I have always known God, it seems. I was raised in a Christian home, went to church, studied my Bible, did all the right things, you know? I've wandered away from the path of my spiritual walk, come back to it, wandered back, and so on and so forth, through most of my life. I've always known that God provides us with grace, that we are saved by grace.
I have always thought that I've had a decent relationship with God, but somehow, it's never been as deep as I would like it to be. I have tried getting up every morning to spend time in prayer, in study, in mediation. I have tried following all the "rules," to a better spiritual life--- you know the ones I mean-- start each day in prayer, go to church, do a Bible Study, blah blah blah. I've tried praying the prayer of Jabez, praying the Lord's Prayer, and a bunch of other stuff.
But have I ever really had an honest relationship with God? Of course I have-- I don't doubt my salvation or my belief in God. However, this book caused me to examine the depth of my relationship with God, my images of God, my expectations of God.
There are at least three things that I'm holding in my heart right now, pondering them.
1. We were created to be loved and to give love. To live as if we are unloved is to live out of the natural order of how God created us.
2. God will take a verb over a noun, anytime. God is a verb. He is alive, dynamic, ever active, and moving. He is a being verb. We associate our spiritual walk with verbs-- confessing, repenting, loving, living, growing, sowing, reaping, dancing, rejoicing. "Humans have a knack for taking a verb that is alive and full of grace and turning it into a dead noun or principle that reeks of rules: something growing and alive dies. Nouns exist because there is a created universe and physical reality, but if the universe is only a mass of nouns, it is dead. Unless 'I am' (God) there are no verbs, and verbs are what make the universe alive. ...For something to move from death to life, you must introduce something living and moving into the mix. TO move from something that is only a noun to something dynamic and unpredictable, to something living and present tense, is to move from law to grace." (The Shack, William P. Young)
3. Emotions are neither good nor bad; they just exist. "Paradigms power perception and perceptions power emotions." Our emotions are a response to our perceptions. Therefore, we cannot trust our emotions if our perceptions are skewed, if our very beliefs are false. Because our beliefs, our paradigms, influence our perceptions.
Anyhow. My laptop is missing the H and the 8 keys. Other keys are sticky. Popsicles and laptops don't mix well. :)
So, I'm retiring for the night. Lots to think and pray about.