Skip to main content

Is God your second-hand friend?

Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received! We were also given absolutely terrific promises to pass on to you—your tickets to participation in the life of God after you turned your back on a world corrupted by lust. (I Peter 1:4)

Getting to know someone isn't always that easy, is it? We can hold back a little until we realize the other person is kind of 'all right' and we can probably share a bit more with them. We don't just dump everything out into the relationship and hope for the best. We wait to establish trust and then we unpack a little. Why? We don't want the discovery of some things by just anybody. We want those things to be shared with only those we consider to be our 'inner circle', or the ones we value and trust the most. Imagine that God invites us to get to know him personally and intimately - not holding anything back - because he values and trusts us! He trusts us with the knowledge of how he moves amongst us and what moves his heart. He opens up the secrets of his grace and inner peace to each of us. In turn, he asks us to trust him to always be open with us and invites us to always be open with him. 

To know one 'personally' means we don't settle for a second-hand relationship. I know some of my BFF's friends, but it is more of a second-hand relationship. I am not all that close to them, but I respect them, am invited into their gatherings, and enjoy their company. We have 'contact', but it isn't as 'direct' as the contact I enjoy with my BFF. The relationship I have with them is kind of 'general' - not much sharing of 'personal' stuff occurs. We talk about family, acquaintances, happenings, and plans. We don't generally talk about our hearts, hurts, and hopes. When I share with my BFF, it is just the opposite. It is pretty much with open abandon, knowing she will not laugh at my dreams, judge my 'way out there' ideas, or shut down my hopes. God doesn't want us to 'hold back' our true selves in relationship with him - he values us too much to ask us to 'reserve' our true feelings from him. 

To know one 'intimately' might just mean there is a confidence we can be our real selves in their presence. Where this 'confidence' exists, there is a freedom of movement and expression that is allowed. God isn't trying to put us in a box and hold us captive to certain beliefs. He has opened the box we were captive within and shows us exactly how our beliefs create a sense of freedom to be who he created us to be in the first place. We may run back into the box from time to time, all because the discovery of who we really are is kind of frightening to us. Intimate relationship with God is all about knowing boundaries but being totally free to live within those boundaries. Putting aside our 'reservations', we embrace freedom. Welcoming him into our lives, trusting him with our innermost thoughts, and giving him our absolute trust - this is what God asks of us. Just sayin!


Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

A brilliant display indeed

Love from the center of who you are ; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply ; practice playing second fiddle. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. (Romans 12:9-12) Integrity and Intensity don't seem to fit together all that well, but they are uniquely interwoven traits which actually complement each other. "Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it." God asks for us to have some intensity (fervor) in how we love (from the center of who we are), but he also expects us to have integrity in our love as he asks us to be real in our love (don't fake it). They are indeed integral to each other. At first, we may only think of integrity as honesty - some adherence to a moral code within. I believe there is a little more to integrity than meets the eye. In the most literal sense,

Do me a favor

If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care—then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. (Philippians 2:1-4) Has God's love made ANY difference in your life? What is that difference? Most of us will likely say that our lives were changed for the good, while others will say there was a dramatic change. Some left behind lifestyles marked by all manner of outward sin - like drug addiction, alcoholism, prostitution, or even thievery. There are many that will admit the things they left behind were just a bit subtler - what we can call inward sin - things like jealousy,