Category Archives: God

Forgiveness

Is God Mad At Me?

Several years ago a church changed their street message board to say “God is not made at you”. Soon after, they were inundated with angry phone calls for some time. Apparently, many people believe that God is mad at them and feel the need to vent, to ask why, to affirm their stance that God is indeed vengeful. Do you wonder, Is God mad at me?

Rest at ease, He is not. How do I know that? I can read it in every book of the Bible. For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal live. (John 3:16) A vengeful God does not sacrifice His most precious Son. A loving God does. Why? Because He wants to ensure a way for us to be with Him. Jesus took on the sins of the world, including ours, and covered them with His own blood. All we need to do is accept that gift of sacrifice with humble thanks. His love for us is outrageous and never ending.

But what about the Old Testament God who looks pretty vengeful? God told His people what they needed to do to stay safe within His protection and grace, but over and over again they deserted Him to worship idols. His anger was against their actions, not the people themselves. He repeatedly told them to trust in Him and He would cover them with His mercy. Most of the time, they did not.

Do you believe that God is mad at you because bad things happen to you? Bad things happen to everyone, even when we know how much God loves us. He never said we wouldn’t have problems. He said if we trust Him, He’ll be with us and work things out. It’s the trust part that trips up most people. We don’t know how to take our hands off to let God be in control. Most of the time, we doubt that He will do anything for us. It’s a real test of our faith. If we really believe, if we really trust that God is who He said He is, we can relax and watch Him do what we could not.

Bad things may happen because we’re not even trying to trust Him so we just make stupid decisions. We suffer the consequences of what we got ourselves into. Even then, all we have to do is tell God how sorry we are for what we’ve done and ask His forgiveness. He will always forgive. It’s His nature.

No, God is not mad at you. He loves you very, very much. He’s a great, good God who wants to give you every blessing in heaven. All you have to do is receive it.

How Is It Possible To Be Friends With God?

 

I am friends with GodIf you have ever had the privilege of standing on a hillside away from city lights at night and looked at the expanse of stars in the sky, you know the wonder of our God. The massiveness of His creation and the beauty of it all should open your heart to want to know Him more. What is astonishing is that He wants to know us even more. But how can that be? How can the God of creation not know me?

That is the wonder of our relationship with Him. From the very beginning, before the first star was released to the vast expanse of space, God wanted to know me. He knew my name, He knew my heart’s desires, and He knew my weaknesses before a single atom was made. He knew who I would be, but He wanted to know my heart as I revealed it to Him. He wanted to be my Friend.

This is a concept almost too deep to bear. How can I be friends with God? How can I approach Him without fear and trembling? Well, He is God and He knew our fear so He revealed His great love for us through His prophets and through His Son. When we understand and establish in our hearts that God loves us more than we can comprehend, we can respond back with our human love. It is smaller and more fickle than His love for us, but it is where we start.

In that love that we feel from Him and for Him, we become friends. There is a comfort and boldness to go to Him without trembling. We can know Him as Papa and run to Him in joy. When we sit in the quiet place to listen to Him, He also listens to us. He wants us to pour our hearts out to Him. He wants us to tell Him about all the loss and pain that happens in life. If we don’t tell Him, then we hold it in and it hurts us. When we talk to Papa, we release it to Him and there is room for healing and joy.

And after we let go of our hurts, Papa crooks His finger at us to follow Him. There is more that He wants us to have. There are treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places to find. He lays out a treasure hunt in the heavenlies and invites us in to scamper and find His delights. Yes, it sounds fanciful, and yes it is real. After every delight, He crooks His finger again and draws us deeper. There is no limit to the wonder of knowing Him. The only limits are those we allow. We stop when others stop. We stop when we think others will judge us or not understand. God is waiting for those who will press in to know Him more.

He wants to know us. He wants us to know Him, and there are no boundaries in that knowing, only further possibilities. The more we reveal our heart to God and not hold back because we are embarrassed of our selfishness or greed, the more He can replace those harmful attitudes with His goodness, and His goodness reveals more of Him to discover. Our friendship with God is the reason for all creation. He is my Friend and I am His.

What’s God’s Favorite Color? And Other Personal Questions

 Does God have a favorite color?

What’s God’s favorite color? What’s His favorite music? I wonder if He eats — what’s His favorite food? He is a person. That means He has a personality. He’s no respecter of persons, but that doesn’t mean that He doesn’t really love some things more than others. We do, and we’re made in His image.

Think of your best friend, or someone you respect most in life. What are they like? What is it about them as a person that you find attractive? Now think of God like that. Think of Him as a person you want to get to know. We were made to live in communion with Him, so that means that we’re meant to do more than stand at a distance and sing pretty songs. He wants friendship. We love to talk to our friends about everything. Time flies when we get together. That’s what God wants as well.

