Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Is the God You Experience "Trustworthy"?

We will trust God to the degree that we see God rightly and are drawn by God's beauty.

When we don't image God rightly, we call into question his trustworthiness. To the degree that we view God wrongly, we will mistrust his nature and we then naturally turn toward other things to give us life. 

We tend to focus a ton of energy on making sure that we don't get life from idols, that we focus our eyes on God so that we get life from him. However, if our image of God—our picture of who he is, our vision of what God is like—has been skewed by lies, then we will naturally turn away from that picture of God. It's built into who we are. If we see a picture of something repulsive, we turn away from it. But when we see something beautiful, we are drawn into it.

How does the old hymn go? "Trust and Obey. For there's no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey."

What kind of God are we trusting? What if the image that we have of God is not "trustworthy?" The safe thing to say is "Trust him anyway." But trust is not something we make ourselves do. It's a natural response when we encounter someone who is trustworthy. If our picture of God is of one who is not trustworthy, the trust turns into discipline, effort and focus.

Most of the time, we tend to focus on how untrusting we are. I'm not saying that we don't need to put forth effort in our walk with Jesus. Of course we do. But from my point of view that is not something that we have failed to emphasize in the church.

The same could be said about loving God. We expend a ton of energy preaching about how we need to love God. About how we owe God our all. However, the Bible tells is that we love because he first loved us. We don't love because we focus our minds upon the fact that we are commanded to love. We love because we have been loved.

What if the reason we don't trust and don't love is due to the fact that we don't see God rightly? We don't experience God as love. Yes we confess that God loves us, but our imaginations keep us from experiencing the God of self-sacrificial love.  

There's got to be more than effort. What if we trusted God enough to be honest about how we experience him. What if we loved him enough to tell him that we don't love him that much. What's God going to do? Strike us if we get honest with ourselves and him? As if God does not already know what we really think.

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