Some time ago, I had a major decision to make. It was mine to make and no one else could make it. It was one of those lifelong, not going back decisions. I knew which way I should go in the decision. I prayed that God would help me recognize my struggle for what it was. I also wanted peace of mind. Through studying His word and prayer, I became more convinced of the correct biblical response. After over two months of struggle, choose the path that best represented Gods character and Jesus’ teaching. It was a blind faith jump, it didn’t feel right.
I didn’t have a peace about it. But still I knew the biblical response. I knew this path would take a lot of sacrifice and 10 plus years of intense commitment. I also knew that God would care for me and everyone involved. It wasn’t until much later that I finally understood how much I was the problem. This should have been a shorter struggle but I can be pretty selfish. When I choose do things Gods way, life goes better for me. Has Gods way been easy? No sometimes it has been downright exhausting but it is a better life than the one I planned. The sacrifices have been greater than I thought they would be but the rewards have been greater as well. God really does know me better than I know myself. 1 Ki 7.39, 1 Chron 28:9. When I give into selfish desires they don’t satisfy for long and I just want another desire and another and another. Each time I trust Him my history with Him is longer. I can look back on His faithfulness and rest more easily in His character.
He has me all the time
This was a good example of not trusting my heart. The heart or my emotions can be deceptive. Sometimes I choose the easy over the right. God really does know what is best for me. This should not surprise since He made me. He knows my innermost parts and thoughts.
How important are my emotions? Do my emotions control me or do I control my emotions? Which should be in control? Happiness, it is a socially acceptable emotion, and it does not make observers uncomfortable like anger or grief does. Unfortunately, happiness is frequently more fleeting than other emotions. I must be in control of my anger. I cannot rage verbally or physically when angry. Certainly there are times when I am overcome by grief and grieving is something to be worked through and not avoided. I have learned the hard way that my heart can’t be trusted. If I had stopped listening to the worlds message to follow my heart I would have had less problems in by life. Emotions are powerful and can lead me to sin. Num 15:9, 2 Chron 12:14, Mt 15:19. But there are good emotions like compassion, joy, love, mercy, hope. These reflect God’s character. How much influence do your emotions have on your decisions?
I am giving away kittens. It is really scary for them. From a family of six a kittens they get put all alone in a strange plastic tote. They ride in a car, feeling motions, sounds and vibrations that they have never experienced before. The kitten does not know about the loving family at the end of the trip.
Sometimes our Christian walk can seem just as scary. But we can know God and His character. We can trust in Him. He knows us better than we ourselves do. He knows our deepest fears, wants and desires. He knows what is truly best for us. Our forever home is being prepared for us and is more than we can ever imagine. We need to trust and obey Him, remembering we are on a journey home.
My view of God has changed since as I have grown up and that is good. As a child I thought as a child and as an adult I should think like an adult. My first lessons of God came from my Mom. When I did something wrong my mother would say: “Don’t do that again. God will get you for that”. So as I child I learned God was all seeing and a judge who would punish me for my sins. There is more to God than omniscience and judgement. At some point I did notice that if my dad was present he didn’t disagree with her but was uncomfortable with what she said. But Mom was probably exasperated and was using the God line to coerce me to obey. His reaction gave me a glimmer that perhaps she was not right. Slowly, as I have read and re-read the bible, and listened to excellent expository preachers, I have learned more about Him and love Him more deeply.
What does the Bible say? When we read about Him, we need to evaluate our ideas of God. Does our idea of God line up with scripture? If our ideas don’t line up, it is us who needs to change.
The more I learn of him the more there is to know. How does your description of God compare with what the Bible says about Him.
Some say there is no God. Others say there is a God but each person describes Him in such a way that I wonder if we are talking about the same person. There are many descriptions of God. Some people see him as an indulgent grandfather who readily forgives those who confess wrongs and then showers them with goodies. Others think of Him as vengeful, out to get anyone who steps out of line. Another opinion is that he set the universe in motion and then has stepped back and the world is on autopilot. There are many more. (I used Him, and person, in the second sentence and that would be open to debate by some).
What we think God is one of the central keys to how we conduct our lives.
When you imagine Him, what is the first descriptive word you would use? What is His character like? Do you project characteristics of good or bad men in your life on Him? Sorting out what our beliefs are is important.
The next step is to see if our opinion or description aligns with what He says about Himself. But that is for another day.