Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Attack on the Personhood of God

There's a conspiracy afoot! :-) (always wanted to say that) However, it is true. One of the basic spiritual realities is that there is an Enemy working to destroy God's Kingdom and His people here on earth. That's just basic Christianity, yo. One of the latest things I have been noticing (maybe I'm slow at the pick up here) is that there is an all-out conspiracy to get people to treat God as if He is a 'thing' or an 'idea.' Why is that? Well let me offer a few reasons:

1. If God is not a person then we can recreate Him however we wish according to personal preferences or cultural trends.

2. If God is not a person then there is no accountability for our actions.

3. If God is not a person then the Ten Commandments and the Bible as a whole are merely suggestions.

4. If God is not a person then He never gets angry at injustice, He never experiences joy when we worship Him, He never grieves when we are hurt.

5. If God is not a person then ultimately He is unknowable and we are just on our own.

6. If God is not a person, but merely some amorphous blob, then Jesus was a fraud.

7. If God is not a person and Jesus a fraud, then we unable to be free from sin or experience true life change

However, if God is a Person:

1. He desires relationship

2. He wants to be known and loved

3. He has a specific Name that He has revealed and would expect to be addressed by that Name. (Imagine if someone completely disregarded your name after you have repeatedly told them your name)

4. He enjoys being in community

5. He is emotionally moved by interactions and experiences and therefore voluntarily vulnerable.

6. He communicates all the time.

7. He loves.

If the enemy can get us to deny the Personhood of God then God becomes "god" and just one of many abstract ideas about faith and spirituality. When you know a person you get a feel for who they are, how to interact with them, and what their expectations of relationship are. The deeper the relationship the more intimate it becomes. The biblical language (God revealing Himself to mankind through His Word) uses imagery to help give context to that relationship.

First, we are creations of the Creator. (Gen 1-3)
Second, we are invited into fellowship. (Gen 3)
Third, we become children of God through accepting and trusting in the atoning work of Jesus Christ. (Ro. 8:15)
Fourth, we are invited into friendship (John 15:14-15)
Fifth and finally, we are invited into the kind of oneness and intimacy that only the analogy of marriage can describe. (2 Cor. 11:2, Eph 5:27, Matt 25:1-12, Rev. 22:17)

Soooo. Do you live your life and faith as if God is both real AND a person? Much of modern biblical scholarship tries to take away the Personhood of God making Christianity about how much you know or how many works you do.

No relationship can survive a breakdown of communication and intimacy. How you doing with that? Are you speaking? Are you listening? Are you taking time for intimacy?

Are you approaching God according to how He has revealed Himself to us? Do you form your image of Who God is by informing yourself as to His character, His will and His love for you?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Delivered vs. Overcoming

thinking about how the Lord delivered the people of Egypt with great evidence of his power and yet in Exodus 13:17 “When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” They weren't ready for battle. God had 'delivered' them, but they were not ready to be 'overcomers' which is always His goal for our lives. Thank God for His deliverance when needed, but are you moving towards living as an overcomer?

"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37, TNIV)