Being at ease in uneasy times comes from a strong relationship with the Living God. But in order to trust God to do what is best, we must really know Him well. Yesterday we focused on knowing God’s goodness. Thinking about His goodness is so affirming; it just makes us feel warm and fuzzy inside, like cuddling a baby or holding a squirmy little puppy…we love that feeling! He is wonderfully approachable: let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most (Hebrews 4:16). We see Him as our loving Father: And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir (Gal 4:6-7); we are, in fact co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17). Speaking of Christ, we are friends of Jesus, how cool is that? No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you (John 15:15). And Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to comfort and help us: And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. You know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you (John 14:16-18). As David said, such knowledge is too wonderful for me! (Ps 139:6).
But, as they say, familiarity breeds contempt. Did you ever admire someone from a distance and then begin to find fault with them as you got to know them better? Before marrying, we have an easier time following this advice: Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is [her 😉 ] glory to overlook an offense (Prov 19:11). Later, if we are not careful, we might find that we are modeling ourselves after this Proverb instead: A quarrelsome wife is like the dripping of a leaky roof in a rainstorm (Prov. 27:15). What happens? I think it is pride and an ungrateful heart that creeps up on us. Typically, the person has not changed, but our perspective about them has. Our attitude has become corrupted.
So we must be very careful about having a one-sided perspective of God; while He is the friend that sticks closer than a brother (Prov. 18:24), sometimes we forget we are dealing with the awesome Creator of the Universe. When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? (Ps 8:3-4). When we think of Him as our close friend, sometimes we forget that He is not like us: God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind (Num 23:19). He does not think like us: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts (Is 55:8-9). He is our Holy God. See Isaiah’s response to encountering the presence of the Living God: And one called to another and said “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” (Is 6:3-5). In fact, God’s holiness requires a response from us: As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:14-16). God is our judge and Jesus, is the Word of God: For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account (Hebrews 4:12-13). Yes, we are accountable to God. He has given us a great gift and it should initiate a response from us: Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire (Heb. 12:28-29).
To be in close relationship with God, we must know both His goodness and His greatness. Sometimes I dwell on God’s goodness and His love for me and this allows me to feel close to Him and trust in His decisions for me. Sometimes I dwell on God’s greatness and remember that it is not my place to question Him; this also allows me to feel close to Him and trust in His decisions for me. Trusting in God brings us to a place of rest and allows the peace that passes understanding to guard our hearts and minds (Phil 4:7). The more I know the LORD, the more I cannot see how people can live without Him!
JustaGirl…just like you.