Believing God is who He says He is

When I was taught the roles of an addictive family system, I easily spotted my place in the lineup.  Can you say over-achiever?  Master problem solver of other people’s issues?  Guilty on all counts.


Feeling responsible for a lot of people and things that were never mine to feel or think or do anything about was a real joy killer.  I brought all this over-achieving and people pleasing quite naturally and unconsciously into my life with God.  I had all sorts of unconscious inclinations about how much God would expect of me and how little he would offer in return.  Basically, I had the whole God/me thing backwards.  But I also had his word, which I love to read and study and try to apply.  Here’s a verse that gets me every time right in the heart:


Heaven’s my throne, earth is my footstool.
What sort of house could you build me?
What holiday spot reserve for me?
I made all this!
I own all this!

But there IS something I’m looking for:
A person simple and plain, reverently response to what I say.

Isaiah 66:1-2, The Message


So here’s the deal.  God is not asking me to over-achieve so that he can under-deliver.  He just wants to have a conversation with me from a particular way of thinking about the relationship - he wants it to be non-defensive.  He desires relationship with me to be responsive on my part.  Trusting.  No fancy offerings or sacrifices, nothing showy.  Just me showing up for relationship with him.  That’s amazing.  


God is not hungry, angry, lonely, tired, neurotic, needy, or insecure.  He is God.  He is Big.  He is crazy about me and wants to chat.  My job is to show up.  To believe God is who he says he is and to think about that in my daily walking-about life.  This is a foundational truth upon which we can build a resilient life.

Tell them, Isaiah

Isaiah told his people what God said.  Even as exile loomed God did not forget his promises to Abraham.  Isaiah told them – God’s rescue is coming.  And although God will take his sweet time in arriving, God is not to be denied.

 

And this is one man’s telling of that message:  Behold the Lamb of God

 

Forgetful as we all are, God does not. 

Behold.

The Lamb of God.

He comes….

Was There Ever a King Like This?

After the Israelites gained possession of their new homeland, they looked around and wanted what other tribes had – a king.  They begged and complained and whined and eventually God gave them what they wanted.  Again.

 

First Saul, who turned out to be a mess and then David, a king after God’s own heart but a complicated guy with his own issues.  In the darkness that inevitably followed God’s people demanded and received what they wanted rather than trusting God with what they need.  Eventually God came with a promise (and some needed consequences as well).  Here’s the promise:

 

“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it germinate and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater so shall be every word that proceeds from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”. Isaiah 55:10-11

 

Eleven days from now we will celebrate the birth of Christ.  The day will bring its own mix of sacred and profane, joy and heartache if previous holidays are predictive.  But no matter what happens on December 25th, what we can know is this:  the God of our understanding will accomplish that which he has purposed. 

 

When we forget and begin to believe that our own beliefs, longings, wants and needs, demands, and plans are necessary for God to accomplish his own will – we have fallen into the same trap of self-deception that ensnared the Israelites.  Those guys intended to love God and bless others, sometimes.  But mostly they kept stumbling over themselves and their own ideas.  Even David.  Tomorrow we will remind ourselves of why earthly kings are not where we place our hope.