This week we’re looking at specific obstacles to intimacy with God. If this one’s out of whack, nothing else said here will matter. In fact, if this is your issue, call the heavenly “Roto-Rooter” asap, for this is a clog that will require the Spirit’s help!
“Wow, what could be such a big deal?” you’re asking.
Well, this is the granddaddy of them all:
A distorted image of God
A. W. Tozer stated that the most important thing about you is what you believe about God. To this I shout a hearty “Amen!”
If we believe Him to be a harsh taskmaster, we will do our best to “stay off His radar.”
If we believe Him to be cruel and whimsical, we will hide.
Intimacy is impossible if we believe God to be the ultimate abuser.
For some of us, God seems to be like our earthly father…and that is not a good thing.
(For others, God is like your earthly father – which makes you run to Him. I envy you!)
We all have a tendency to transfer our experience with our biological (adopted or step-) father onto our heavenly Father. For many, this leaves us with “father issues…” and this will be a major hindrance to our intimacy with God. In fact, some (like me) shudder at the idea of being within His arm’s reach.
Beth Moore once said,
“I knew that Jesus loved me
…but I wasn’t so sure about His Dad.”
That sums up my sentiments for most of my “Christian” life!
If this is the case, then it’s time to commit ourselves to the journey of allowing God to renew our vision of who He is. Transformation begins by having our thinking about God corrected.
How can we tell if this is a problem for us? If there are issues between us and our earthly father, pastor, or other authority figure (who’s in a “father-like” role), there’s a good chance that one occurs between God and us as well.
Here are a few truths about God:
In Luke 15, Jesus reveals the Father in the story of the prodigal. Note that when the son was still a long way off, his father – who’d been watching for his son – ran to meet him!
In Romans 8:1 we read that there is no condemnation to those who are “in Christ Jesus.”
In Romans 8:38 we read that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing (this would include you!) shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Even Jonah knew God’s character. Listen to his complaint after Nineveh repented and God spared the city:
“Lord, was this not what I said while I was still in my own country? Therefore, in order to forestall this I fled to Tarshish,
for I knew You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God that relents from sending calamity.” (Jonah 4:2)
Poor old Jonah hated the people of Nineveh. He wanted to see them wiped off the planet. The last thing he desired was to warn them, lest they repent and God spare their city…which is what happened.
Did you note the last bit of that verse? Jonah knew God’s character.
So can we!
If a faulty view of God is clogging up the works, admit it to God:
“I have father issues. I’m owning it and want to resolve it.”
He already knows. 😉
Ask God to reveal His true character to you…
…then stand by.
This request is “according to His will.”
The answer is “YES!”
I highly recommend these books (especially the first two):
The Prodigal God by Tim Keller
The Furious Longing of God by Brennan Manning
The Return of the Prodigal Son Henri Nouwen
Into the Depths of God by Calvin Miller
God has a lot to say to us. Words that will bring healing and wholeness in ways we never dared dream. You can read about one of many such experiences I had with my Father in Who Defined You
You’ve dropped in on the series Intimacy with God. It begins here: C’mon In…
This week’s series is about obstacles to intimacy. It begins here: A Clogged Conduit