Devotional 7/12: Getting Over God?
Several weeks ago, I was at a doctor’s office. While I was waiting for the doctor to show up, I looked at his bookshelf. Among the books was a book entitled Getting Over God (I cannot remember the author). Upon initially seeing the book. I naturally got defensive, as faith is a big part of my life. However, I have been around people who were seeking to get over God before and God knows that I have sought to distance myself from some aspects of the life of faith before. I also do not want to be judgmental person. That guy’s problems are his own.
Usually, when someone wants to share their anti-God, anti-Jesus, etc… opinion with me, I try not to be defensive-but I am not always successful. I let it wash over me and see if it has some merit or education or something else behind it. I also try to see if it is just the, “I am disappointed with God and hate Him therefore He does not exist” argument. I also ask myself if these are questions that I have really asked myself. Sometimes they are questions I have asked myself already. Sometimes they are not.
I challenged myself that way with this book that I saw. I did not have time to really look at it but the topic intrigued me. In thinking about this book, I do think there are things that even believers need to, GET OVER about God. As we grow up, we all have perceptions of the Lord that we need to add and subtract to our total picture of Him. For example, I have heard it said a lot (and Freud believed this) that a lot of our picture of God is formed when we are young from whether or not we believe that the world is a safe place that you can be happy in. Related to this how we felt about ourselves based on what our parents told us. Another part of this is how we felt treated by religious people: priests, rabbis, and others who claimed to be interested in knowing God. Some of those experiences were good, some of them we might remember as very bad. I would like to remind everyone that everyone is full of sin. Personally, I believe that there was only one who was not. No, you cannot really tell what the Lord is like from looking at other people all the time. You need to get over that.
There are other factors in the view that we receive of the Lord as well. Obviously, the circumstances we find ourselves in in life influences our view of how God is. That is true of us humans no matter our age, it seems ingrained in us and we cannot let go of the notion that bad things only happen to bad people. The Bible is full of stories of people who paid the ultimate price for doing the Lord’s work. If they were so “good”, you would think they would be rewarded for it and not get thrown in prison or beat up or killed. No, I don’t think that I can really trust my circumstances for telling me what God is like, all the time. You need to get over that too.
So who is this being and how do we know it? I think the answer is through others sometimes and through our circumstances sometimes, the Lord does speak to us through those things sometimes but most importantly it is in who He says He is, i.e. the Bible. Judge the things that people say and do and your circumstances. The truest phrase that the Lord utters in the Bible (to me, most of the time) is that He is not like us (Isaiah 55:8)!!
When you are in dire circumstances, when a person who claims to know the Lord lets you down, it is comforting to know that that circumstance or that jerk does not speak for the Lord. Get over that! The Bible is full of His Word, it is full of Him. Let Him be Him and get over it!
1 John 4:12 No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.