Loaded

I have been thinking for weeks about this idea that for as many people as there are out there, there are varying definitions of GOD. In light of this sermon, I began wrestling with who I believe God to be. What are the assumptions I have made? How has culture shaped and filled in the blanks of who this God is that I believe in? Could He be even better than I think?

In short, we each have a “God cup” in which resides a bunch of tiny paper descriptions and identities and character traits. We each load our cup differently…. For some, God is a distant power; for others a genie in a bottle to be called upon when a test has not been prepared for, a cop pulls us over, or we really want that elusive thing {Three wishes, please!}; Perhaps He is the cop, lurking, waiting for us to mess up; and yet for others, He is a great judge or a boring old man or whatever good lies within.

How would I feel if everyone who knew me got to define who I was, I got little say in the matter {and what I did say was overlooked or dismissed}, and then they got to decide if they would like me or discard me based on their opinions, projections and hearsay?

No fair.

So when I hear a friend, or one of the girls I mentor, say, “I just don’t know if I believe in God,” I get to ask the all-important question, “What God don’t you believe in?” It is amazing to hear what emerges: “A God that does –. ” or “A God that says –.”  And most often, do you know what I get to say back? “Yeah, I don’t believe in that God either.” Because, most often, the “God” that they are taking issue with is not God as he shows Himself to be: the God that is fully revealed in the man, Jesus.  Colossians 1:15 says that “Jesus is the visible image of the invisible God.”  John says that God “moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son.”  My Young Life leader in high school simply described Jesus as “God in a bod”.  Jesus is the answer to our conundrum.

We need to dump out our cup; let all those definitions of the character and person of God flutter to the ground and begin anew. Some will be picked up, brushed off, and proven true. Many others need to be left to blow away in the wind. The one thing I don’t get to do is be God. I don’t get to pick and choose who He is.

As the pastor of the aforementioned sermon notes, “Getting clarity on God’s character brings clarity to life.” And who doesn’t desire that?

Truly, as I read the gospels, I am blown away when I let Jesus speak for himself. He is mysterious and unpredictable and kind and gracious, and fiery and obstinate and tender, and hilarious and good… and so much more.

I do not pretend to be able to define God. Despite being limited by flesh while on earth, our God has no limits. He is unsearchable. HE IS the greatest adventure. So no, I am not asserting that we definitively wrap up the God package with a pretty little bow. Not even close.

But I will say, in the midst of all the mystery, God became a man because he wanted us to know Him. And I desperately desire to have a better, deeper, sweeter, more accurate understanding of the God who claims to love me, know me, and offered His life for me.

Won’t you come with me on the adventure?


One thought on “Loaded

  1. So well said! Way to take a difficult concept, sprinkle in some wisdom and break down the opposition to God into something we can all grasp!

    Like

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