I’ve come to realize over the years that Christians love the idea of God, and even many non-Christians believe in the idea of a god. If they don’t believe in a particular “God,” then they may accept the possibility of a creative and intelligent designer that is far removed from human life. But here’s what I’ve learned is the thing that scares us about God.
We accept God as a far off abstract idea. Just as Moses would venture on to the mountain to meet God at it’s peak, we relegate God to a Church building. We often times even come to a church building and look to the heavens, and imagine God sitting far off from us.
Rather than remembering as our first century brothers and sisters understood, we have removed God from humanity and pushed Him to a far off idea. We have positioned God in a removed place that only pastors and professionals can attain his attention.
We teach of Jesus as our Messiah, but lose his humanity. We teach that He lived, died, rose again, and ascended to the Father. It’s almost as if we believe that in His ascending, He just left us here to our own devices.
Do we teach that by saying those words exactly? Of course we don’t, but next time you gather turn your thinking to that thought.
Trust me I was there for many years. I understood God as far off. I often equated God to a “Zeus-like” figure that was sitting with a lightning bolt ready to strike me down any time I messed up.
Frank Viola often equates modern day preaching to resemble “God is good. You are not. Try harder.”
The Scariest Part
With all of that said, the thing that scares us the most for some odd reason is that God is not far removed to the heavens. Rather, he is here among us. He is still living and breathing. He dwells within every believer.
We teach in Sunday school that Jesus lives in our hearts, but for some reason we move on from that like its just some children’s song. We would rather debate over doctrines and theology and carpet color.
When we remove the idea from our teaching that God is far removed, and begin teaching and remembering that Christ dwells in and among every believer it’s almost as if the people plug their ears. “Lalalalaalalalala, we can’t hear you.”
We would rather keep Him as the God on the mountain. Only the pastor can go and meet God. When we accept that Christ dwells in us and we have the same access to God as any other believer it now holds us to a greater level of accountability in our own walk.
We then become responsible for our own relationship with the Father and can no longer blame our lack of Spiritual growth on “the pastor failing to do his job.”
When we accept the reality that Christ is still alive, and He didn’t leave us to our own devices we now have to actually do something different. We keep trying to live out the Christian life with our knowledge of what is “good” and what is “bad,” but in reality we are choosing the wrong tree all over again. Even Paul understood that no matter how hard he tried he couldn’t live the Christian life.
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God – Galatians 2:20
God is no longer removed from His people. He is no longer segregated to the top of a mountain. He is no longer behind the curtain that separates us from his presence. He is no longer only able to be approached by one man [the high priest a.k.a. the pastor].
You and I as the community of believers have a magnificent Lord that makes His home within us and desires to live through us so that His image may be displayed to the world.
I encourage you to grasp the idea that God is in and among you, but above that understand it as powerful truth. The moment I grasped this concept my walk with the Lord completely changed. I gained freedom from my “religious duties” and gave Christ freedom to live through me.
Let’s stop blaming pastor’s or leaders for our lack of Spiritual growth, and relish in the fact that we can interact with the Lord without a middleman. Don’t allow the responsibility and ability to seek God yourself scare you. Let it embolden you and empower you to walk and live by His indwelling Spirit day by day.