A kind and close God

I have a tendency to view God as distant and indifferent. Sometimes He steps in to teach me a lesson or provide in some way, but then He steps back out. Other times He shows up as the moral taskmaster.

Lately I have found myself hesitant to approach God because, well, that kind of god just isn’t really worth worshipping.

In the midst of all this I am torn because it flies in the face of the personal beliefs I subscribe to (the Bible). It is also irreconcilable with the moments in my life when I have experienced His closeness, awesome kindness, and great might.

That’s why yesterday’s sermon was just what I needed to hear.

The kindness of God perplexes me. Praying to a real, living, caring Father is something I have experienced in my Christian life, but it has not certainly not been the norm.

Does anyone else feel this way? Or, if you have been delivered from it, what did that look like?

I would really like to hear, so please comment.

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7 responses to “A kind and close God

  1. Beautiful,

    He perplexes me too, but isn’t it awesome that we can and will be able to know Him more and more and eventually He won’t be as perplexing? That will be a glorious time.

    I love you

  2. Husband,
    You are great. Thanks for reminding me of the hope that we have.

    P.S. I like your swirly, quilty thumbnail icon thingie.

    LB

  3. Thanks for your thoughts Elisabeth. I find that my relationship with God is best when I treat is like I ought, as a relationship. When I spend time talking with God and pouring out my frustrations with Him (unjustified perhaps but honest) my joys and my sorrows I am reminded of His character and it is easier for me to view Him as He is. When we are in relationship with someone their actions are easier to process because we know who they are. For example, lets say Jon comes home flops on the couch and comments that he is hungry and ready for dinner, because I know his character I can process that as Him having a long day at work and looking forward to some time with his family, when I don’t know him, or become distant from him I may incorrectly process that as him being demanding, or expecting me to serve him in some demeaning manner. It is the same with my relationship with God.
    It is easy to look at things that happen and process them as chance, random, or God giving us guidelines as a moral taskmaster but when we spend time honestly relating to Him it is easier to see God for who He is, relational, holy, to be feared and revered and loving and compasstionate.

    Oh and Grace Grace Grace, often I find myself asking God for grace to understand Him for who He is, to accept the things that He brings or allows to come my way, and grace to know Him more.
    Submersion in the word of God through our thoughts, memorization, and prayers help us understand who Christ is more fully.

    Thanks for sharing what God is teaching you!

  4. Amie, thanks so much for sharing. I have thought about your comments a lot since you posted them.

    You are right about being in relationship – it is easier to accept and love someone–even if you don’t completely understand why they do what they do–if you know them emotionally and experientially, as well as intellectually. I really liked your example with Jon, it gives me a frame of reference.

    I have been thinking about this verse lately, which I think falls in line with knowing God, even when you don’t always feel like you can figure Him out.

    “Behold, these are but the outskirts of his ways,
    and how small a whisper do we hear of him!
    But the thunder of his power who can understand?” (Job 26:14)

    Job HAD to have a relationship with God to face his God-ordained difficulties. It takes humility to say “God, I know you, I’ve experienced you as good. Yet there is so much more to you I can’t even comprehend. I don’t understand what you are working in my life, but I trust you!”

    I am not saying this because I know all that well myself, but because they are thoughts and prayers I have been offering up to God lately, to help me trust and know Him more fully.

    I have also really enjoyed this post from Molly Piper’s blog, which I think falls along the same lines:

    http://thepipers.wordpress.com/2008/07/21/gods-purposes-and-our-pain/

  5. Pingback: Taking a busy break « Bliss and the Battlefield

  6. I’ve been nervous about writting anything “too” personal on the bloggsphere because that is a risk, that makes me vunerable and I don’t like that.

    But, this is exactly what I am struggling with and have been now, for several years.

    It is 100% a heart issue for me, mostly centered around prayer. When I reach out, usually selfishly, and pray I am always frustrated when God is silent. I take that silence as rejection and push away from the Lord in a “you-can’t-hurt-me-if-I-hurt-you-first” way. My childishness knows no bounds.

    I end up viewing God as an uncle I see at family reuinons and not as a loving father or a kind, dear friend.

    One sermon that really spoke to me was the Jesus as King, Priest and Prophet (http://www.marshillchurch.org/audio/VJ10Notes_WhydidJesuscome_121006.pdf). I tend to view God only as a King and Prophet and can’t wrap my head around Him as Priest.

    I really appreciate your honesty about where you are at and what your struggles are.

  7. Kim, thank you for your comment. I am really thankful for it.

    Everything that you mentioned you struggled with hit home to me. I wish that our relationships with God were completely joyful, full, passionate and intimate right now. Not laced with hesitancy, fear, disappointment or frustration.

    One thing I have been holding onto is this: God is very pleased when we pray for such a relationship with Him. It is completely in His will.

    Sometimes I feel like I’m even putting it back in God’s face when I say “See, I’m praying for what you want, God! Please give it to me. Why don’t I see it?!” I hope that in some way He is honored by that, even if it’s laced with motives that aren’t 100% pure.

    Beyond all that, I am praying for you as someone who struggles with the same things.

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