Where is God?
Ever since I can remember knowing who “God” was, I’ve been blessed never to view Him as some distant, impersonal being who lets bad things happen in the world. Maybe it was growing up as an only child, always using my imagination in play time that actually brought me closer to understanding God as one who is always with us. I talk to God like He’s right next to me because in some odd way, I know that He is. Understandably, many people struggle with this idea of believing in a divine being they cannot see.
Maybe it is for expectation that this God only does things but doesn’t really care. We treat Him like a genie, a wishing well, and a slot machine rather than as a friend. I know a few people who believe in God, but cannot believe that He would care enough about them as an individual. It is these people who have also never taken the time to understand the beauty of salvation as a bridge leading straight to the heart of God.
Yesterday, while journaling, I had this epiphany regarding my relationship with the Lord. Back in the day, we (as God’s people) had to do things to attain His mercy. This is a difficult concept for me to wrap my head around. A very select few men were chosen to even have an audience with God. The majority never went further than the outer courts of the temple – or a very vague understanding of this thing called God. I will have to run this by my Bible scholar mother to grasp this concept a bit more. They knew, from the priests that God was powerful. They knew He helped them in times of war. They knew He was their provider. Please give me grace that my theology might not be 100% accurate on this, but it seems to me that all the works were there, but the people had very little relationship with God.
I know that was never His intent…although He knew it would happen. Way back in the beginning, God intimately knew His creation and they knew Him. Before Eve was tempted by the lying tongue of the serpent and sin entered this perfect world, before Adam had his momentary lapse in judgment and went along with it, God was a close friend.
As I was journaling and thanking God for everything He’s done this past week, I realized that not everyone knows what it’s like to know God as friend. I don’t know what I would do without a relationship with Him. The only way that was possible was by Him sending His most precious Son to take all my failings on His own back. He suffered and died and defeated hell and death because He so desperately wanted that relationship with me. It BLOWS MY MIND! He did the same thing out of desperation for you. Nothing can separate us from His love. He proved that there was nothing we could do to earn it, so He simply gave.
God loved me so much that He became the ultimate sacrifice. He paid off all the debt, followed every rule, never once sinned, just so He could be close to me. Are you getting that today? I can’t do any of that and my inability would have separated us forever. But now, here I am in the year 2012, fully able to talk to Him and read His words, and have a true understanding that He is right here with me. That’s grace, y’all. That’s BIG grace. I’ve done nothing worthy of receiving it.
Maybe you have viewed God as off in some distant land, only willing to answer you when you’ve said enough prayers and rang the bell enough times. But that’s not it. If you want to know God, if you want this relationship with Him, just ask for it. Tell Him that you want to know Him. Tell Him that you have fallen short in every way and have done nothing to deserve His love and mercy. Believe in your heart and confess with your mouth (Romans 10:9-10) that Jesus came to make a way to God. Believe and confess that you want Him to be your best friend, the one who oversees your life, who gives you hope and love and won’t turn His back on you when you fail. But understand that you have to give up your own way, your own wants and desires. You have to get to know Him as you would anyone else. But let me tell you, you won’t be disappointed.
By grace He saved me; By grace He is my friend.