~I can't remember a time when I didn't know there was a God. I've been in "the church" since I was a baby and although I never really thought about it, I'm sure I always knew God loved me. I prayed, I went to church and I kind of did what I was supposed to. Yet God was still just some mysterious being in the clouds that I could never have imagined would mean so much to me. It wasn't until I was 13 or 14 that I really started thinking about God; who He was and what His relationship to me was. God was never really personal to me until around the time I was baptized. It's odd to think about who I was and how I thought before I knew God to be a personal God. I missed out on a lot not knowing God as my father and Christ as my Savior.
~ The truth is, God is a personal God. True, He is righteous, just, holy, perfect, sovereign, and the creator of all things but He is also our father and that's about as personal as you can get. Too many of us see God as uninvolved in our lives, as a distant figure that is more like a dictator than anything else. I remember what that was like...not very well but I still remember.
I was lonely, not because God wasn't there, but because I didn't turn to him. I was confused, not because God didn't provide answers, but because I didn't look for them. I was lost, not because God hadn't told me the way, but because I refused to follow it. I was in terrible pain, not because He didn't love me, but because I didn't acknowledge His love for me.~ God cares greatly about each of His children. If we do not see it, it is not because of lack of proof but lack of acceptance. Christ is the ultimate and perfect example of God's love and great mercy. The simple idea of a perfect man being so brutally murdered for my sin brings me to tears every time. No God that would do such a thing for me could ever be impersonal. Time and time again he forgives our sins, picks us up off the floor and sets us on the right path. I do not understand why we still put our faith in men instead of God.
~ God's word is full of examples of His love and faithfulness.
~ Psalm 116:5-9 "The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. The Lord protects the simple hearted; when I was in great need, he saved me. Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you. For you, O Lord, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living."
~ In times of sorrow and pain He is always near us.
~ Psalm 34:18 "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."
~ God truly is a personal God but if we shut Him out how can He be a part of our lives? If we refuse to obey His commands how can He bless us? We must open our hearts and put away our pride in order to allow a personal relationship with God to grow. Earnest prayer and meditation on His Word will bring us closer to Him and build your faith. And sometimes we must simply sit in awe first to understand our personal God.
~ Psalm 36:5 "Your
love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your
righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great
deep. O Lord, you preserve both man and beast. How priceless is your unfailing
love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings."
Excerpted from More Than That March, 2004