Updated: Jul 13
I like the quote from C. S. Lewis, “Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”
This quote from Lewis’ Mere Christianity nicely sums up where I am in my walk with God. I’ve hit one of those “What on earth is He up to?” moments and it hasn’t been very pleasant. And I haven’t reacted with as much grace as I would have liked.
There’s been a lot of anger and a lot of tears and a lot of pain. Not to mention a lot of pure bull-headed stubbornness. I wish I could say that I have had faith in the midst of my waiting, but more often than not it seems I have gone astray and failed to listen to what He was trying to tell me.
He hit me over the head with the same message again this morning; and I’m determined that this time I’m going to listen. But I’ll only be able to do that with His help. My determination never seems to last for very long.
What was this message that He’s been gently and kindly and lovingly knocking me over the head with? The absolute necessity of knowing God, and knowing Him personally.
I’ve been a Christian for most of my life, but I’m ashamed to say that it’s only as I neared the age of thirty that I began to realize that there was something terribly wrong in my walk with God. The Bible speaks of joy and peace, but I didn’t know much of either. And the older I got, the more those things seemed to fade away.
You see, I’m something of a failure. I’m thirty now. And I haven’t been able to get married and start a family like I wanted to. And I haven’t been able to start a successful career like I wanted to (because if no husband, then I should definitely have a career). And I haven’t been able to develop deep and meaningful relationships like I wanted to. And I haven’t been able to develop intimacy with God like I wanted to. Or to obey Him like I want to. Or to tell others about Him like I want to.
I could go on, but I think you catch my drift. All of the things that I had set in my mind as benchmarks of a successful life have come to nothing. Where I thought I would be thriving there is nothing left. Five years ago I prayed the lyrics to that Hillsong song “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders.” I expected to be led into a challenging job or a new land. I didn’t realize that this place of faith without borders would be rock bottom, trapped in fear steeped in anxiety and topped off with a bout of depression so deep that, though I never actually thought of killing myself, I may as well have been declared dead.
I’m no longer there, no longer stuck at the rock bottom of that pit. I’ve been slowly working my way out of it. Or, I suppose I should say, God has been pulling me out of it. But He used that pit to show me something that I really needed to see: I have not been worshiping God at all, but my own version of God that I had created.
I had been expecting God to bend to my will. I had managed to make God so small that He revolved around me. I had put Him into a magic lamp and only pulled Him out when I wanted something from Him. My life was not about God. It was about me. It was all about me. I read the Bible to know about what God could do for me. I prayed for God to do things for me or my loved ones. I read the Bible and prayed because that’s what a “good Christian” does.
I deserved rock bottom. I deserve worse than rock bottom.
But I didn’t even understand that at the time. I had been taught so much about God’s love and God’s grace. I hadn’t learned much about myself and why I needed God’s grace.
And my Christian life was so dry. My walk with God was so empty. I read my Bible and prayed and had no communion with God, because I wasn’t actually looking for God.
I looked for how to obey Him. I looked for who I was in Him. I looked for just about everything within the scriptures but who He actually is. And I was so very lost for it.
Thankfully, Christ began to show me just how wrong I was, and He continues to show me just how wrong I am. I still slip into my old tendencies. He’s given me this same message over and over again. I’ve even written similar posts to this before (though they haven’t been published). I said that I’ve been very bull-headed.
But I want others to know, if you’re struggling in the same way I was, that Christ is the only answer to all of your problems. Thanks to Him we are able to commune with God and to know Him intimately. That’s why I’m writing this blog. It’s not going to be anything scholarly, but I hope it is a beginning point, for me and for you, to dig into the doctrines of who God is. I want this to be used to contemplate further who God reveals Himself to be in the Bible.
In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul wrote, “For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.”
Paul’s first prayer for the Ephesians is that they would have the Spirit to reveal God to them.
And in Jeremiah 9:23-24, we read, “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”
This isn’t meant to be a place of scholarly discussions or of dry doctrinal debates. It’s meant to be a place of lively worship of the One who created and sustains the universe and everything in it.
So go, open your Bibles and discover who God is, and then come back and worship with me as we contemplate the holiness and the power and the goodness of God.