poker game with God. A very different kind of poker game.

“God has shown you all of His cards,” they write, “revealing breathtaking protection. He says, in essence, ‘What if I tell them who they are now? What if I take away any element of fear? What if I tell them I will always love them?’”

The poker game suddenly changes. It isn’t even a game any more.

What if I tell them I will always love them, no matter what they do, or think, or say? That they can’t lose me, even if they try?

Some of the early church believers heard that, and wondered if it meant that the more they sinned, the more God would love them. The Apostle Paul was quick to point out that they were wrong; they were looking at the question from the wrong end – their end.

Instead, what we should do is look at the question at from God’s perspective.

And God’s perspective is total.

A perspective of total love.

A perspective of total knowledge.

A perspective of total judgment.

A perspective of the price for judgment totally paid.

A perspective of total understanding.

He doesn’t play poker with a poker face.

And he knows that, ultimately, neither do we.

He loves us anyway.

Led by Jason Stasyszen and Sarah Salter, we’ve been reading The Cure. To see more posts on this chapter, “Two Gods,” please visit Sarah at Living Between the Lines.

Photograph by Ariadne ariadnerb via Public Domain Pictures. Used with permission.


jasonS said...

How powerful is that? We come in thinking we're playing a game and trying to win, but he takes the game out of it. Lord, help me remember that! Thanks Glynn.

TC Avey said...

interesting thought about poker and God showing us His hand. I'll be mediating on that more.

Anonymous said...

That's a good thing...i'm terrible at card games.