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"I Don't Want to Hear About Your God!"

My Friend Debbie      When I became a Christian almost 15 years ago, my new-found faith was challenged very early on by an ultimatum issued by a close family member. She was tiring of my excitement about sharing Jesus: "When I call to talk to you, I don't want to hear about your God, your church...you need to choose here: your family or your God..." Hnh! Angry and hurt and sad, I stood my ground: "You lose." I said. We didn't talk for another year or so. When I got off of the phone, I just cried and cried. I poured my soul out to my husband and to God. "This isn't fair! I want them to know the real God. I want them to know that it is all true!" I was stepping out on my brand-spanking-new faith that God really is who He says He is. But, let me tell you something: when you really know who God is, you won't let go for anything or anyone. I had really begun to know God and He had spoken to me in such a powerful way, I was clinging onto Him with every fiber of my being.

A Promise Made. . .

.      I fumbled around with a prayer, cried some more, and the phone rang. A friend of mine called long-distance and said, "Ok...I know you're going to think this is really weird. I was just thinking of you, Jodi, (of course: Jodi = weird. Makes sense.), and the Lord put this in my head: "Jesus said to them, 'I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on His glorious throne, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.' " Matthew 19:28-29 (NIV)

     Whoa! I LOVE it when God does that: speaks right in your face. . . through His Word. As a new believer, I immersed myself in God and His Promises with an intensity I had never felt in my life. It really got a hold of me. This was different. God needed my full attention to begin working on me and I was desperate. I had tried everything else, it seemed! I was sick and tired of trying to do things my way. It was blindingly obvious that I had no idea how to manage my life. My errant ways did work for a while, but, as with all cheap imitations, they eventually break down or fall apart. God so patiently waited for me to get over myself. He was waiting to give me a foundation that is absolutely incorruptible.

Shelf Life

     God did not sever any family ties for me, but He did shelve a few relationships as I entered that time of intense learning. I was just going to have to let God handle that situation, too. This family member was more influential than I realized and she was heavily into occult practices. Now, God certainly is not intimidated by any false belief, but the draw of the occult and its promises are powerful and very intoxicating to His children. As any good parent would, God has drawn attention to and warns us of those things that will destroy us. He has protected me from the occult through some pretty clear instructions concerning false beliefs and their effects on our souls: "The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-2, (NIV).

     Many New Age beliefs make "YOU the center of everything, not God. You are so powerful and wonderful, you can do anything, you can be God, part of God, no real consequences, whatever you want to think or do is the truth, because truth is what you think it is." Hogwash. Truth is not relative; it can't be. Opinions, ideas and perceptions are relative. Truth is a constant whether you recognize it to be truth or not.

A Promise Kept. . .

     We are all designed with a deep desire to reconcile. Our spirit yearns and cries out for its Maker. Our ultimate reconciliation is to be with God. Some people wander for a time and try a lot of different things to fill up that God-shaped space in all of us. In other words, they want "God without God's rules." Would you truly want a God who didn't follow His own rules? Who didn't honor His own promises? Well, God kept His promise to me. If I chose Him first, He would fill my life with people who would "stand as proxy family." He would reorder my life, with Him as the foundation. Wow, did He ever! Our family has so many friends...dozens and dozens of people...people we would trust with our lives.

Ignorance Is Not Bliss

     Even so, if I were being honest, I knew where my lost family member was coming from. Even I used to say that stuff! There was a time that I would have rather been shot out of a cannon, (or perhaps shot by a cannon!), than to have a conversation about Jesus. I thought I was right, I knew all I needed to know, and I certainly didn't need anything God had to offer. In my pride, I thought, "He walked away from me years ago, and I am fine all by myself!" Well, guess what? I was wrong. I know! GASP! The truth of the matter is that I had no idea what I was talking about (yet again!). I was ignorant. Cringe! Yes! I said it! Ignorant, ignorant, ignorant! Ahhhh, so liberating!

     I had my own ideas and criteria for God to meet in order to please me. That's fabulous, but that's not the way it works. We do not tell God how to manage His design; we have to be obedient to Him. For goodness sake, we are so fickle about our favorite pizza toppings and change our kitchen paint colors every two years. What makes us think that we have the authority to assign value to God's purpose and plan? Clearly, we really don't have the authority to run the universe anyway, because, well...it hasn't happened! I shudder when I remember the blasphemy that poured from my mouth before I knew the Truth. As far as I was concerned, I wore the same shoe size as God and thought, "I can do God's job and better! I am that fabulous!" Eeek! We all need to get down and put our face in the floor and thank God that I am no longer interested in that job. Who am I kidding? It was never available anyway.

