Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Loving The Real God

When did you come to know Christ? When did your relationship begin?

Would you say that you now really know Him? Are you close to Him? Do you share times of intimacy and heartfelt love with Him?

Imagine after all the disciples had been through with Christ, all they had experienced, even down to the very night they shared in the last supper, that perhaps they didn’t really know Him. Even during those last few moments with them, there was a disagreement of who was the greatest in the Kingdom, and there in His midst sat the very one who would complete terms of betrayal of Jesus. Jesus had a question for them..“Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known me…” (John 14:9)

How does that make you feel, to think of all that the disciples had shared with Him, that they may not have really known him?
Can we possibly be open to the thought, that we much like the disciples – may not know who Christ really is? Can we entertain the thought that we may have a hindered view of who Christ really is?

I have never really considered my view of Christ until the conference that we went to a few weeks ago. I was moved deeply as these concepts and ideas were shared.

I’d never really realized as in Psalms 139:3 that God was intimately acquainted with all my ways.

I have never really viewed Christ as one who took great delight in me and that would rejoice with singing! Zephaniah 3:17

Imagine the expression that was on the face of Jesus as you woke up this morning. In your mind’s eye, picture His kind, gentle eyes and warm and tender smile. Imagine that as you awoke God looked down and smiled at YOU, His precious child. With joy in His heart, He announced “I am looking forward to sharing the day with you!”. The real God, who knows you intimately, could not wait to care for you today. The creator of the universe, who knows every hair upon your head and sees every tear that you cry, cannot wait to show you how much He loves you. The holy God of heaven knows your darkest secrets and deepest failures; yet because of His relationship with you, He longs to show you grace. (Isaiah 30:8)

Our view of God impacts every aspect of our Christian faith. Every part of our spiritual journey is either hindered or empowered by our view of Him.
Our view of God will hinder or empower:
Our love for Him – our worship, prayer life can become more of a duty or obligation than true and intimate fellowship and love. If we do not see the real God, our relationship with Him will have very little impact on our lives.

Our ability to experience His Word – every sermon and lesson is filtered through our concept of God, and any distorted view of Him chokes out the impact of the Word on our heart,

Our love of other people – if we cannot see the real God who is so loving, our ability to demonstrate love to others will be hindered. But if we see God as who he is, His love will empower us with an excited love for others. (It is easier for me to be critical and see the sin in other’s because of my view of God. It was part of my job to show them how they are wrong, instead of guiding them towards loving Him so much, that they saw for themselves a need to change in order to love HIM more)

Our heart for evangelism – if we cannot see the real God, our message to an unbelieving world may be characterized by irrelevance (there’s that word again). We may struggle with being a living epistle of His life and love, focusing more on sharing the Gospel than actually imparting it through examples in our life. If we cannot see the real God, we may also struggle to look beyond the sin of others to see their needs.

Assessing Our View of God

Throughout this study we will be challenged to asses our view of God, taking a careful look at how we see Him and how we interpret His character towards us.

Many of us may never have even considered our views of God. We have believed certain things about Him and have never questioned them or been challenged with an alternative. I would like for you to consider the possibility that your view of God might not be consistent with who He really is.

Is your God an:

Inspecting God – conveying everything is a test to be passed or measurement to be taken?

Disappointed God – the kind with His arms crossed shaking His head, that any mistake (sin) is that you did not REALLY love Him?

Or a Distant God – listens to us with only one ear, isn’t really concerned as much with you as someone else?

I realized that I saw God very much like and inspecting and disappointed God. Like every time I failed, I went back to the beginning again. My view of Him watching just to see when I messed up somehow, made me critical of myself, the church, and others. I am so thankful, that I am beginning to see Him as who He really is! It is such an amazing thing!

In my next post, we will look at Knowing the REAL Christ.

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