I’ll be honest, in a group setting, I prefer to listen to other people talk than to toss in my two cents. Why? Oh gee, there could be a plethora of reasons, that’s a whole other topic. What I do know is that now and then, while listening to someone else talk, my mind takes a wonderful little walk onto a hardly noticeable rabbit trail that leads to a beautiful and secluded wooded glen with a grassy meadow that has small woodland creatures chirping the songs of…. wow, ok, maybe not that vivid, but in any case…
The other day, a group I happened to be “taking part” in was discussing something. I say “something” because I honestly can’t remember what the starting topic was all about. However, during this topic of strenuous remembrance, one of those adorable little rabbit trails put up a colorful neon sign saying, “WOODED GLEN”… Naturally, I embraced the opportunity and took a little journey in my mind.
As the room faded away and I became rather lost in my own thoughts and mental conversations with…. myself, I was given the privilege of stumbling across one of the most…. well, interesting revelations I think I’ve ever had. It’s not really a “new” revelation when it comes down to the point that it’s making, but the perspective on the topic is what really took my mind on a downhill ride through an amusement park. So, wooded glen…
Have you ever noticed how the Old Testament of the Bible seems to be so much about God’s wrath and seemingly much less about His love? Maybe you disagree, but stay with me here, I’m going somewhere with this, but not literally considering that you are reading this and I am typing this, so location isn’t the key… I digress. As my thoughts unfolded, I began to realize that the Old Testament is a story of a family whose Father had to keep correcting them. You see, God’s actions were not “whatever He was in the mood for” that day. God’s actions were directly related to the actions of His people, His children. He had to act a certain way in order to teach them a certain lesson, or take them on a certain journey.
Have you ever noticed how we “judge” God’s character? So many times, myself included, God is puzzled out and studied through the experiences of other people. Whether it be Billy Graham, Bill Johnson, or the Israelites, the bottom line is that most of what we know about God is second-hand knowledge. Now, did you know that God acts a certain way to certain people for a rather specific reason? Now, I’m not saying that learning through other people’s experiences is wrong by any means, please, go read books by different authors and draw from the teachings of great men, but what I am saying is that God acts a certain way… with certain people… I think you might get where I’m going with this.
You see, our understanding of God all boils down to how we choose to live our lives. Our experiences with God all boil down to how we live our lives. Our intimacy with God all boils down to how we live our lives. Because you see, God acts accordingly to how we need Him to act. Maybe God wants us to understand that He’s full of mercy and love. Maybe God wants us to understand that He is everlasting and eternal. Maybe God wants me to understand that He doesn’t have limits. But here is the real kicker, the thing that just keeps throwing me for a loop no matter how simple it sounds:
Maybe God will teach me through other men, but He’s going to show me Himself… personally.