Free Upgrade

     Getting to know the REAL God absolutely blew my mind. "It's the truth!" I kept saying. For me, this was the culmination of my deep desire for it to actually be true. Beyond all hope, I secretly wished that God was who His Word says He IS. I wanted to believe those "wacko Jesus Freaks" even though they made me so mad--acting all holy and stuff, and quoting Scripture all over the place! I still wanted it to be true. I needed stability. Here's the deal, though: I was afraid to believe. It was one more method to try and totally fail at, as far as I was concerned.

     I didn't think I could bear any more disappointment in my life. But, listen to this, you can't fail with God. God in your life can only make it better, no matter how fabulous things are or seem at the moment. Whatever you give to God, He gives you an "upgrade." Every single time! I was too proud to admit I was a mess, even though my methods were not working and everyone knew it, too. Why do we try so hard to make ineffective methods work? I mean, the persistence is admirable and everything, but wisdom dictates that you do have to draw the line somewhere and change your approach. Time to find a way to live in peace, truth, love and victory. I seemed okay on the outside, right? I could cover up my fear, anxiety, and look like I had everything in control. Sort of. "Yay, Me!" If this was true, and I was in control of my life and my goals, why was nothing working out, then?! Where was my castle and Mercedes, huh? Why wasn't I living the life I thought I deserved? Why was I so miserable and so incredibly inept?! I guess I wasn't really in control. Isn't it so odd that we mourn the loss of something, like control, that we truly never had to begin with? We were duped somewhere along the line, and bought into the lies.

Your REAL "Soul Mate. . . "

     For a long time, it was pure misery and pride that kept me away from seeking God in the first place. I was a disaster. I was a Flaming train wreck flying off of the tracks, Plummeting off of a cliff onto sharp rocks, Into the abyss filled with sharks. Without really knowing what God's standards are I naively assumed I could never live up to them, so why even try? That's the whole point, though: you can't ever do anything good enough on your own. But, you "can do all things through Christ who strengthens (you) me." Phil. 4:13, (NIV) God is the one with the power. If you are not plugged into your power source, you are as good as dead--useless. He will equip you and He will walk along side you in your life. He wants a partnership with you! He perfects the imperfect. He completes the equation. He is the missing piece of your puzzle, the sprinkles on your spiritual cupcake. This is all about the glory of God. This is about you and God in a symbiotic relationship. God purposely made us to only be truly complete when He lives in us through the Holy Spirit. Forgive the New(Old) Age reference, but God is your only true "soul-mate." Many of us sing the hymns and songs that describe Jesus as the "Lover of my Soul." And, you know what? It works. And, yes, it is real.

"Can Somebody Get the Door?"

     Here's the amazing thing: God is waiting for you. "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me." Revelation 3:19-21 (NIV).

     He will wait for that invitation from you. You must invite Him into your life. Because of freewill, God actually requires your permission. Can you believe that?! The Creator of the universe, the Creator of time and space and light, the Creator of mountains and laughter and tiny fuzzy animals that make grown men smile, still requests your permission.      Freewill demands that you take the first step. God wants you to choose to love Him. Isn't this what we want from others? It is no different with God. This is the ONLY way to get real peace in your life and experience real love. Even if you are unsure of what this even means, you can ask Him. He knows you. Inside and out. "For your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." Psalm 139:15-17, (NIV). He knew you before YOU knew you.

No Experience Required

     You can ask Him anytime to reveal Himself to you. You don't have to complete any pre-requisites or fill out a jillion forms. You don't need to memorize the Bible or shoe the shoe-less or "feel" anything in particular to reach out to God. He is already extending His hand. God will meet you right where you are. Yes, right now. You don't need to plant any magic beans or send anyone $40.00 every month to secure your "reservation in Paradise, meals not included. Shuffleboard on the Aloha Deck." That is not who He is. "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Romans 10:9 (NIV) If you have never asked God into your heart, this is it. It is beautifully simple and it will change your life:


     "Lord, I am not really even sure what I think about all of this, but you do know me. I ask you to forgive me for my unbelief and begin to heal me. I want You to direct my paths! I want to begin a new journey with You in charge. I cannot do this without You. I ask You to live in my heart. I accept the sacrifice of Your Only Son, Jesus Christ as "payment in full" for all of my sins. Show me how to love You, Father. Show me how to love others as You love us. I willingly submit my life and choices to You. Speak to me, Lord, and reveal Yourself to me in a way that I will KNOW it is You. I know You will make this very obvious and special to me and that You will protect me in this process. Thank You, Lord Jesus! Amen. . .and Amen."

Copyright © 2008-2015 Jodi Crago

Reader Comments...
2009-05-03 16:41:52
"It is sad that so many times it seems as if our family is so resistant to the "new" you. But God provides, always. Awesome article that I am sure touches many people because of their own experiences."
        - Jeana

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