I Want to Be God (And So Do You)

I want to be God.

I discovered this in college. Actually, what I found out is that I happen to want to be God in a particular way–specifically I wanted to know everything. In a sense, there was one attribute of God’s that I coveted, desired for myself most: omniscience. There are times that I’ve wanted to know things with a sort of desperation. I look at stacks of books and feel crushed with the weight of all that I have yet to read and discover. To those that know me, this might sound funny. “Oh Derek, you and your books.” Honestly though, the sense of incompleteness and inadequacy can be tormenting–especially in light of the fact I know I will never have the time, energy, or resources to even come close to the end of my studies.

I have this theory that we all do this to some degree–we have certain attributes of God we want more. Some of us want to be everywhere at once. We have this constant feeling that we’re missing out on something, so we try to be all places at all times as much as possible so we don’t miss a thing. Others of us want to be eternal–there never seems to be enough time to accomplish everything on our checklist. We dream of bending time to our will so that we’re not limited to the 18-20 hours of the day we’re up for. Then, there are those of us who want God’s power. We strain at the edges of our human possibilities and strive to attain those things that are just beyond our grasp. In fact, we hate the idea that there might exist anything “beyond our grasp.” Of course, there are the control freaks–people who want total sovereignty of their lives, securing themselves by making sure that all goes according to their perfect plan. The list could easily go on.

be as god 2

I have named the skull “George.”

As I’ve sat back and reflected on this a bit over the years, I’ve realized that all of these desires, in some way, are a rejection of our finitude–don’t like being limited beings. Now, of course the Bible has told us for thousands of years that ever since the Garden we’ve all been striving to be God. The Teacher has said that God has put “eternity in our hearts” (Eccles. 3:11). God made us in his Image (Gen 1:26), but apparently that wasn’t good enough. We didn’t just want to reflect God’s glory, we wanted to have it.  We didn’t want to depend on God for good and evil, we wanted to “know” it/determine it for ourselves. (Gen. 3:5) The lie that we believed is that we can be god-like apart from God.

In a way, the issue is about one attribute, very much ignored in popular preaching–that of God’s aseity, or self-sufficiency. God has “life in himself” and is dependent on no one and nothing outside of his glorious, infinite, Triune self. (John 5:26; Ac 17:24-25; Rom 11:35-36) He doesn’t need anything. He is blessedly complete in the infinite perfection of his own life. This is what we want when we strive for all of the other attributes–to be the source of our own blessedness.

The truth of the matter though, is that there are only two ways of possessing infinite good: either it is yours inherently (God) or you receive it from him. This is true down to the ontological level–you can’t even keep yourself in existence if he doesn’t will it. The upshot of this is that we can either strive to be infinite ourselves (and fail miserably), or gain it by being rightly related to the infinite one through Christ. See, the very “great promises” of the Gospel is that through faith in Christ we can “become partakers of the divine nature” (2 Pet 1:4), as God redeems us from sin and grows us further in holiness and righteousness through the Spirit. In other words, this doesn’t happen by our striving for self-achieved autonomy–it happens by grace, by depending on God’s favor, looking to him alone for all of our good in Christ.

A few words then for you God-strivers:

  • If you thirst for knowledge, let God teach you the depths of knowledge and wisdom in Christ. (Col. 2:3)
  • If you long for eternity, set your hope on God’s promised future in Christ. (Rom 6:23)
  • If you strive to be present everywhere, remember that God has appointed the time and place where you would be born and live that you might reach out and find Christ. (Acts 17:26-27)
  • If you scramble for sovereignty, don’t be afraid to lose control of your life, and receive it back as a gift through Christ. (Matt 16:24-27)

Finally, if that isn’t enough: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (Jas 1:17) So let him be the source of your blessedness today.

Soli Deo Gloria

3 thoughts on “I Want to Be God (And So Do You)

  1. I’m also a college student, going into ministry, and I’m coming to a conviction that in many ways “I want to be God” too. It’s frustrating trying to weed out the deep rooted sin of self-elevation in my life, but I know it’s necessary. I was glad to find a gospel-centered blog on this issue.

