Beliefnet
Doing Life Together

Many years ago, singer Bette Midler recorded a hit song with the lyric that God is watching us from a distance. God exists, but He is impersonal-Up in the sky, not really involved in our lives. There are many who believe God exists, but don’t know Him. One reason for this has to do with our beliefs about who God is.

Our families are a basic source of learning about God, but can be major sources of distortion when it comes to understanding who God is. Families are supposed to love unconditionally. They are supposed to protect us and never let us down. In reality they fail us at times. Then we look to other people to love us unconditionally. We hope our friends, the church, fellow Christians will show us love, but we are often disappointed in those relationships as well. When this happens we transfer our views of failed love onto God. God gets all the negative attributes and then doesn’t look so appealing either. Consequently, we look to other sources, places to be affirmed, to know who we are.

Some of you have dads you don’t really know. You know he is your dad, but you don’t really know him. He may be absent, uninterested, distant, emotionally cut off, self-absorbed, critical, shaming, perfectionisitic, violent or even abusive. Because we tend to transfer our feelings about earthly parents onto God the Father, we may not want to know God. We may prefer to keep him distant. Intimacy, as we know it, is too painful.

Yet, the avoidance of intimacy prevents us from the healing love of God. In order to correct our ideas about God, we have to spend time with Him (through prayer) and get to know Him (through the written Word). He’s waiting for you to take the necessary steps–To open up, to be vulnerable, to seek Him, to trust. The difference is, He will not disappoint. What other relationship provides such a guarantee?

John 14:9 says, Have I been so long with you and yet hast thou not known me? Unlike families and others, God will never reject or abandon. Nothing can separate us from His love. We can depend on His love. And even though we don’t deserve such love, He gave it anyway. Once you understand this and believe it, it will change your life. Your self-esteem, your security rests on being loved. No matter what you have done, you are loved.

It’s not enough to believe God exists. God is personal, relational and desires intimacy with you. Out of that intimacy comes identity, security, unconditional love, grace, and peace. Don’t allow your earthly relationships to prevent you from knowing God. Take a leap of faith and explore this God who exists, but also desires to be known.

 

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