I´m in my contemplative mood today. I´ve been a Christian for nearly forty years, and a fulltime preacher for twenty, and still I´m wondering and asking. God, just who are You?
I have a strong feeling that we are diminishing Him most of the time, trying to create Him in our own image, transform Him into something we can understand and explain to others. But in the process we have lost something most important. We have lost, forgotten, the meaning of the word ”God”!
You can see it, for example, in the ways we worship.
Worship without fear of God, without awe, without respect for the One we are adressing with our songs and prayers can, I´m afraid, turn into something that comes close to blasphemy.
It could be the annoying kind of ”up, sit, lift your hands- praise exercises” that I personally refuse to go along with, or it could be the kind of mechanically performed lithurgies that set my teeth on edge when I visit the other wing of the Finnish Christianity.
I just miss the knowledge of God, the” knowing God”, that could and would turn our services into something that would really take us into the Holy of Holiest!
You can see that something is amiss in the plain fact that you seldom see a congregation on it´s knees before the Lord anymore. It´s like we are considering the Living God to be our equal, someone that we can sit down and chat with, showing no more respect than we would show anybody – and sometimes even less.
It is not polite to speak of someone present in third person, and that we do all the time when it comes to God…
God, just who are You, then?
I´ve been reading the story of Ananias and Sapphira over and over – and the story of Akan, who brought defeat upon Israel by stealing, and the story of Aron´s two sons, who died before the Lord when they did not carry out His instructions in a proper way, and Uzza, who dropped dead when he reached out and touched the Ark of the Covenant….
What would happen if this Holy God was to appear as present, as close in our churches today as He was in the first chapters of the Acts? I can imagine there would be a lot of sudden burials!
Sometimes we complain when there are so very few signs and wonders among us nowadays.
Why aren´t the same things happening now as in the Acts, for example?
But, what if this is Isaiah 30?
God, who waits for the time when He can be gracious to us, the time when we have turned from our sins, turned to Him in repentance, awe and respect, so that He won´t have to strike us dead when He comes?
God who keeps a distance that allows us to go on living, that gives us time to reconsider, to turn around?
I know for myself that I need to reconsider my own attitude to God, and all things concerning God, and I have to do it regulary. Because the attitude of ”I know this stuff, I know the Bible, I know God, I know God´s ways” is seeking to enter my mind literally every minute! And if it manages to enter I´ll soon be in the spiritual dead end where I proudly claim – and proclaim – that I have found God, while God is still looking for me…
God, who are you?
At least You are Holy, and that might well be the most important thing we have to learn about You.
Because without that revelation, and the impact it will have on our way to come before the Lord, I seriously doubt that we will ever enter the Holy of Holiest in a way that allows us to abide there before God, and from that position minister to our fellow believers.
And, like I said, I´m in my contemplative mood today…