Monday, April 13, 2009

Who Is God To You?

Who Is God To You?

The most important thing in your life is what you think about God. Who is God to you? Do you see Him as a cosmic sugar-daddy, “Mr. Big”, a strict, disciplinarian-type father? Do you see Him as a cosmic kill-joy? Do you think He’s so loving “it’s all good”? Or maybe, you feel that He doesn’t give a rip about us, or what’s going on down here on planet earth? Whatever it is you believe about God is what has formed your life to the shape it is in today. What you think about God determines your attitudes, and the beliefs that you base your decisions on.

If you could ask Him for the one thing you really need from Him today, what would it be? You need to think about that, because He is real. He does care. And He is the rewarder of those that diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6)

Does God seem distant? Is He hard to understand? If the only language you know is English, it’s going to be hard for you to communicate with someone who only speaks French. The Bible tells us that God’s ways are not our ways. His thoughts are not our thoughts. (Isaiah) They are higher, and far better than ours. We get very frustrated when we try to make God like us…pulling Him down to our level, expecting Him to do, and think the way we do. He does want us to get to know Him, to learn His ways, for us to begin seeing His perspective.

We need to know His mind. We need to learn the “languages” He speaks. How can we do that? 1 Corinthians 2:16 says “…Who has known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.” In verse 14, we are told that the things of God are spiritually discerned. Often times we are so earth-bound in our thinking, so wrapped up in our carnal mindsets, that we cannot understand what God is trying to say to us.

Free your mind! Abandon your old ways of thinking and doing. Let go of your own thoughts and imaginations, so that you are able to receive what God wants to show you, to teach you. Sometimes we come to God and are so full of what we think, feel, and want; that we never quiet ourselves and listen to what God has to say. We go to Him because we need Him…His love, advice, direction, etc. He doesn’t need to learn about who we are. We need to learn about who He is, and who He wants to be to us.

In the Psalms, David wrote about being alert to God’s ways. “I don’t take God for granted” he says. “Every day I review the ways He works; I try not to miss a trick.” (Psalms 18, The Message) Farther on, David says “God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to His eyes.” David didn’t have his own Bible to tote around, and search through at his leisure. You do (or you can). If you want to know God, if you want to know who He is and who He wants to be to you right now; you need to have a relationship with Him.
Ritual and duty must be cast aside. You need to open up the Bible, ask Holy Spirit to lead and guide you to the things God wants to speak to you through His Word, and read it. Then read it again. Remember, He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Jesus said seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be opened, just ask and it shall be given. You will find He is the most generous Person you’ve ever known. God wants you to know Him in a very real way. Jesus died on the cross to make the way for us, to bridge the gap between human beings and God.

A few ideas… Begin by asking Holy Spirit to lead and guide you into all the truth. The Bible says He will. He may do this many different ways. A local Bible study, listening to Bible teachers/preachers on tv, radio, on books, tapes, cd’s, and dvd’s. Sometimes you just have to open up your Bible and read until something jumps out at you. God doesn’t always have you seek Him in the same way.

When He shows you that verse, or those verses that really catch your attention, read them and re-read them. Read them again and again, giving your full attention to what you are reading. Ask God how it applies to you, your life right now. Ask Him what He is trying to show you. Ask Him how He wants you to respond to this word He’s speaking to you. Write down the verses He leads you to, what you feel He was saying, etc. These are your notes to refer to later on, to remind yourself of what God has been saying and doing in your life. It will encourage you, and stir up your faith in Him. David wrote about encouraging himself in the Lord. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing, and hearing the Word of God. Writing down what you feel He’s saying to you will help you remember it when you need it later on. Sometimes our “hearing” comes by reading, writing, and repeating it to ourselves.

For example, read 1 John 3:1… “Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called sons of God…”. Now, let’s chew on that a bit. “Behold”… look at this! Look at the Love Father God has for us… that He would (through the blood of Jesus Christ) make us sons of God, joint-heirs with Jesus! (Romans) Think about this LOVE. Who am I that I should be called a (daughter) son of the Living God? I am one of those spoken of… “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”. I am completely bankrupt of any ability to be “good enough”. I have a tendency to lean in the wrong direction without His constant help, support, and empowerment. Yet, He values me, and calls me to walk with Him. J

Thank you, Jesus! Thank you for loving me, that just like the shepherd You spoke of who left his 99 to go find that one little lost lamb; You sought me out, bought me with Your own blood, and restored me to the most safe and secure place I could be…in You.

Who are you? Do you realize that there is NOTHING you can do or say to redeem yourself? You can never be “good enough”. Our righteousness is as filthy rags. (Isaiah 64:6) God is the Judge who passed our sentence, but He also sent His only Son to pay our penalty. Jesus didn’t come to make us the “red-headed step-children” of His family. He came to make us sons of God, a kingdom of priests (every one of us) to our God. (Revelation 1:6)

There’s an old song that says “It would have been enough, if He brought life. It would have been enough, if He brought hope. It would have been enough, if He brought power; but He put laughter in my soul.” This speaks of the generosity of God. He gives above and beyond the “call of duty”. He doesn’t owe us ANYTHING; but He’s given us EVERYTHING.

Do you see how just one verse can lead you into deep thought about how God loves you? One verse can lead you into very intimate moments with God. Moments in which you are open to receive His love for you, and loving Him right back. J

This is one way God leads us, and speaks to us. When He says something, it speaks volumes…so much that it cannot be taken in all at once. He’s a patient and excellent Teacher. He will repeat things to us as many times as we need Him to, ‘til we “get it”. He may speak one or two things to you over and over again for months at a time.

You may have the impression that you ought to read the whole Bible. Just thinking about it may seem daunting, especially if you are unfamiliar with God’s word and His ways. (It seems daunting to me, and I grew up in it.) Of course, it is a good idea, and definitely worth while. But follow your Leader, Holy Spirit. There’s no rush to “grow up” in God. And you aren’t going to learn all there is to know about Him, His ways, His heart’s desires overnight. As you keep following after Him, He will lead you and you will grow. J

Read the Bible cover to cover, if you feel led to do so. But, pay close attention to the parts He is speaking to you right now. He’s speaking it to you now, not only for what you’re going through today; but also for what you will face in the future. He’s giving you something solid to stand on, because in life we all face storms that threaten to crush our very lives. God says “follow Me”, not because He’s on some power-trip, but because He’s the only Way. God bless you on your journey in discovering all that He wants to be to you!

~Marcy Ellis, revised April 2009~

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