Yesterday, I started writing about what happens when you get saved. Here are some things I didn’t understand when I got saved… things that have made a HUGE difference for me. I believe these truths are foundational to developing a close relationship to God … a heart-relationship … not just a head full of theological facts. If you missed yesterday’s post, click here.
You are not a mistake.
When my children were little, my younger sister lived with us when she had her baby. Little Jeremy was beautiful, and my kids got along well with my sister and loved having her and her little one with us.
One day, one of my children said, “It is a shame that Jeremy wasn’t wanted.” Whoa! Where did they get that? I said, “Wait a minute! Do you plan your Christmas presents?” (They were too young to make lists at this point.) They each shook their head. Then I asked, “Do you want your Christmas presents?” Of course, they all nodded, assuring me that they certainly did! I explained that not planning something didn’t mean it wasn’t wanted. Little Jeremy wasn’t planned… indeed none of my children were planned … but all were surprises like on Christmas morning. All were wanted … and loved!
The same is true of each of us. All of us were planned … and wanted. Even if our parents didn’t plan us … even if they didn’t want us … God did!
In Ephesians 1:4 we are told, “Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ…”
Psalm 139:13-18 tells us that God fashioned each of us individually … down to the tiniest part.
13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.
17 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!
18 I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!
When I was younger … not young, but younger than I am now, and beginning to let God heal my past … I really thought God had given me a raw deal… and I was not happy about it! My parents were so busy with all the other little ones, I really felt left out… not cared for. Father God showed me that He gave my parents all the love I needed, but it just didn’t all get through to me. God’s love is meant to flow through parents to their children… and through us to the world … but sometimes the “pipes” are corroded and clogged up … and the love doesn’t get through. God knows that. He tells us in Psalm 27:10 that even if our mothers and fathers forsake us … abandon us … wash their hands of us … the LORD will hold us close. He is with us always … even when we don’t realize it. And, by the way, He can help us unclog our pipes so His Love can flow through us to a hurting world!
God loves conversations.
When God placed Adam and Even in the Garden, every evening He would come down and … walk and talk with them. And they would talk to Him! Amazing! But why? Well, it wasn’t just to gather facts. God already knew everything about them, but He wanted to fellowship with them. I wonder what they talked about. Maybe Adam told God about all the animals he’d named that day. Maybe he and Eve had tasted a different fruit, and thanked God for something so delicious. Maybe Adam and Eve asked questions … they didn’t know everything! It was a two-way conversation!
Jesus often withdrew by himself because he loved having conversations with his Dad, too. The disciples watched this and they must have seen how it affected Jesus … so they asked Him to teach them to pray. That is where The Lord’s Prayer came from. I’ll have some posts on that soon. But … God wants to talk to us … about everything … big things … little things! He is never so busy running the universe that we are bothering Him.
It is easier to talk to someone we know.
God knows us inside and out. He knows our dreams, our hurts, our disappointments, our strengths, and our weaknesses. He knows our favorite color… our favorite ball team … what we like to do… and what we hate doing. But do we know Him? Do we know what pleases Him? Do we know His voice? Do we know His character … His purposes … His plans? Do we know what breaks His Heart?
How can we get to know Him? Through His Word, the Bible. Jesus came to show us what Father God is like. Get to know Jesus by reading about Him in the Gospels … Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Read about how He changed the lives of those He met … how He treated people … how He treated sinners … and hypocrites … and children. Imagine yourself in those same situations. How did those people feel? How would you feel? How would you have reacted? You’ll find that you can read the same story many times … seeing it differently each time. Sometimes, after I’ve read the passage for maybe the 100th time, it seems like there is a word or a phrase that I’ve never seen before… like it just got added! Where did that come from?!?!?
When I don’t understand something, I ask Him about it (and that happens quite often) … I tell Him it makes no sense to me … then I like to “put it on a shelf.” Often, somewhere down the road, I’ll find another verse that explains the first one… or keeps it company “on the shelf.” Sometimes I’ll read something … or hear something … and it is like puzzle pieces starting to fit together. Actually, it is kind of cool when that happens.
We have a big God! We will not understand … or maybe even like … everything about Him … but He is a Good God … a Loving God. If we could understand everything about Him, He’d be a pretty small god! When something doesn’t sit quite right, just remember He is Good … and Loving … and always keeps His promises. Put that something “up on the shelf.” The Holy Spirit will help you. And we have eternity to learn to know Him better … and better!
It is amazing to me that You even know me,
Let alone love me.
I want to know You better.
Guide me when I read Your Word.
Help me to understand. Help me to hear You “speaking” to me.
And Lord, help me to talk to You throughout my day…
And to remember that You are with me …
Always and everywhere.