Friday, April 20, 2007

And he went out to meet Asa, and said unto him, Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; The LORD is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you. Now for a long season Israel hath been without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law. But when they in their trouble did turn unto the LORD God of Israel, and sought him, he was found of them.
2 Chronicles 15:2 - 4

God never changes, but often we change God into what becomes convenient for us. We seek for a god that does not exists. When I became a Christian, God did not change because I am under the blood of the new covenant. He is still God. He is still Holy. And that aspect of Holiness has me awed. In church, we sing that "God is a friend of Mine." I understand the scriptural reference for the song, but if I think God and I are going to sit by the pool and joke around because we are "buddies", then I got this relationship backwards. He is still Yahweh.

I do not feel that I have sought God as I should. I might even say my "relationship" with him is more akin to that of a distant relative. I could visit Him from time to time, but I am much better at making excuses and finding something else to do. Consequently, I sometimes wonder where God went? Is it like the nice poem, "Footprints" that says God never forsook me, but carried me? Or is it like the prophet Azariah said "but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you." One sentiment is nice and warm. Written by man. The other cold and harsh. Spoken by the spirit of God speaking through a man.

I am at a crossroad where my small group leader is leaving. He has said that he feels that I am the one to take the class over. This scares me. Part of me says I would rather someone else do it. But should I be saying "Not my will but thine?"


Rick said...

Can I pushback into your conundrum? First paragraph - it's a "both/and", not an "either/or", on God as Friend and God as Yahweh. Picture yourself with the guys on the road to Emmaus - they could've stopped for pool just like that, and He was still God.

Here's my take on "footprints" - and I would say your relationship is closer than distant, or at least there's a distant with a constant aspect invloved. It's a both/and, too, perhaps - you haven't forsaken, He hasn't forsaken, but maybe He's being silent, playing hard-to-get. Or you're learning stuff about yourself that needs to be addressed. Either way, don't leave buttprints.

Last - is this challenge/encouragement the reason for the self-reflection? If it scares you because he might be right - go for it. If it scaresyou because that's definitely not on the radar, politely bow out. Either way, it's important to make the move whole-heartedly - second-guessing builds into distrust and then we're all leaving buttprints in the sand.

You weren't necessarily looking for advice, but since you're there and I'm here, I thought I'd toss it out. You've challenged and encouraged me this morning, as well. In whatever you do, wear clean underwear.

Chuck said...

Boy...I would love to talk about some ideas that I have had rolling around in my head. Mostly regarding attributes of God the Father, and God the Son, and are they separate (e.g. God is the herdsman, and Jesus the vine)? And do we assign attributes of the one to another. When we go for our cup of coffee, we can toss this back and forth.

Loved the buttprints in the sand.

With more reflection on forsaking, it seems that it boils back down to a relationship. When Israel sought God, they found Him. But, when the turned away and worshipped other Idols, He gave them over. He did not "force" himself upon them, but waited. At some point, Israel would get its act together and come back.

We can see that same pattern throughout our walks. We are closer to God at some points than in other points. He can be silent...Hard to Get? Maybe (but, that could just be my perception).

Thanks for the advice.

Rick said...

The "hard to get" metaphor might work better as "hide and seek" with little kids. As a Dad, you "hide" but part of the fun is being found - you enjoy the kids seeking and finding, so you don't hide all that well :). You want to be found, and you want them to want to find. Or being chased by your kids - you could outrun them when they're little, so you slow down and let them get real close and then you dart away. The fun is in the pursuit, maybe more than actually catching.