What sounds like truth

I had a lot of ideas about God that weren’t actually God’s ideas about God….with each successive layer of circumstantial pain, new false ideas of God that we’d carried were unearthed. I needed a shift, foundationally, in order to grow up and out of these skewed ideas. ~~ Every Bitter Thing is Sweet, Pg 92, by Sara Hagerty

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It is amazing the number of influences that can skew a vision of God.

With an abusive father I learned that Father God was filled with conditional love, harsh judgments, and terrible punishments. With the wrong church leaders I learned that if I do the right things, say the right things, believe the right things, God will love me. Also, that God only loves certain people and condemns the rest based on their sexuality, gender, race, religion. From religions not Christian I learned that God is in all things, is all things and can be worshiped in many ways and forms. I learned that God is in every culture known and unknown, and exists in those cultures in forms I am not familiar with, and therefore must condemn, because, after all, the only way to God is through the Cross of Jesus. Through physical and psychological pain I learned I must be good to deserve the healing touch of God. And there are so many more.

All of these visions of God have a ring of truth to them. They sound like truth. But are they, really?

I don’t think so – not the complete truth, anyway. No one faith, religion, belief system or person has the Whole Truth of God. Everything we know and believe in comes through a very human filter of experience that colors and skews our faith. So what do we do then? So what do I do now?

Continue forward, trusting in the faith I do have that God will illuminate my path to His Truth, as He wants me to see it. Only God is able to break through the human barrier and speak directly to the heart and spirit. If I have eyes to see and ears to hear I will learn to be confident in His Love.

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An Obligation to Fulfill

“The dark sky created a hiding place for the hundreds of hearts in that field who for the first time this night had their eyes opened to God, whose eyes had been fixed on them since before they were born. The curtain was pulled back and a new dawn offered, in the night.”

“My unspoken rule was that this set-aside time, my “quiet time,” as I called it, should be at least thirty minutes, but, thankfully, no more than an hour. It was a rare day when I wasn’t counting down time. … And this designated time to press toward Him, to receive? Most days it was, to me, dry obligation. … God was big enough for me to pattern my time into telling others about Him, but not real enough for me to find any delight in Him. He was a task, a box to be checked.”

“I needed to ask God about this. I sat with my open-ended question and my Bible, expecting an echo. I’d gotten used to talking at God; a mutual exchange was unfamiliar.”

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All of these quotes are in the second chapter of  Everything Bitter is Sweet by Sara Hagerty and reflect my walk with God almost to a ‘T’. When I was newly born in Christ it was amazing – the energy, the zeal, the desire to love and serve God overruled everything else in my life. Those first few years were, indeed, like a curtain was pulled back and a new dawn in the darkness of my night and pain.

As I grew from young adult into full adult the sheen was lost on my relationship with God. He was and still is in many ways, a box to be ticked, an obligation to fulfill.  Furthermore, I, too, am well familiar with talking at God – never really knowing if He is listening or if/how He is responding.

Where do I go from here? I don’t know – am I putting too much hope in a book to help guide me? Was it the Hand of God that led me to this book? I certainly didn’t go looking for it. I was just perusing the local library website of recent arrivals and ran across it after about 30 or 40 pages of books and thought it sounded interesting. Truly only time and reading the book will tell.

All I know for sure is that I need something – something to help me figure out my relationship with God. Over the years of searching and exploring I have come to realize I have a fairly distorted view of God the Father owing to my earthly father and his terrible foibles. At his hands I learned love is conditional – if it is given at all; that ‘father really does know best’ and he doesn’t give a flying turd about what you think and feel or who you are; and that father is a terrifying and abusive monster with impossible expectations. With that type of patterning is it any wonder if have issues with God? (Thankfully, I think I believe He has no issues with me.)

So maybe for today only, I will think about grabbing a chisel and hammer and maybe pry off a tiny piece of the distorted lens with which I view God. It’s scary – thinking about it. For if I take away the only view I have of God, distorted it may be, will He be there on the other side? Faith says yes. Feelings say no. Which to believe?

Unbound by time

. . .biblical phrases describe God by means of past, present, and future, since human tenses are our only option. This is appropriate—at this point—because it’s how God has chosen to reveal himself to us. But God is uncreated, unchanging, unbound by time.  ~~ Ellen Vaughn

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Still trying to expand my view of God – as in ‘how big is my God’? So yesterday when I was driving home and a person in a car cut me off and nearly hit me, I started to get mad – then I remembered – I am in God’s time. Does that mean that driver is also in God’s time? Are we all in God’s time and just don’t know it/realize it/accept it?

If God is Unbound by time and I am so bound by it, where do we meet? Where is our common ground? To say Jesus is our common ground may be true, but its also too simple – at least for me. Maybe I am over-thinking this thing. Maybe this is a heart/soul thing and not a heart/brain thing. Maybe. I have questions and doubts; and gratefully, God is Big enough to handle them.