Jesus did not die so that we could have a religious belief system but rather a life-giving relationship with our Father.

Read: Matthew 7:7-11

Ask Yourself & Journal:

•  How does this passage of scripture describe God the Father?

God the Father is described as a God who will give good things to those who ask him.

•  How do you see God? Is He a reflection of your earthly father? Is He a strong disciplinarian? Is He angry, distant and aloof? Is He fun-loving and caring?

A few weeks ago in Communitas, the question was asked of how we related to God and it was amazing how every single person saw God in relation to their family, in particular their parents.  It wasn’t any different for me.  I always tended to view God as a disciplinarian.  Though I never thought of Him as distant, He was always just around the corner.  And even though scripture said He is “slow to anger” it sure didn’t feel like it when every family prayer time was an intense juggernaut of emotion.  I never looked forward to it.  It’s only been recently that I’ve come to better understand that the love of God is not an aloof love, but changing me daily, moment by moment.

•  How do you think you perception of God has impacted your relationship with Him?

Learning to trust God has been the biggest issue for me and the most liberating change in my relationship with Him.  It’s what I like to call my “2nd Salvation:” an emergence from one understanding of who He is into an expanded and renewed sense of who He is.  If I can say this to anyone trying to grow in their relationship with Christ: STOP TRYING to do it yourself!  Trust that “the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.” (1 Thessalonians 3:3)

•  Do you believe God is interested in every detail of your life, so much that you can trust Him with your deepest, most intimate thoughts, dreams and fears? In what ways can you become more open, vulnerable and intimate with God?

The easiest way of NOT being open, vulnerable and intimate with God is plain out avoiding Him. (Though He’s still and always there.)  Many times I have to fight the urge to NOT talk to God, because I know once the conversation gets started he’s going to, without fail, insist on that one thing I keep holding on to.  So a way I can develop that intimacy with God is, rain or shine, be more disciplined in my prayer time with Him.  “Familiarity breeds contempt” is how the saying goes.  Look up the word contempt.  Not a pretty picture of where I want God in my life.  And if I become familiar with him, then how can I be vulnerable to a God who is not good enough for me.

Listen & Pray:  FATHER, you love me without conditions. You do not expect me to do anything to merit your affection. Help me dare to open up my guarded heart to the freedom of a relationship with you, my never failing FATHER.

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