Based on various teachings, things I’ve read over the years, and simply making mistakes (often the same ones) I wrote this essay about God because I need to read it often. Here’s why:
1. On bad days, I forget these truths.
2. I have a tendency to get spiritually lazy.
3. Sometimes, belief is just hard.
Such is my journey of faith.
I pray this clarifies, renews, or confirms your faith as it does mine. If you’re not sure what you believe, it might get you thinking.
The premise of this essay is that God deserves our primary allegiance. He is our Creator, our Sustainer, and our Redeemer. Who else has done all that for us? (Nobody I know.)
It’s the first commandment – have no other gods. It’s not because God is a tyrant, or pompous, or petty. He simply knows the trouble we get into when we worship, or idolize, other things.
Like money, work, entertainment, sports, sex, ice cream, or stuff. The list is endless. The human heart tends toward gluttony, so God warns us about getting attached to things of this world. Not that these things are bad in balance; they simply should not be first.
Here are five reasons why it’s beneficial to keep God first in our lives:
1. Only God’s perspective is correct.
(Ours is skewy. Or screwy. Either one.)
Only God sees all the details of every situation. Only He sees into every human heart. We see only what our human eyeballs process. Taken within the larger “God view,” we don’t know diddly-do.
2. Only God can enable us to truly love another.
Scripture tells us that God IS love. Perfect and lasting love. Not a love based on performance, status, appearance, or any particular condition – like human love tends to be.
We humans are insecure creatures, and mostly our love is based on what we will receive from someone, what we will gain, what will bring us safety, pleasure, or pride. Not always, but too often. Even when we love to the best of our human ability, unless we are plugged into the love of God….we get weary.
The human heart is limited. God is not. Thank God.
3. Only God can meet all of our needs.
We might have great parents, a dreamy spouse, awesome friends and perfect children, but at some point….they will disappoint us. If you’re completely honest here….isn’t that true? Even with the best of intentions, we hurt each other.
Because we’re human. Being human means being perfectly flawed. Which means we can’t be all things to all people. Or to even one person. We can only do so much to make people happy, or keep people happy.
It’s unfair, and unrealistic to expect any human being to satisfy our deepest longings.
Only God can bring unfailing security, peace, and joy to the human heart. Because His love is perfect and unchanging. (Circumstances and people change. God does not. Thank God.)
4. Only God can create good from suffering.
Oh my gosh, this is HUGE! Because suffering is awful. Why do we have to suffer?! we cry. (I have my theory, but that’s another essay.)
The reality is – we do. A lot of suffering we bring upon ourselves by our own misguided choices. Some is random and undeserved.
The point is – if we are going to have suffering (and we are) – it’s good to know that God can use it to create something good. Something purposeful, something growth-filled. In other words, our tears will not be wasted.
I love that. God uses EVERYTHING to grow us up and draw us closer to Him. It’s so crucial to remember this.
Be clear about the distinction: God does not cause suffering. But He can use it for good. As opposed to suffering for nothing.
A simple (first-grade like) analogy: Imagine a lovely, china plate that gets smashed.
The pieces can be collected and fashioned to create a beautiful mosaic that is strong and useful. (I made this trivet from broken china.)
We’ll, maybe it is. I can be fed up and miserable as long as I want to be. Which wears me out. God goes on loving the perpetrator anyway. Just like He loves me. Perfect love is not selective (that’s human love.)
Here’s the uncomfortable part of this final point….
If God loves my “enemies”…then who am I to harbor bitterness or spout harsh words? Am I greater/wiser than God? That’s my ego at work, telling me I’m entitled (by whom?) to move through life without heartache or aggravation.
This is a humbling, knock-me-to-the-dirt revelation. I have to think about it every time I think about it.
Regardless of whether I’ve worked through this point or not, I’m better off extending kindness to everyone, including the trouble-makers.
That doesn’t mean putting up with abuse. It’s important to set boundaries with people who hurt us. But, within healthy boundaries, you never know what small thing might change a heart. (Besides, doing things you hate builds character.)
The point of this point is that God will deal with the injustices in life. He is the final, and only, just judge. Whatever misery I’ve endured in life, God will sort that out in the end. And He’ll use the same yard stick to measure me that He’ll use to measure the crummy people. Ouch.
That’s it. Why it’s beneficial to keep God first. Why He’s the boss, and I am not.
Here’s a summary: God loves everyone with a perfect, non-human (unconditional) love that is TRUSTWORTHY and JUST, because He KNOWS everything and can USE everything.
Therefore…we can relax.
We can do the best we can do in our human flesh with our vulnerable hearts in an imperfect world. But ultimately, God is in charge.
But it’s OK.
Because He loves us.
And He’s trustworthy.
And He’s good.
All the time.