I love it when God removes the “blinders” and reveals truth to me! The interesting thing is that often it’s truth I have known in my head but somehow didn’t really understand and/or believe it, meaning live it.
Remember, what you believe is what you live.
It’s interesting how “old truth” suddenly becomes “new truth” when you finally really “see” it!
That’s how it was for me when I realized anew the truth of the following insights God was revealing to me — truths I had “known” before but not really knew.
For example, I blogged previously how God showed me that faith isn’t something God quantifies; it’s something we simply need to have, and that it’s the Object of our faith — God Himself — that is the Source of our faith. We can’t produce authentic, powerful faith through our own ability to muster up faith. We have faith as a result of knowing our God — Who He is.
Secondly, I have come to treasure prayer and to view it as the amazing privilege it is — the opportunity to partner with God in His work in another person’s life and the incredible privilege it is to communicate with God.
I used to think prayer was me, naming off a bunch of requests to God and hoping He would choose to answer some of them the way I wanted or thought they should be answered.
I grew to understand that prayer involved some worship of God. I remember trying to “tack on” a few worshipful-sounding words in order to meet a higher level of spirituality, or so I hoped. Sounds really shallow, doesn’t it?!! To be honest though, my prayer life was often exactly that — shallow.
My prayer life was shallow though because my understanding and therefore relationship with God was more shallow.
It’s hard to pray to One that you don’t know that intimately, don’t really grasp that His love is unconditional and not affected by performance, and don’t really trust.
The power of prayer is the One to Whom we are praying.
The problem is we so often don’t really understand God, or our thoughts about Him are based upon misconceptions, twisted truths, and harmful misrepresentations.
I recently read the following quote in the book, Wonder Struck:
The wonder of prayer is rediscovered in Who we are speaking to.
— Margeret Feinberg
Reminds me what God showed me about faith. Once again, it’s the recipient of our prayers and His interaction with me because of Who He is that makes prayer so vital and so incredible! It’s not the words, in themselves, that make prayer so powerful.
Prayer is so incredible because it is the opportunity to speak to God or as the following quote says:
“Prayer is the opportunity to bend the ear of God.” — Margaret Feinberg
It’s a big deal because of Who God is! He isn’t some conniving, selfish, evil, uncaring God. He is a God who longs to hear our voices, especially when they are lifted in awareness of Him.
Have you ever sat with someone and experienced their inattention or complacency? It’s not exactly pleasant or satisfying.
A lot of prayer life consists of mumbled phrases thrown out to appease a false view of a vindictive God.
A prayer life is transformed though when we begin to see the amazing and incredible gift it is — an opportunity to commune with an ever-present, ever-loving, ever-powerful God!!! It is an opportunity to be heard by God but also to hear from God.
This brings me to a third truth. I read the following quote recently and loved it:
“Hope is confident expectation.” (Not sure in which devotional I read it.)
Do you see that?!!! Hope is confident expectation in Who? The power of hope is in Who the expectation is! Hope isn’t lasting or “powerful” because it’s something we just randomly possess or stir up in ourselves. Hope is a powerful emotion that comes from a powerful Source.
It’s the Source of the hope — what we are expecting or looking to — that determines the resilience and strength of our hope.
As I was pondering the above truths, I was thinking how all kinds of other emotions I can think of owe their power and passion to their source. If it’s a good source, it can be a good emotion. If it’s a negative source — a reaction, fear, or bitterness — it can be an emotion that wreaks great destruction.
I couldn’t help but ponder that the authentic reality of truth, love, peace, joy, grace, wisdom, life, hope, faith, and prayer all owe their power to the object or source of their existence: God Himself.
It really is that simple!
This is why I have experienced the pure, authentic fullness of these characteristics only in the Presence of God Himself.
You can pursue peace, purpose, and joy outside of God, but I can personally tell you, it won’t last, and it is only a shallow representation of the authentic reality of knowing the Divine Source!
The secret therefore to the full life is knowing the God of life. The secret to the above three characteristics is knowing God — truly knowing God. In order to do that, it may mean laying aside all the false ideas and harmful representations of God so you can finally meet the reality of God Himself.
As I was contemplating these truths further while washing my dishes, it “struck me.” We often think that people who don’t believe in God don’t believe in God because they are lacking faith or because they are rebellious. What shattered that pre-conceived idea for me is that just as I need to understand God is my Source of the abundant life so it is with the “unbeliever.” Perhaps, the person who doesn’t believe in God isn’t about his/her lack of faith at all but more about his/her lack of understanding or false understanding of God.
In other words, how can you believe in One that you think is angry, harsh, uncaring, vindictive, and selfish? It’s easier to pretend He doesn’t exist than that He does but could be those things.
It is a wrong view of God that is the biggest hindrance to a person’s ability to trust in God. How can you trust in One you don’t believe loves you unconditionally, perfectly, and eternally?
Rather than telling people they need to have faith, maybe we need to be telling them and showing them more what our God is truly like — not a man-made version of a god but God Himself. That may mean, we first need to get to know Him more intimately ourselves.