Who Is Your God, Anyway?


th06-openpage-cart_1985044fAs I live this life, I’m consistently faced with many things that cause me to scratch my head, but nothing perplexes me more than the believers who don’t believe. I should add, I recognize there are more viewpoints concerning God than there is sand on the seashore, but one common grain sticks out every time. People just do not believe, it seems, in God’s capacity to actually help them in their lives. They pray prayers not to get a tangible answer, but instead to soothe some psychological need or something. They follow rules of conduct or practice morality not to enjoy a positive result, but in order to hopefully escape some negative possibility. They attend meetings not for encouragement or enlightenment, but to punch tickets during spiritual labor-day. It just seems so arduous and pointless. What good is your God if He lives a billion miles from you, unable and unwilling to help you with the smallest of details of your life? What’s the point of all of your hard works and sacrifices you do for your God, when at any moment He can pull the rug out on you for no apparent reason at all? Why even call Him your Father if He would do less for you than any earthly daddy would do? Why people, why?

If there is one thing that annoys the holy bejesus out of me it is going through the motions. It’s like hanging out with people you don’t enjoy. It’s like laughing at jokes that actually offend you. It’s saying bad food is tasty and asking for seconds. It’s all ritual and acting and hypocrisy. So, why would anyone participate in that foolishness? Usually it’s because of some fear or some rejection or some nebulous loss occurring. And, people do that very same thing with God. Instead of taking their shoes off and talking turkey with God, they reform their language to sound holy and dole out false platitudes before ever getting to anything real. And when they get to something real they add so many qualifiers that it’s probably hard for God to follow along 😉 (if it be thy will, if thou wilt have time, if you’re okay with me having that, etc…). I have to tell you folks, something is wrong with that picture. I aint being critical of your beliefs, because I know someone taught you that stuff, I’m just asking you to rethink your shenanigans. If God is who He says He is, then I’m pretty sure He can see through all of our crapola. If He could create an entire world and all the life forms, it seems He might be able to fix something for you once in a while. If He is everywhere present, seems you shouldn’t have to look up to find Him, nor assume any posture neither go to any location to speak with Him. If He’s your actual Father, seems like there wouldn’t be much He wouldn’t do to help you if He could and reportedly there’s nothing He cannot do! You see what I’m saying? Something is amiss…

Just by sheer logic, and I mean down to the guts of the matter, there ought to be some grand benefit to being God’s kid; in being a believer. If there is no benefit, why in God’s name should anyone choose it? Why would I spend time bestowing the virtues of God to you if God never did anything good for me? That’s not being sacrilegious, that’s being honest. Why would you tell someone you will pray for them while they’re sick if you don’t believe God will heal? Why should you teach your kids about God if they get nothing out of the relationship but maybe a promise of a one-way ticket to heaven someday? Sure heaven is most appealing, but what about today? Look, it has to be a helluva lot bigger than that, don’t you think? The way most people believe God and who they think God is, if it were me, I would have chucked Him in a long time ago!

Well good people, that is not who God is, at all… God is everything you ever hoped He would be and then some! He ardently desires a relationship with you, not for you to prove something to Him, but to allow Him to prove something to you. He doesn’t want your rituals and your rigmarole anymore than you would want that from your children. Your behavior before Him and whether or not you sin was never His issue. You were born into this world dead in trespasses and sins and there’s nothing you can do by your own works; your foolish, pointless works, to fix that! All your focus on sin and mistakes does nothing more than to talk you into doubting who He is and what He will do, for you…

The real reason you never see Him in action or get to enjoy His goodness is because of one thing and only one thing ~ you don’t believe Him. I don’t mean believe “in” Him, I mean literally believe Him. Believing, true believing, is the polar opposite of going through the motions. It is the north when play acting a role is south. It’s getting good and damn serious about getting your prayers answered! It’s about an intimate relationship with your Father who is closer than your very breath. It is a reliance on Him opposing a reliance on yourself. You can be a self-made man if you want, but how is that working out for you thus far? Life is big and serious and tricky folks and you were never designed to do it all alone. You never want your God to be yourself.

God in His unending grace and overflowing mercy doesn’t expect much from you at all really. But, one thing He does require is that you believe; as in flat-out, no questioning, no doubt; assured of a good outcome, peaceful, quiet believing. Your prayers are a conversation with Him, not a monologue or a speech. He knows the answer to your question and is most pleased to share it with you, if you believe He can and will. He, alone, made that body you inhabit and He can fix any part of it at any time without a doctor or a medication. There is no incurable with God! Sometimes your problems have developed over a long time, in much error, like gum deeply matted in the fur of your dog. And for you and your hair’s sake, it may take a little time to extricate you from your troubles. But, be assured, the repair was underway from the very first time you voiced your dilemma to Him.  God loves everything about you, both big and small and has something great for you no matter the size of your issue. That is who God is folks and why He is everything you could ever want Him to be!

