Sometimes I get distracted.
OK, maybe more than sometimes. I get distracted a lot of times.
There are so many things that fight for my attention. This world we live in is an extremely hectic place that constantly keeps us on our toes.
Last week I was worried about a college transcript credit issue. A crucial step that I was waiting for a certain office to complete took over a month to be finalized. Because of this, I feared that there was a possibility that I might not get credit for this internship at Boundless. If this happened, I would have lost a lot of time and money.
That is just one example of many things in my life that distract me. Sometimes it’s pleasure, and sometimes it’s pain or fear that bid my attention. When I am distracted, I can lose my sense of joy and forget who I am in Christ.
It is during these times that I need to remind myself of who my God is. My focus is off, and I need to realign it so the source of my joy is Him.
This passage in Hosea 2 is one of my favorite descriptions of who God is. Check out these verses (14-15, 19-20).
But then I will win her back once again.
I will lead her into the desert
and speak tenderly to her there.
I will return her vineyards to her
and transform the Valley of Trouble into a gateway of hope.
She will give herself to me there,
as she did long ago when she was young,
I will make you my wife forever,
showing you righteousness and justice,
unfailing love and compassion.
I will be faithful to you and make you mine,
and you will finally know me as the Lord.
How beautiful are these words! Can we just take a second to dwell on the love that our God shows to His people? (This is where you pause …)
Sometimes it is really good to slow down everything you are doing and to just focus. Focus on our God. Focus on His character. After all, we were created to sit at His feet and dwell in His presence.
I am learning to love that time.
This picture of God is definitely the one that brings me the closest to Him. The picture of Him as my Lover is the best way that I can understand the intimacy that He created us for and desperately desires to have with us.
So I shut my eyes and try to imagine the two of us together. He tells me that He is going to woo me. He leads me off into a quiet place (let’s say a bench in a nice quiet park) and He will speak tenderly to me. I have a sense of passionate longing to know more of Him, just like a girlfriend desires to know all about her boy. So I open the Scriptures and seek who He is. I try to be quiet and let Him talk to me lovingly. I hear my Lover talk, and my emotions are stirred passionately…
…and I am sure several readers are about to scroll to the bottom to comment on how strange this paragraph is. But bear with me.
I struggle when people relate to God analytically. When I hear someone say that we should simply follow after God and not focus on emotions, the word Pharisee comes to my mind. I wonder if that person actually is walking intimately with God or is simply following orders with someone he really doesn’t know. I tend to think that everyone should relate to God how I relate to Him.
I need to realize, however, that God is a big God and that He created people differently. Every person is unique and sits on his or her own place along the emotion to logical continuum. Some see God as Lord, while some see Him as their Father, or as their Friend. Some see God as Truth and Fact and Doctrine and some see Him as their Lover and Romancer.
Each way of seeing God is valid, even though we don’t naturally understand every perspective. But I am learning that we should never stop growing with God. A. W. Tozer writes in his book The Pursuit of God that many Christians think they no longer have to seek out more of God because they think they already know Him. I don’t know about you, but I never want to think that I am done learning about God.
My friend once told me:
I think that everybody should focus on what they are not naturally good at. If you are naturally an emotional person then you should try something like memorizing a Bible verse. If you are naturally logical you should write a letter to God. It’s not that one way is better than the other, but we tend to do only what comes easy to us.
This is awesome advice. Too many times I stay rooted in the same theological perspective of who my God is. I lie to myself that I have done enough work seeking Him and my “theological framework” is complete. I might even judge others who relate to God differently because it does not fit with how I see God. Instead of staying where I am, I should be taking my friend’s advice to get out of my comfort zone with God.
I challenge you to make it a priority to seek more of God. Ask Him to take you down a different, and possibly uncomfortable, path toward a new aspect of himself you haven’t dwelt on before.
You might desire to reflect on a piece of His character: His faithfulness or His meekness. Or (this is what I love to do) you might follow after a certain relational aspect of God. Throughout the past few years, I have walked with God emotionally as my Lover as well as reverently as my Master. You might want to seek Him out as your Creator or as your Guide.
Whatever you decide to do, it is always a good start to beg God to reveal himself in this certain manner. Do that daily. After all, He promises that He will answer those who keep knocking on His door (Luke 11:5-10).
Once you prepare your heart, you can now begin this journey with Him. It will involve looking for the aspect of God that you seek while reading, studying and meditating on Bible passages. It will also include lots of prayer and reflection throughout the day as you look for how this aspect of God relates to you in everyday life. A key point, however, is to make this journey your own.
Be prepared to walk down a certain path for a while.Take your time when communing with the Lord. Whether it takes weeks, months or years, don’t rush. Enjoy the journey. It is not about completion, but about intimacy. Let God lead you. Let Him be your teacher.
I pray that this will be the start of something spectacular in your life. This is how real change is accomplished in our lives: by sitting patiently at our God’s feet and learning more about Him (Luke 10:38-42).
So whether you learn to become humbled by our Creator, submissive to our Master or head over heels in love with our Groom, know that our God is vast enough to intimately connect with each and every one of His children. All we must do is put in the effort to get out of our comfort zone and get deeper with Him.
I want to know what your thoughts are. Future blog posts are heavily influenced by your comments and emails.