image by pikosky.sk
Let’s begin a regular, continuing topic, OK? Once a month we’ll explore how much value God has, or doesn’t have, in our lives. Who is he? What’s he like? What does a connection with him look like? How can we craft that? I’m convinced that we need to identify those questions because our view of God, or the lack of it, will shape our lives. So this first post will start the process with two positions that represent the ends of the spiritual spectrum.
Several years ago, a woman walked into Haagen-Dazs, and noticed Paul Newman in his prime standing next to her. He smiled and said hello as his blue eyes captivated her. She got her change and the ice cream and left, only to discover she didn’t have her cone. Turning back, she encountered Newman at the door, “Looking for your ice cream cone? You put it in your purse, along with your change.”
She got excited and giddy and ecstatic merely at being in the presence of Newman. Many God-seekers feel that way about him. Some. Not all.
In Jesus life, his ministry began explosively. Nicodemus, possibly the greatest spiritual teacher in Israel, expressed interest (John 3:1-21). John the Baptist encouraged his followers to shift their allegiance to Jesus (3:22-36). Alienated Samaritans got on board (4:1-42). When he healed an invalid, his reputation soared even more (5:1-15). It grew to a fever pitch when he fed 5000 people (6:1-13) and many talked of him as the coming king to throw off Roman oppression (6:14-15).
Then he seemed to blow it. He claimed to be the bread of life from heaven, to have power to raise the dead, to have seen the Father. Then, he claimed that those who ate his flesh and drank his blood would live forever.
Many of the followers couldn’t handle this and left (6:66). Why? Jesus’ identity didn’t match what they wanted in their leader. So they packed their bags and split. They probably told their kids and grandkids about their adventures with Jesus; they’d been there, tried that, but decided to live pragmatically, to make a living and have a family.
Kick Starting the Application
So, on that continuum, where do your views of God come down? Why? What has most influenced you in your perception of God? Are you satisfied with how you think of him? In this coming week, I merely ask you to think about what you believe God to be, and why you do so. We’ll cover the next step next month, OK?
PS These thoughts come from an earlier book of mine, A Passionate Pursuit of God: How Knowing God Transforms Your Life. I have some copies left, for $10 which includes shipping. If you’d like one, just sent a check and your address, and I’ll send the book, autographed, until I run out.