I had a discussion with a friend recently about how we as a people may have lost focus of what being a believer really means.
I suggested that sometimes, the problem is with the foundation, with the premise we are sold when we first come to Christ. Some of us are told of this God who is “just like your earthly father, and Whom you can relate with as such. He is close to you, He wants to listen to everything you have to say, and He cares about you a great deal.” Some of us come to Jesus in our time of deep need and trials, and we are sold the God Who takes all problems away and gives us everything we want. Another one, which is the one most common on street corners and commercial buses, is the God Who will punish you with hell if you don’t stop your sinful ways and run to him now.
Yes, He is closer to you than your next breath, He cares about you, (I mean, how else would you explain giving up His only Son as sacrifice so that you can live holy on earth and spend eternity with Him?) but there is no good in comparing him to earthly, limited fathers. Some of us never knew our fathers; some of our fathers have never been there. Some have done unspeakable evil to their family, and even those who try their absolute best in no way compares to our heavenly Father. He is not limited in His love or capacity. God is not your earthly father.
It is true that God is omnipotent, and children of light cannot be subject to the bondage of darkness, but God is not a DJ that grants requests at our will. Neither is he a magician who pulls rabbits out of hats for our pleasure, just because we demand it. We will have trials on our journey to heaven, and we will require faith and patience to daily lift our cross and follow Him.
God is holy. He cannot abide iniquity, but the fear of hell is not a healthy premise to run this race on. When we sell or are sold the premise of the fire-breathing, all-consuming God, all it does most times is produce people who do not practice what they preach, who point fingers of condemnation at others who do not meet their perceived standards of righteousness. There is only one standard, and it is the word of God, not our diluted and sometimes mangled interpretations of it. Not culture or human doctrines either. We were created for relationship, for reverential awe that comes from a deep knowledge of Him, not for distant fear.
The truth is, man is fallen and he needs a saviour. God is holy and He is man’s only hope for redemption. Lucky that this holy God wants fallen man to come to Him, just as he is. A realisation, an awareness of our fallen state is what makes us able to come and bare ourselves honestly before God. It is what makes us bend knees, lift hands, and say, “here it is, Lord. All of it. My inadequacies, my past, my present, my future, my complete humaneness. I give you everything.”
The Holy Spirit does this work in us. We come to the Father because He draws us. So, check your view of God today. Is it built on a shaky premise?
If you have the opportunity to share the gospel, let the Holy Spirit do His work. Don’t make false promises on His behalf and don’t paint inaccurate pictures. Ask Him to fill your mouth and lead you. Salvation and revelation are the work of the Holy Spirit. When we try to take his job, things go awry. Which leads me to the question, do you have the Holy Spirit?
What are your thoughts? Please share1