Do yourself a huge favor in this short life and stop searching for some mysterious cause or some silly behavior you need to fix and learn rather how and what to believe. Your work; your real work is to convince your stubborn, human noggin to believe what God says over and above what it looks like. And when you learn how to do that, you will find that God is exactly who He said He is… Then, you will love Him with all that you are not because you are supposed to, but because it’s your only logical, thankful response to Him for all that He is doing for you!

Just believe baby, believe…

Just some good thoughts…

 

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Working Hard for God?


working-hardHave you ever seen the movie, “The End” with Burt Reynolds? There is a classic scene where Burt’s character , after numerous attempts at suicide, finds himself in a large body of water with little hope of being able to swim long enough to save himself! So, he makes several deals with God, attempting to encourage God to rescue him. While being a hilariously funny comedy, the movie shows how many people view their relationship with God. Reynolds offers to keep the 10 commandments, after he learns them. Promises to be honest in business etc. The message is obvious, if you do a lot of good stuff and obey the rules, God will help you out. But, if you mess up or sin, your sh*t is in the wind. How many of us are working so hard to please God in a misguided attempt to get something from Him?

The whole world, and I might add, every major religion is wrapped up in that simple, yet complex lie. If you have ever been unfortunate enough to have tried it, you found out pretty quick that it was damn hard work! The more you work to earn something from God, the more you fail. The more you fail, the harder you work. When you finally think you’ve become good enough, you find out that your good enough apparently wasn’t good enough, because something negative still happened. You analyze yourself deeper; find areas of potential error and set about to work even harder. It never even dawns on you that God’s willingness to help you was never based on your behavior in the first place. This is the message of almost the whole book of Romans in the Bible, but hey, who needs the Bible when you can just work hard?

Of all the dastardly, evil, discouraging, asinine, wretched, bull-crap, devious things people have been talked into believing, the most supreme of all is the absolute lie that you could do something to earn God’s love, blessings and protection! Read that sentence again! You cannot earn it, never could earn it and never will be able to earn it. Even when you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord by believing God raised him from the dead, even then God reckons righteousness unto you because of your believing. Not by works, lest any man should boast. The only way you can ever get anything from God is by believing. Period. End of sentence. End of damnable hard works!

Do you want to please God? Do you want God to be pleased with you? Then believe Him! Do you need God’s help in a situation? Believe that He can and WILL help you! Do you need to make a deal with Him? Never. Do you have to do good works to get His blessings? Heck no! In reality, God blesses you to  motivate you to do good works, not the other way around. You gotta give God a little credit here. He already knows all about you (and me) and still loves you. He already knows everything you are going to do (good and bad) and still protects you. His love for you always was and always will be unconditional. He doesn’t have conditions, you do! He doesn’t make deals, you do! He doesn’t bless you because you are good enough, He blesses you because He’s good enough!

The quicksand trap of that treacherous works routine is that as long as you believe you have to do something to get something from God, you will never get around to being fully persuaded in believing that what He said He would do for you, He will do! You are always going to be able to find something wrong with you and you won’t even have to look very hard. You, you human being, cannot measure up; it’s impossible. So for goodness sakes, stop it! It’s a trick. It’s a lie. It’s wrong on every hand.

Look, I’m not trying to condemn you, I’ve played this game; far more than I am loathe to admit. It’s subtle and it’s obvious. It’s clear and it’s vague. It’s a feeling and it’s a thought. But, no matter how it manifests itself, it is a damn lie! It contradicts God’s Word. Whether it comes from your Preacher; your mother or your wife, it’s a damnable lie, from a damnable source with damnable intentions to defeat you. It’s not your conscience mysteriously chastising you, it’s God’s archenemy carefully crafting circumstances and conditions to talk you into something that isn’t true with a further view to stop you from believing in and upon your ONLY source of help!

At the end of the movie, Burt’s character makes it out safely and quickly begins to break all of the deals he made with God. After all, he is safe now and the deals no longer make sense. How profound huh? He made it out alive and all of the deals he tried to make never did make sense anyway! So, if you are alive right now, and I’m assuming you are because you are reading this, stop trying to make a deal with God. Stop trying to trick Him into thinking you are better than you really are. Instead, be yourself, be honest and be true. Learn how to believe what He promised you. Stop thinking your behavior is a factor and just get your old stubborn noggin to believe what He said He would do for you, without any conditions, clauses or contingency plans. He is that good people and He is anxious to prove it to you!

Yeah, I still get caught up from time to time earning something God already gave to me, but when I do, I write a blog about and somehow feel a little better.

Believing what God said is no harder than believing the sun will come up tomorrow. Learn to believe God as you are, right now, and you will see what all believers see, God is faithful to those who believe. Are you working hard for God’s blessings? I hope not, at least not anymore, anyway…

Just some good thoughts to set you free!