Sunday, January 1, 2006

Week 2: Seeing God With Clarity

Drew, 22 months old, a ball of energy and curiosity was rummaging through the bathroom drawer a scanning the contents for new and hidden treasures. First he pulled out a bottle of hand lotion, then a bottle of hair gel, next contact solution and lastly my hair dryer. I was running around upstairs putting clothes away when I noticed that I was late; I quickly called Drew' s name requesting his presence, and waited ... At 22 months Drew has finally learned the "come when called game" so my request shouldn't have been too difficult for him? I heard him rustling in the bathroom, but began to get irritated that he wasn't obeying. I walked into the bathroom to find him still playing in the drawer, or so it appeared. I quickly disciplined him and then went back to the stairs to once again call him over. I called him again and waited... My mommy vision was finally starting to work and I knew something more must be going on, so I calmly walked into the bathroom; I found my sweet boy with the biggest alligator tears of frustration ready to fall from his eyes. He was trying desperately to get the hair dryer back into the drawer, only he was rushing so quickly that his attempts were making little progress. My approach quickly turned to sorrow, I had disciplined my son wrongly because, through my skewed vision, he hadn't been listening to my voice, only to discover that he was doing exactly what I had taught him - he was putting his mess away. I felt horrible and quickly put Drew in my lap, gave him a big kiss & hug and told him how proud I was of him for cleaning up his mess. I then asked him to forgive me for discipline him when he didn't deserve it. He gave me a big hug, and a proud smile, so excited that Mommy understood!
I was reflecting on this situation today wondering how often God weeps tears of disappointment over me because I choose not to seek out an accurate picture of God. I wonder how often he looks at the world and all of it's accusations and cries tears of sadness because we just don't understand who He really is? God's word is here for my (our) knowledge and yet I often choose to look at my life and God with less than 20/20 vision.
A.W. Tozer wrote in Knowledge Of The Holy "What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. The history of mankind will probably show that no people has ever risen above its religion, and man's spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion has ever been greater than its idea of God." Nothing else will have as much impact on your relationship with God, people, self, decisions, purpose, and eternity, than your perception of who God is. Everything in your life will eventually come back to the same question, "Who do you visualize God is in your heart"? Do you know that the way you act everyday is a picture to the world on what your view of God is? For example, if, you lend a hand to the poor and orphaned, then you show the world that God cares for the orphaned and widowed. If you assist the single mother across the street, then you are showing the world that God loves her and cares about her specific needs. When I was in my late teens I spent a lot of time working at my education and a career, I internally believed the lie that if I made enough money and was a "successful" person then God would love me more.
So, what are you actions showing the world about God?
Briefly I would like to describe three common errors, according to Tozer & Chip Ingram, Christian's and much of the non-believing world make about God. I would like to challenge you to read the assumptions and see if you believe any of these - I know I struggle with these lies all the time. There are some verses next to the statements that reveal the truth about God.
Ø We tend to assume that God is just like us, but the truth is God is not like us - His ways are not our ways, nor His thoughts our thoughts.
Isaiah 40:25-28, 2 Sam 7:22 , Psalms 46:10, Rom 11:33 -36
Ø We tend to reduce him to measurable and controllable terms "our self-help genie," or "salad bar god" - but the truth is that God is not like us, he is all knowing, all powerful, and was the only one who could save the world from their sins.
Romans 1:21-23, Job 38-41, Exodus 32:1-6
Ø We tend to overlook the obvious and significant ways that God has revealed himself to us.
God reveals Himself through nature (Roman's 1:20 )
God reveals Himself through his Word (John 1:1-4)
God reveals Himself through his Son (John 1:14 -18)
If you are in passionate pursuit of God, two common questions will come up, (1) Is it really possible to see God as He really is? And (2) What must I do to see God as He really is? I just want to encourage you ladies to seek passionately after the Lord; His word reveals all about who He really is. Proverbs 2:1-5 reveals that it is not impossible to know God, all we must do is search for Him. .
1 My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you,
2 turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding,
3 and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding,
4 and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure,
5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.
I have spent the past 4 years seeking out the true nature of God, it is a process worthy of your time and energy. Once I determined in my heart to make seeking after God a priority; one of active pursuit, one of humility, one of submission, the Lord was there patiently waiting just as he promised. I would just like to challenge you to seek after God, it is the most important relationship you will ever pursue, and it reaps the most significant and eternal rewards. One picture I often think about is my arrival into heaven, I ask myself it I am willing and eager to spend the rest of eternity in the presence of Jesus, don't I want to passionately know this God before I get there?

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