Approaching God

Guard your steps when you go to the house of God.  Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong.

Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God.  God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.  As a dream comes when there are man cares, so the speech of a fool when there are many words.  Ecclesiastes 5:1-3.

 

We humans talk too much.  I know plenty of people who talk wa-a-a-ay less than me, of course, because I’m a wordy fellow, yet I also know that when it comes to prayer silence is not as popular as pouring out our hearts.  This is pretty natural since we don’t dialogue with God very much at all.  Still, though we live in a new dispensation and paradigm, listening is always better than talking.

Confession time:

I talk to God all day long.  I’m always telling Him things I am thinking or discussing the next move at work.  I know it might sound silly to some of you, but I can’t stop the flow (at least at this stage) because words are how I connect.  Oddly enough, I know I listen—even through all the profuse one-sided conversations we seem to have.  How I know I listen is that when thoughts squeeze their way in between the cracks of my profundity, I stop to chew.

I have a long way to go before I’ll be able to use my ears and mouth in proportion.  Thank God for grace to grow!

Yet the point of Solomon’s exhortation isn’t lost even on a person like me.  The main issue is to gain an understanding God’s place in the universe as well as our hearts.  He’s big, bigger than anything or anyone, yet able to inhabit my heart.  The phenomenon of a God who holds all of creation in the palm of His hand being in my heart—or even interested in my life—is amazing enough.  Yet size only matters to those who use it as a means of power over others (or get their value from it.

We talk about God running and sustaining everything yet sometimes just don’t recognize what that means.  Sure He takes care of all the big stuff like planets, nation building and certain people’s careers, but these things are the more obvious things.  Where it really gets interesting for me is that each cell has a power pack inside it that scientists are still trying to unravel.  Why do these amazing organisms continue to operate sometimes long after their host dies?  What supplies them with the life force necessary to keep performing their function?

I believe God’s life force permeates everything and everyone.  This same power emanates from a being who is not only sentient but intimately personal.  He created one of the most person acts we humans experience then compared it to His own relationship with the Godhead and us.  I know a lot of people who are weird-ed out by God’s claim to be spiritually “sexual” with us, but their problem stems from their lack of understanding not the act itself.  Sex is intimacy not just pleasure; it’s pleasure not just intimacy.  The two go together on purpose for God illustrates through this one act what is in His heart for us.  Now we, on the other hand, have so many issues around sex and intimacy that some (probably many) experience real difficulty when this subject comes up.  The problem isn’t with God, it’s with us.

We pervert the works of God then blame Him for the outcomes.  We twist our natures around pleasure, power, wealth and selfish ambition then resent Him for being bigger than all of us.  All of us struggle to look at pretty much every faucet of life without the cataracts of sin.  It isn’t God’s fault that we’ve perverted intimacy into something narcissistic.  So why can’t we grasp His goals for personal contact with us?  Our twisted POV prevents us from being healthy enough to experience the fullness of God.

Can you picture God’s presence as both overwhelmingly awe-inspiring as well as pleasurable?  The orgasm becomes a mere simile for experiencing God.  The more I know God in His purity, and thus realize my own perversity, the more I know everything within His context is clean, clear, beyond my imagination to experience and full of deep spiritual meaning.  We must get beyond our perverted twists on God’s creation; for if we don’t, we end up with nothing more than Victorianism disguised as piety or going after something for merely the pleasure of it.  Human rules will never prevent the sinful nature from expressing itself nor will we ever find satisfaction in just pleasure.

Jesus changed all the rules of coming to God when He became human.  It’s weird that at first we’re told to be careful when we approach God, then have Him call us friends.  “I have called you friends…I no longer call you servants because a servant doesn’t know his master’s business.  Instead I have called you friends.”  Why?  Because He let us in on God’s mind and plans, that why!  He shared the heart of God rather than just the rules of a boss or king.  Jesus got intimate with humanity to demonstrate the desire of God’s heart—a reconciled friendship with us.

Why did He do this?  Because He wants to be intimate with us!  He shared His very soul in coming to earth by being born, living and breathing as a human.  He experienced everything a man can experience besides marriage.  That should tell us something about the nature of God in relation to humanity.  It should enlighten our dark understanding of the divine and set us on a course for greater pleasure in the presence of the Source of pleasure.  We use the word “joy” to replace happiness because we fear God isn’t concerned with our happiness; yet it was He who created our ability to be happy.  We wouldn’t know the word or emotion if He hadn’t invented it.  We need to get over our perverse self-denial so that we can practice it in the context of heaven’s gift in Christ.

Does it strike you as weird that God invented pleasure?  Then chew on this:  He created foods of all stripes then gave humans taste buds in order to enjoy them.  He created flowers, scented plants and animals then gave humans olfactory glands to appreciate them.  He created colors with so many hues we cannot invent enough combinations to encompass them all, then gave us eyes with brains encoded to be overwhelmed by a sunset or whatever.  He gave us a reproduction apparatus then made it a pleasure to procreate.  He gave us ears and made voices sing, birds warble, lions roar and mountains rumble.

Our God “dwells” in unapproachable light, yet loves us so much in a purely intimate way He sent His own to be one of us.  Yes, we need to be in awe.  Yes, we should be reverent.  Yes, we should be overwhelmed.  Yes we ought to seek intimacy and be pleasured by His presence.

That is just utterly amazing.

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4 Responses to “Approaching God”

  1. tlc4women Says:

    I love this post. We are supposed to pour our heart to him but there is always time and space needed for the response. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. Ula Says:

    I agree with tlc4women. We all need reminders to stop and listen. Two ears and one mouth. More listen than speak 🙂 I often have to remind myself to just be quiet in His presence and just breathe in His beauty present in the quietness. Like you, Jonny, I have a tendency to speak to Him non-stop and like you I’m thankful for His grace that helps us grow.

  3. jonnysoundsketch2 Says:

    😉

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