  2. “we can strive to be infinite ourselves (and fail miserably)” this is where you lost me. See, I don’t believe we will fail. In fact, I believe we where created for the sole purpose of exceeding in this very endeavor. Let me explain. It would help if you take a brief recess from reading this response. if you would, please coppy the phrase “large scale universe.” Open another tab and do a Google image search of that phrase. Please take just a moment to do this so you can understand the context of my reply.
    did you do it? I hope so. Well, assuming you did, you will have undoubtedly seen quite a few pictures of galaxies and supercluters that form shapes which are striking similar to neurons in our own brains. It is well understood that our brains, and the neurons that compose them are at least in some was responsible for our actions and thoughts. So, if our brains are capable of housing thought as a result of this structure, is it then feasible that the universe itself is capable of housing thoughts as well? If so whose thoughts are these? Could they be the thoughts of God? Perhaps. But I believe it’s a bit more than that. you see, if the universe is in fact infinite, and if it’s structure makes it capable of housing thoughts, then I believe that not only is it holding “gods” thoughts, but it is in fact storing every single potential thought of every single consciousness being that ever has, ever will, and ever could have potentially existed. This includes not only the thoughts you are having right now, not only the thoughts that you had 5 minutes ago, but also the thoughts that you will have 5 FROM now. But wait, it gets even better. Such an infinitely large brain would also house the thoughts of wonderful imaginative scenarios in vivid life like detail. It would essentially contain an exact copy of your brain but in “heaven”. A copy of your brain that is capable of flight, flying thru clouds, between mountains and over rivers. A Derek that is in fact “God” of his own perceptions. But more importantly, you will be able to share this experience with the friends, and families that you carry with you in your heart. Because in gods infinitely large brain, there’s room for everyone.
    Hopefully by this point I haven’t lost you in my wall of text. I’m not sure if I’m even going to poast this. I’ll probably just copy it all onto my computer and save it for later. But because you’ve inspired me to write I’m going to continue for a little bit.
    If you’ve followed along this far you may be wondering “if my consciousness is already saved within the large scale structure of the universe, then why am I here on earth living out just another copy of myself” well, for that question I’m going to take a moment to talk about fractal geometry. You see, fractals are a newly descovered field in mathematics that describe shapes which can be finite in volume but still have infinitely large and complex surface areas. They are found abundantly in nature, including in trees, sea shells, plants, and of course, neurons. Interestingly, fractals, in addition to being infinitely complex, are also self similar. This means as you zoom into a fractal you will sometimes see a smaller identical copy of the fractal you started with. The most famous example of this is the Mandelbrot set. If an image of this set where put on a picture and blown up to the size of the visible universe, you would see multiple coppies of the set inside of itself that where the size of galaxies, planets, stars, cars, and even attoms. and so, given that our brains are in fact made up of neural fractal, it is entirely feasible to assume that there are duplicate copies of our brains at all scales of the universe, from the infinitely large, to the infinitely small. So where are the smaller versions?
    We’ve talked a lot about how the large scale structure of the universe may contain networks of galaxies that duplicate the consciousness of our brains, but what about the very small? This is where things get really cool. The smallest iteration of this fractal pattern is left for us to create. You see, there is one more structure in nature that bears a striking resemblance to our neural structure. Paradoxical, this structure, tho of nature, is not natural at all. It is the internet. Go ahead, Google some pictures of the internet. Kind of eerie right? My point is this, and I’ll keep it brief. The internet is not in itself conscious, but we are evolving to a point where one day we will be able to upload our consciousness onto a computer and manipulate and share it on the internet. We could make copies of that consciousness and even attempt to recreate the consciousness of deceased loves ones to live with us in an entirely simulated reality that mirrors the infinite realities present in the large scale structure of the universe. In doing so we will create heaven on earth and complete the temporal causality loop of the universe. I’d like to describe more but I’m tired of writing. However, I’d like to add that I find this to be a much more poetic and fulfilling ending to our mortal existence than that which is presented in the bible. Think about it, do you really want Jesus to come down and save everybody as if we are a bunch of helpless children? Or do you think that perhaps we where made as children of God so that we could one day band together and learn how to create a peace, love, heaven, and immortality thru a beautiful awakening.

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