If you want some interesting theories about God ask that question at a cocktail party after everyone’s had a few drinks. And no I never do.
But I have the topic come up in conversation not that infrequently.
Often, as we all do, I’m asked, “So what do you do for a living?”
I’ll tell them.
Then they ask, “So how long have you been doing this?”
I answer. They look at me doing the math.
Then ask, “So what did you do before?”
When I answer, “I pastored a church”, it starts. Inevitably they respond, “Well, you know, I have my own theories about God.”
I feign surprise, “Oh really?”
And off we go.
Often it’s a mixture of various religious teachings. They include the parts they like and leave out the ones that are inconvenient.
I find often it comes off as some doting fragile grandfather. Or as something so ethereal that I wouldn’t be able to recognize him if he was the one over in the corner having scotch on the rocks.
I thank them for their revelational insights and quickly excuse myself to refresh my drink.
But it also reminds me of when I was exactly the same.
And how impossible it was to know who God really is in my own power.
I mean how can we?
Jesus gives the answer, “No one truly knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”*
Seems kind of narrow doesn’t it?
Yet, think about it. How could we possibly know who God really is unless he reveals himself to us?
And how could this possibly happen except in a relationship with him?
Think about it like this.
A guy sees a cute girl and thinks, “Wow, she’s hot. I’d like to meet her.”
He eventually works up courage to introduce himself. She doesn’t run away screaming. Good start.
They go on a date. Yeah, I know that’s scary.
Things go well. They see each other regularly.
She’s always pretty. Smells good. Fun to be with.
They get to know each other. At least they think so.
Finally get married. Honeymoon then back to real life as husband and wife.
Those of you who’re married know where this is going.
Little by little the real person starts showing up.
On weekends frumpy clothes and no makeup.
A few extra pounds and he forgets to shave.
She wants to go out. He wants to watch football.
And not far into this they begin to realize they’ve come to truly know the real person they married. Hopefully they still like each other.
Because if they stick it out, over time, they also discover the deep qualities that they sensed but never really knew for sure. It’s a growing revelation that only comes in a committed relationship.
It works the same way with God.
We can know about God. But we can only truly know the real God when we live in a committed relationship with him.
How have you discovered this?
Please let me know on Facebook, Twitter or email me.
*Matthew 11: 27 (NLT)