When we invite Jesus into our hearts, we have His Spirit living in us. If we stop and listen, we’ll hear Him speaking. We’ll learn some things if we do. We’ll learn that He has a sense of humor. We’ll learn that He loves beauty and has a wildly creative nature. We love it when He encourages us, but do we ever turn and and ask what matters to Him?

I want to get to know my Father just as He knows me. I want to have conversations with Him in the evenings and talk about the day, like He did with Adam and Eve. I want to hear His heart and learn what tickles Him. I won’t want to look at Him as if He is not approachable. He’s very approachable, and He’s waiting with arms wide open. He’s my Father and Friend. I wonder what His favorite flower is. I think I’ll ask.

Why Easter Is So Awesome

Easter is all about God's Great PlanEaster is a reminder for us to celebrate God’s Great Plan. It’s not just a day to have fun with the kids. It’s not even a day to marvel that Jesus rose from the dead. It’s a day to remember why He did it. I call it God’s Great Plan, not just because it’s a good idea, but because of its massive design.

God made the universe and put us in it so we would become His family. Before a single word of creation was spoken, He knew every name and everything everything we would go through. He created a way to relate to us from heaven, and though He knew we would fail, He did what only God could do. He sent His Son, part of Himself, to make a way for His Great Plan to be ours. When Jesus raised from the dead, He took the keys of death from Satan and now hold our future in His hands.

We are each made with a God-shaped hole in our heart that only He can fill. We all feel the need to be with Him, to have that place in our heart filled, but we don’t recognize it. So we try to fill it with other relationships, drugs or alcohol, or activities that drive us relentlessly. We even try to fill it by going to church and doing good deeds. But God’s Great Plan has always been to fill that place in our heart with Himself. That’s the part of the plan that’s simply outrageous and mind-blowing. That God, who spoke the worlds into existence, wants to live inside us is far beyond our ability to comprehend. Yet, that ‘s what Easter is all about. He sacrificed Himself out of a divine love that we have no ability to fully understand. His plan has always been for us to live in intimate communion. And when He moves into that God-shaped hole in your heart, He brings it all — the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead.

He is quiet. He is patient. He will call you softly to Himself and wait for you to 1. respond and invite Him in, and 2. discover who He is. That can take years. That’s ok. It’s the journey that matters. But when you realize the vastness of His plan for you and invite Him in to fill that place that’s never been filled before, you’ll see why it’s such a perfect fit. You were meant to live in Him and with Him. Easter reminds us of the biggest, most important decision of our lives.

My Experience Of The Presence Of God

Experiencing the presence of God.It is a danger to prescribe any experience of the presence of God as a formula. Don’t do it. Instead, add it to your list of what is. God is multidimensional and our experiences with Him will flux and flow  with Him. This is one adventure that I had.

I have been asking God to know more of Him. I am in such need of His presence in my life. I am too quick to judge. Too quick to protest. I need His kindness, His goodness, His grace in my life. So I ask Him daily for more of Him. Yesterday I told Him that I wanted to soak in His presence so that His very essence would bleed into my spirit, my soul, my body, my flesh, my bones, my DNA. I wanted to feel Him saturate me.

I went to my friend’s house for a time of worship. We few friends get together on a regular basis and just worship. We sang worship songs, one after another for about an hour, then something began to happen. Actually two things began to happen at the same time. I suddenly noticed that I was smelling incense. It was very strong, particularly in a spot to my immediate left. I looked around to see if there was a candle or incense burning near me, but there was nothing. It was the third time I smelled the perfume of heaven during worship.

The second thing that happened was that I began to feel very heavy. I was sitting on a couch and laid my head back against the wall, but I still felt too heavy to sit up. So I kicked off my shoes and curled up with my head on a pillow. I closed my eyes and felt the peace of God flow into me. That’s all. No voice from heaven. No transcendental vision. Just peace. And when I laid down, the smell of incense went away.

When my friends noticed me curled up on the couch, they were concerned that something was wrong, but I smiled to let them know I was fine, so they let me be. I was grateful that God sent the perfume of heaven to me to let me know that He was directing what was happening. I would have been concerned that my sudden weakness was physical otherwise.

After a while, the others left off their prayers and I felt ready to join them in communion. I sat up feeling well and truly soaked, like the weight of a sponge that was saturated with water. The weight of peace on me was something my body felt. I asked if anyone else smelled the incense. They did not.

Today, I still feel the residual weight of that peace. I want to carry it with me always. Yes, my God is with me. I feel His peace. No, I’m not afraid. I feel His peace. I know my heart’s desires will be filled. I feel His peace. And now I am greedy. I want more. I have tasted and seen that the Lord is good, and I want more.

