What is your picture of God?
Are you struggling with knowing if He is for real and whether you can trust Him to do in your life what He says He’ll do? Do you keep Him at a distance because you don’t know what will happen if you let Him in? Are you trying to put on appearances that everything is OK, but inside you’re a mess? If so, you’re not alone! What you’re thinking and feeling is normal. Yes! NORMAL!
Today, my objective is to help us see a picture of God for who He really is and to see what happens when He gets a hold of our lives. We are going to talk about experiencing that SWEET SPOT of living with a relevant and present God!
Alright. Here we go.
All through the Bible we hear the same story of God declaring one thing: Here Am I. I love you. I have what you want. I have what you need. Come to me. I’m here for you. This is the Bible’s picture of God: God freely offering the gift of life, of peace, of joy, of purpose, of protection, of forgiveness, of assurance. The clincher is we have to want it. It’s there for the taking for everyone. That’s who God is.
Jesus said of Himself:
- “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst” (John 6:35).
- “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep” (John 10:7).
- “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies” (John 11:25).
- “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).
- “I am Jesus” (Acts 9:5).
So the question we must ask ourselves is this: If God is always there, if God is so good, if He wants to be present in my life, where am I? Am I with Him, or not?
Whether we believe it, God has lead us to today. He’s been right there all along. He was there:
- When we were conceived.
- When we took our first steps.
- When we graduated from first grade, eighth grade, 12th grade, college
- When we went on our first date.
- The day you were in an accident and could have died, but you didn’t.
- The day you were in the pool or river and could have drowned, but didn’t.
- The day you lost someone you love.
- The day you found out your diagnosis.
He was there, but where were you? Where are you with God during those ups and downs?
When we realize God’s nearness and availability, our picture of God changes, and our lives change, too. When we confront our problems in the name of the Lord, and remember that the battles we face belong to the Lord, we will triumph! In times of great difficulty it is as the psalmist observes, “but as for me, God’s presence is all I need (Ps. 73:28). Indeed, God himself declares that in such cases, “Because he is devoted to me, I will deliver him; I will protect him because he is loyal to me. When he calls out to me, I will answer him. I will be with him in trouble, I will rescue him and bring him honor. I will satisfy him with long life, and will let him see my salvation” (Ps. 91:14-16).
You may ask, if all the earth knows that there is a God, then why do I doubt? Good question! Sometimes, following God feels like hard work, doesn’t it. It can even seem scary. It seems hard because we actually have to have faith when we don’t always know how it’s going to turn out.
So why do you struggle with finding a place for God in your life? I don’t think you’re gonna be ready for this answer: it’s normal! Heroes in the Bible like David, Abraham, Moses, Daniel, and Elijah make it look so easy. Or does it seem easy because we know how their stories turned out since their stories are written in the Bible? Do you think Abraham knew the ending to his story. I don’t think so. Are you ready for Hebrews 11:8 – By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. We, now, can read a few chapters ahead and know how his story ends. But he couldn’t.
Likewise, we, also, don’t get the luxury of skipping forward a few chapters in our own lives to see how things will turn out, so we worry, we wonder off, we question, we wonder further. But we do get the luxury to read the scriptures to see how God consistently works in the lives of His people. If God was at work in David and Abraham’s life, does it really need to be so hard for us to believe that Jesus is writing us a great ending while we are still living in the middle of our story. Trusting Jesus in the in-between is what faith is all about.
David knew that walking into the valley with that giant would only have a good ending. Why? Because he already knew God, and was full of faith that God would be faith-ful to him. Simple trust in Jesus is what God asks for. Because of that faith, that relationship, in the in-between chapters, you can remain confident knowing that Jesus is leading your life.
The Author of your story is faithful. He is right there. He’s asking you and me to be faith-ful of Him. Full of faith that He is really there. Living a life fully in faith is living Faith-fully for Jesus.
He is saying to you right now HERE AM I. I can be trusted. He is saying, friend, see me for who I really am. I AM the KING OF THE WORLD! I love you! And I have called you to be mine.
The king of the universe is inviting you into a relationship with Him. There, you can find that sweet spot of living with a relevant and present God. With Him, your heart will beat again. With Him, everything is going to be OK. With Him, you can have hope that there is something more.
He’s right here. Take His hand! And live loved!