Sunday, January 4, 2009

Realtionship With God is Key - A Preview

Many Christians seem to fall into three groups when it comes to the level in which God is allowed to act in their lives. The first group doesn’t believe that God will act personally on their behalf, therefore; they can’t expect anything from Him. This type of faith is characterized by this sort of belief system. “We should be glad with salvation and try to be good until that last day.” “If miracles happen, it is purely by chance.”

The second group gives lip service to that fact that God does miracles and heals the sick, but deep down they do not have faith that He will do something especially for them. In some cases this is unworthiness at work. They will often use excuses like these: someone else “deserves it more,” or “needs it more” than I do. “God would heal someone with cancer before He’d heal someone with a cold.” Theologically they believe that God can, but do not have faith that He will.

The third group seems have some sense of entitlement to the miracle and healing hand of God. I call this “hyper faith.” These people feel as though they can get God to deliver whatever they want, simply because they deserve it as a child of the Most High. When God doesn’t deliver, it’s the devil’s fault.

Do not misunderstand; we are entitled to the benefits of the kingdom as heirs of Christ, but on God’s terms, not ours.

In the 80’s there was popular, and thankfully short lived teaching called, “Call, Claim, and Command”. Like many teachings, it was based on the biblical principal that what we speak has power. The method of relating to God was to speak out our need, claim that which we have as heirs in Christ, and Command the heavens to provide it. As you might guess, this is a not a relationship, but a formula. It was later known as “Blab it and Grab It.”

There is spiritual confusion because the principals of the Kingdom are always at work, yet they are in conflict with faithlessness, our own understanding, incorrect understanding of the scriptures, the sovereignty of God and various and sundry forms of godlessness. For example, the biblical principal, of sowing and reaping will work for anyone; saved or unsaved. Those that sow will eventually reap—sometimes slowly; sometimes quickly. However; we cannot simply “give to get” out of compulsion, demanding a return from God on our time table. Going boldly to the throne room in faith is not the same as feeling some sort of entitlement to the things of God. This group is characterized by saying things like, “Just speak it out.”, “Well, you are sick because you don’t have enough faith.”

When it comes to healing, we need to see the entire spectrum of possibilities. With a careful examination of healing in Gospels, we’ll see that sickness is sometimes a lack of faith, other times the result of sin, and more often, a sovereign state in which God intends for His glory to be seen on earth. Simply stated, sickness is the result of living in a fallen world. God can and will use even the devil to achieve His ultimate purpose, relationship with the Most High.

Because God is sovereign, some things that we “believe for” are not what He wants for us. When the windows of heaven do not open, it is not always that devil’s fault, and if it is, like Job, God is allowing it. If we pray that which is God’s will for us, we will see many more answered prayers. God is not our spiritual bellhop.

Our personal relationship with Jesus is just that, personal and should be growing in intimacy. Our very creation can be identified with DNA, that’s unique! How much more would a loving God be concerned about our hopes, desires and needs?

God is many faceted, deep and a lifetime of searching is not enough to see the depths of who He is! In my own studies, I found 600+ names and attributes in the Bible. Initially He is the Father to us, the baby Christian. He desires to be known by His children, play with them, love them, talk to them, enjoy them, and guide them. When He sees fit, He corrects them too. God is not in the business of making bad people good, He is in the business of making dead people live. Job one for God is a vibrant living relationship with Him.

God is most interested in knowing us, and having us know Him, not performing parlor tricks and handing out blessings. He created us, and He is personal at every level of our life. He has counted the very hairs on our head; He has listened to our every thought, our every prayer, and every word that passed through our lips. He did not miss a single one. This idea of the depth in which He knows us, alone, is worth a good long meditation.

God is not just a receiver of our behavioral reports. He is not disconnected from us. It is us, who through sin, have become disconnected from Him! Our job is simply to get to know Him, and He will address our needs, not always our wants.

The truth is that we all simply deserve death for our sins. No one is good enough to deserve anything from God. That is what makes the Gospel so wonderful. By grace, and nothing else, God saves us, and wants to have a relationship with us! He is sovereign, and as one Anglican priest said, “He does was He darn well pleases, when He pleases, and it is not required to be fair, or make sense to us. Our job is to have faith, love God and one another”

To find out ways to build a deeper, more intimate relationship with Jesus, stay tuned.

I am working on a new book which I hope will be available sometime in the early Spring. These previews are rough drafts of stories and biblical insights that I'll be including.

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