Look Around — God Is Here

God is seen clearly in the beauty of His creation.Sometimes we have to stop to consider beauty. If you’ve ever stood on the edge of the Grand Canyon, on the beach of an ocean at sunset, or a snowy hilltop in the morning, you have the opportunity to see the eternal. Not in the sense that these things will last forever, they won’t. At some point, there will be a new heaven and a new earth. But the serenity, peace, and beauty of a thing comes straight from the One who created it. Look at the pictures of snowflakes and see the delicate creativity of each one. It’s more than impressive, it’s awe inspiring.

I like to spend time by myself in a place that makes me look into the ethereal beauty of something that’s  bigger than me, even if it’s the face of a tiny flower. I see the heart and nature of God. I see Him. And one day I will stand before His throne and look into His eyes and recognize that I’ve seen them before.

The Best Thing To Do When You Just Don’t Know

There are times when the only answer is to just set everything aside and go to God. And by that I don’t mean that we don’t go to God when we have specific prayers, or in our time of worship. But we all go through seasons where we feel adrift. We’re not even sure how to pray, or tell others how to pray for us.

God understands that. He’s not judging you for not knowing what to do with yourself. He’s there for you, and the best thing you can do is to get as close to Him as you can.

When You said, SSeek His faceeek My face, my heart said to You, Your face, Lord, I will seek. (Ps 27:8)

Don’t look for answers. Don’t try to figure everything out. Just seek His face. The closer you get to the throne, the less confusing everything else becomes. There is peace there. There is comfort, and that’s what you need. You need to know it’s going to be ok. You need to know that He’s got it under control and will never leave you.

Seek His face and it will work out. That’s the promise of God.

if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2 Chron 7:14)

Experience God Face To Face — Go For It

It’s obvious that some people have a special relationship with God. They hear Him clearly and move in signs and wonders. Who are these people? What have they got that the rest of us don’t have? They have a desire to know God deeply. And when I see that I think, if they can do it so can I.

Face to face with GodI love all the stories of people who became friends with God. So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. (Ex 33:11) This is what I want. And what’s awesome is that we live in a different covenant than Moses did. We can have the Holy Spirit in us for the asking. Experiencing God doesn’t have to be so eventful that it is recorded in history.

Do you want that amazing relationship with God where you talk with Him face to face? Where you feel His presence descend on you with the full weight of His glory? Ask for it. Spend time before Him in worship and praise. Don’t ask Him to answer prayer, just worship Him. Allow your spirit to soar with Him. Be willing to let Him change you. An encounter with the God of the universe is going to change you. If you’re not willing to agree with that, then you’ll be broken in more ways than you know.

Experience God the way He wants to be known — not distant and terrifying, but massively loving and holy. Go after Him. As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. (Ps 42:1)

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock,and it will be opened to you. (Mat 7:7)

Why Did God Make Himself Invisible To Us?

Serving an invisible GodDon’t you think that God could have made it easier for us to know Him and serve Him if we could see Him? Doesn’t serving an invisible God seem — unrealistic? He could have set this up any way He wanted. Why this way?

I actually asked God that question. Here’s what I came away with. If we could see God, that would mean that He’d have to be in a certain place for us to go to, like a temple. If we were to go to Him in His temple, we’d naturally approach Him with a sense of awe. There’d always been a feeling of unworthiness in us because of the distance that a physical presence would impose. He would always be LORD GOD ALMIGHTY, the somewhat frightening figure we’d face, no matter how nice He wanted to look. Then we would leave there and go on about our lives.

But God understands relationship better than we do. When He puts His Spirit in us, we become one. He’s with us always. He knows our hopes and fears. We can feel His presence in a way that approaching Him in a temple would never offer. And when we go on about our lives, and He comes too. He never wanted distance. He always wanted relationship. And He didn’t want it forced. When we choose to serve Him, as in invisible God, He knows we mean it.

Serving an invisible God takes faith, but once He responds to that faith, He becomes more real than we thought. Faith in what we can’t see becomes the greater reality. Yes, it could have been different, but God’s ways are higher than ours. Thankfully.

When Deep Call To Deep, God Will Be More Than You Know

Get hungry for more of Him.When you love God with all your heart, your soul and your mind, something happens in your spirit. You get hungry for more. Suddenly those nice Bible stories aren’t enough. You want to dive into His Spirit until your are completely submerged in His presence.

And then something amazing happens. As you step toward Him, He steps toward you. Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls; All Your waves and billows have gone over me. (Ps 42:7) He answers the deep hunger of your soul with the same intensity that you cry out to Him.

Do you wonder why you’re not getting dramatic breakthrough? Maybe it’s because you’re not hungry enough. Maybe you need that deep cry of your soul to well up to heaven. God will answer sincerity, but He pours out on intense desire for more of Him.

But it doesn’t stop there. As He answers your desire for more, you actually get hungry for even more! There is no end. The more you ask for, the more He will give. Soon, you are sharing the secret places of the Spirit with Him and walking in companionship with the Most High God.

Get hungry. Cry out for more. Dive in. You’re missing so much.