Month: May 2017

None Like Him: 10 Ways God Is Different from Us (and Why That’s a Good Thing)

I like my Kindle, but I have just one little complaint about it. Books can get buried in there! Books that I was eager to buy and to read, but they get lost in all the other books hidden away in my Kindle. Real books don’t do that. They sit on my desk and call to me to be read.

That explains why it took me so long to get to Jen Wilkins’ most recent book – None Like Him: 10 Ways God is Different from Us (and Why That’s a Good Thing). I read the book and loved every word of it and then my Kindle coughed up yet another hidden book – Discovering the God Who Is: His Character and Being, His Power and Personality by R. C. Sproul. I love it when God puts companion books in my way! Surely He is doing it to make a point.

God is Different From Us

God is so much more than we can begin to imagine. And it’s good to find out who He is and what He has done and how He is so very different from us.

R. C. Sproul writes in the preface to his book, “It is not enough for the Christian to know that God is; we must be driven by a holy passion to know who He is. The pursuit of the knowledge of God must never be undertaken as a casual exercise. It must be the chief business of our lives.”

The chief business! The chief business – the main things we do in life – is to be finding out who God is. Do you hear that? The chief business…pursuing the knowledge of God.

Why Does It Matter That God Is Different From Us?

And where does the knowledge of God bring us?

Jen Wilkins says, “The knowledge of God, and the knowledge of self always go hand in hand. In fact, there is no true knowledge of self apart from the knowledge of God. We cannot understand our human limitedness rightly until we see it compared to the limitlessness of God.”

And for me, understanding who I am in comparison to who God is causes me to forget myself and to worship the almighty God.

When I see God as He is (as much as a finite human can see him) and when I see myself as I truly am, I am compelled to believe Him and to trust Him and to rest in His promises. And I am reluctant to take a step without Him.

What Is Our Response to the God Who Is Different From Us?

Jen Wilkins tells us that God is infinite, incomprehensible, self-existent, self-sufficient, eternal, immutable, omnipresent, omniscient, and sovereign. In the book, she explains these amazing characteristics and gives us room to respond to them. At the end of each chapter are Verses for Meditation, Questions for Reflection, and Pray. I have to admit that when I am not reading a book like this in a group that I skim through the response sections, but this time I journaled my responses, taking time to read and think and pray.

I am so glad I did! Taking time to meditate on God’s ways…making it our chief business…could there be a better use of our time?

And then throughout the day, remembering His character and being encouraged or edified or corrected or motivated by who My God is. This is why it good that God is different from us. It is good for us to stand in awe of the God who is bigger than we can ever know. It is good for us to be humbled before Him. It is indeed the beginning of wisdom – the fear of the Lord.

The Mighty One, God the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting.

Psalm 50:1

 

photography by Unsplash.com

Two Truths and a Lie

Have you ever played that game – Two Truths and a Lie? All the players have to write down two things that are true about themselves and one that is not. When your two truths and a lie are read to the group, the other players try to guess which one is a lie.

Of course, the ideal strategy is to come up with at least one truth that seems too far-fetched to be true and to invent a lie that is close enough to the truth to fool the other players. Tricky!

And if you have a close friend in the group, it gets even trickier. What lie can you come up with that will fool a good friend?

But sometimes, it’s more than a game. In real life there are truths about ourselves that we are willing to let others see, but there are others we are desperate to hide. So we tell half-truths or outright lies.

  • My daughter is doing great in school – good grades; the teachers love her; she has lots of friends (but hide the anorexia – she’s just naturally thin, you know – runs in the family)
  • My marriage is wonderful – twenty-four years this fall; just took a great cruise together; having a blast (but hide the hours he spends “at work” when you know he’s not at work)
  • My job is the best – great pay; great benefits (but hide the fact that it’s boring and Friday can’t come soon enough)
  • My relationship with God? Great, of course. I go to church every Sunday and help out in the nursery once a month. It’s super. (but hide the unopened Bible and the unused prayer journal)

The truth is that all of us have things we don’t want each other to see, but the truth is also that we need someone to see those things we hide.

  • We need God to see and to know that He loves us anyway.
  • We need loving friends to see and to help us work through our hidden things.
  • We need to be willing to show the truth to others who are working through the same problems.
  • We need to be real with each other, with ourselves, and with God.

Time to stop playing the game and to let the truth out.

 

 

Once again it’s time to join up with the Five Minute Friday community to explore this week’s prompt word – Truth.  Check out the other ideas about truth at Kate Motaung’s blog –  Heading Home.

 

photography by Unsplash.com

Should – Accusation or Invitation?

Can I just say it? The word “should” is not one of my all-time favorite words.

It can stir up unpleasant, shamed, not-enough feelings. I tell myself I should. My family tells me I should. My co-workers tell me I should. My friends tell me I should. The world around me tells me I should.

And along with the word “should” come a few other words – “but you probably won’t.”

I have a to-do list for this weekend and it includes things I should do. A few of those “should do” items are troublesome to me because there is a voice in the back of my mind speaking to me about them.

“You should do that. Yes, you should, but you know that you put that on your to-do list last weekend and it didn’t get done then. What makes you think you’ll get it done this weekend? Why even bother putting it on your list?”

I’ve listened to that “probably won’t” accusation a few too many times. Enough times that it begins to scare me away from doing what I want to do and from doing what I am gifted and called to do.

I’ve listened to that accusation often enough that it has tainted the word “should” for me.

Instead of the source of condemnation, the word “should” can be an invitation to an adventure.

  • I love to craft so I should make some time in my weekends to make something beautiful.
  • It would be good for me to lose some weight so I should experiment with new recipes for low-fat foods.
  • Reading great books is good for my brain so I should see what my library has to offer.
  • Writing is a way for me to reach out to my world so I should look for ways to improve my writing.
  • God has given me a wonderful life so I should enjoy it and share it as much as I can.

Suddenly “should” is transformed from a shame-producing word into a peek into what could be just around the corner – from something I avoid to something I anticipate.

What about you? Are you letting the voice of our enemy accuse you with what you should do? Or are you letting God invite you into discovering the excitement of what you should do?

 

Today along with the other writers of Five Minute Friday at katemotaung.com  I’m writing about the prompt word “should”.  Come take a look at what the others are saying about this week’s prompt word.

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