Why Can’t I Be My Own God?

Biblical Authority Devotional: True Identity, Part 2

by Steve Ham on May 2, 2011

Steve Ham, AiG–U.S., explains why our own attempts to be the authority fail miserably.

Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. (Psalm 90:1–2)

Today’s big question: why can’t I be my own god?

Reality check 1: Only God is God.

This psalm is attributed to Moses, who most likely wrote it toward the end of his life. The rest of the Israelites were about to enter the Promised Land, the land of inheritance prepared and given to them by God in fulfillment of His promises. As a wonderful reminder, they had a song to sing—Psalm 90.

What was the point of being an Israelite if the main purpose was simply to dwell on a promised piece of dirt? God fulfilled His promise and later kicked them out of it because they were not dwelling with Him (Jeremiah 25:1–14). He is the Creator and has been from everlasting to everlasting. He is timeless. He is our dwelling place and has always been so.

A piece of dirt is not our dwelling place; our true dwelling place is in God. God reminds us that it is not where we dwell that is important in comparison to who we dwell with. To all generations and even before the foundations of the world, we are called to dwell with God. Family, neighbors, friends, colleagues, and even countrymen are important, but all pale to insignificance compared to dwelling with God.  

In the Garden of Eden dwelling in perfect unity with God, our first parents Adam and Eve chose to dwell in their own autonomy and reject God’s rule. Our attempts to dwell within our own autonomy have never worked—not for Adam and Eve, not for Israel, and not for all of humanity. Because we are sinful, we are lost—hopelessly lost—and have become subject to His authoritative judgment. In attempting to become our own dwelling place, we become eternally isolated from His glory and unable to change our condition as mortal creatures.  

Only God is the immortal, invisible, only wise God with all power, presence, and knowledge. He is the infinite One. Whether we admit it or not, He is and has always been the only secure and true dwelling place. We attempt to build our own shelters that will one day be consumed in fire. We can’t save ourselves. The access back to that dwelling place is only by God’s own provision of Christ’s sacrifice.

I am not the Creator, nor am I the self-existent, eternal God. I am but a creature needing a dwelling place. I have found the only secure dwelling place in God through Christ.

Today’s big idea: we all need an eternally secure place to dwell. God is that place.

What to pray: acknowledge to God that He is the only real shelter for your life.

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Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.