A Counselor Reflects on Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
“But I wonder whether people who ask God to interfere openly and directly in our world quite realize what it will be like when He does. When that happens, it is the end of the world. When the author walks on the stage the play is over… That will not be the time for choosing; it will be the time when we discover which side we really have chosen, whether we realized it before or not (p. 65).” Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
This quote reminds me a bit of the reality television show “Secret Millionaire.” An immensely rich person moves into a new community. He/she interacts with the people and gets to know them. All the conversation and interaction are authentic. This millionaire wants to know who people really are; not be courted for a donation.
At the end of the show the millionaire reveals his/her identity. There is no name change or personality shift on the part of the millionaire. But once the millionaire reveals their identity, the show is over (except for a few tears of joy).
God has made Himself known except for displaying His overwhelming majesty. God came and walked among us, inspired a book full of His will and character, and left a community of believers to continue His kingdom. The spread, impact, and longevity of His book and community in the face of much oppression testify to their supernatural origin.
When God reveals who He is, the show will be over. God wants to receive genuine worship, not overpower our senses. It is quite prideful on our part to think that we could see God and still choose. In effect we are asking God to impress us.
We are like people revolting against a benevolent king. We dare the king to show his power if he truly wants us to submit to his authority. Yet if he unleashed his military against the people, he knows they would be destroyed and their perspective of him would be tainted forever.
Both of these metaphors break down if pressed too far, but both highlight aspects of the folly and pride in asking God to make Himself more known. If God went beyond revealing his character, will, and incarnation to revealing his majesty and glory, it would be the end of humanity as we know it. It would be the end of freedom and the end of choosing.
The freedom would not be stolen. It would be irrelevant. After God reveals Himself, asking “Do you choose God?” would be like asking “What time is it?” in Heaven. Heaven exists outside the temporal reality we measure as time. Heaven is eternal. God exists outside the competitive reality we know as comparison. God is good. Words like better and best are irrelevant to One who has no peers.
God has made Himself known perfectly. If He were more known, we would lose freedom and the ability to genuinely worship. A dignity of choice has been bestowed upon us that is far beyond our deserving (as we prove daily). We see God’s love and mercy even in how He restrains the unleashing of His glory for our good and in His patience.