Why you should spend time getting to know God
Get to know God as he is, not as people represent him
I spent half my life rejecting God because of human representation.
I was wrong.
Growing up Catholic, going to Catholic schools, faithfully attending mass, being one of the first generations of altar girls (for eons, only boys could do it), and traipsing through the prerequisites for each sacrament left me with little information about God and Jesus.
I remember having a religion class in school and reading Bible passages but never the whole Bible or discussing who God was or what his Word meant. At least that I can remember, anyway. The end result of all that religious education was superficial knowledge without any true meaning. I never got to know God. Who was I to know I needed that?
I looked to the earthly representatives of faith and found them wanting.
My universe in adolescence centered on my fraught relationship with my stepmother, who I had recently learned was not my biological mother. That explained so much, but I grew bitter and resentful, looking for any excuse to lash out. My dad worked incessantly, so he wasn’t around much.
It was my stepmother who pushed the Catholic school, attendance for every holy day of obligation, and presenting ourselves properly. But after church, she gossiped with her sisters about the people in church and treated me like crap. I found that behavior hateful. Thus began my rejection of God because how could people claim to be Catholic and act that way?
In college, I took that rejection to the next level. Not only was I a recovering Catholic, but I would have nothing to do with anything God-related for years.
A trip to Rome during my senior year solidified that rejection. The wealth and opulence of the Vatican screamed at me. How many people died building that? How many people stayed poor because of the greed of popes? If these were the people representing God, I wanted nothing to do with it.
I did life my way. That resulted in detached friendships, dedication to an empty profession, attachment to the lies of feminism, way too much alcohol and promiscuity, two divorces, bankruptcy, and losing everything but my dog and my dad. My way turned out a disaster.
Throughout that dark age, I came across some Christians who were not Catholic. A friend in college, my biological mom and her daughters, and my maternal grandmother. They differed in their thoughts about God, their observance of religion, and their approach to life. Through the example of their lifestyles, openness, and love for me, I opened my heart to God. I had nothing more to lose.
My half-sister gave me my first Bible. As I read, I accepted that I might have had things wrong. Maybe God was not who I thought he was or who people presented him to be.
I rejected God because of human representation, yet a different kind of human representation inspired renewed curiosity.
Fast forward a bit.
My life changed drastically, and thank God; I am not the same person I was.
Thanks to my husband, who puts God first in his life, I have witnessed an example of what it means to love God for who God is, not who human representatives purport him to be. There are many types of human representatives, some beautiful, some abhorrent, but we need to see past the barriers and human interference to look for God.
Someone wise said that discipleship's purpose is to invite others to get to know Jesus, not a religion, a specific church, or an organization. Jesus is not diminished by the humans who talk about him.
The church is the body of believers, the community of those who put Jesus first in their lives, invite others to do the same, and in fellowship, build each other up in faith. The best ambassadors of Jesus are those who try to live their lives in a way where people can see they are followers of Jesus. But humans are not perfect; only Jesus is, so the best disciples direct us to Jesus, not themselves.
In the past decade, I have studied and gotten to know God. Despite circumstances that have wrecked us and tried our souls, I can say that my life has never been better. I love Jesus. I belong to Jesus. Jesus gets us through the good days and the very, very bad. Jesus is constant, and because of that constancy, I cling to him to get through the mess and chaos of this life.
No matter what happens on this earth or what anyone says, I am getting to know the truth of God.
God does not “make bad things happen.” God does not “allow evil in the world.” All those tropes presented in entertainment and culture are a lie meant to humanize and delegitimize God.
People make bad things happen. People brought evil into the world. People make choices, including the choice to reject God. People reject God and “lose their faith” because they either forget or do not know that God is not the cause of evil or bad things.
God is love. God loves us so much he is with us always and sent his son Jesus to die for our sins. Jesus rose again on the third day, defeating death and giving all those who believe in him eternal life with God the Father.
A quote in the devotional “My Utmost for His Highest” inspired this post.
“Never trust anything in yourself or in anyone else, except the grace of God.”
Oswald Chambers says that expecting people to be something they are not, expecting people to be like God, is unfair and only leads to bitterness. That is what I had done for years!
The pursuit of the Truth starts with the primary source, and the primary source is the Bible. Jesus says, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.” (Mathew 7:7, ESV).
While many think this verse is about asking for blessings or gifts, reading the whole chapter reveals that Jesus is talking about God and the Kingdom of Heaven. In other words, if you honestly and earnestly seek to know God, he will reveal himself to you.
As one who asks and seeks, I can tell you that my faith, confidence, and love for God only grow the more I do. I pray that you pursue God fervently, for in him, you will find joy and the peace that passes all understanding.
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