Here’s the power of words: It helped me understand myself better…and my God better.
Years ago I was a scared girl, inexperienced and doubting myself in everything. Thanks to amazing friends that God sent across my path, I soon conquered some of my inadequacies. Why? Because they helped me verbalize my thoughts and I started writing them down. Understanding my thoughts made it easier to deal with them.
Okay – there’s a whole psychological discussion we can have about the value of writing and speaking about your emotions and thoughts. But this isn’t what this blog is about.
Words also have the power to help us understand our Maker better. And today I realised the importance of understanding more sides to Him. The more I know and experience about Him and the more stories I have about Him in my life (words), the better it gets.
- He is the Lion, but also the Lamb
- He is Love, but also justice and righteousness
- He is understanding, but also expects certain things of us
Facing only one of these aspects can have us retreat from Him, or take liberty of His loving nature. But when we KNOW He is also the other, it adds a beautiful balance. To me it makes me want to know Him more…and become more like Him.
The process of discovery and putting words to what He does also helped me switch from simply being afraid (fearful) to fearing Him (the latter is the good thing we need to get to).
This morning I read a passage that normally filled me with guilt and fear. Reading about how He got angry with the Israelites and sent other tribes against them is frightening. I don’t want Him to feel that way about me, right?
But something different happened in my soul this morning:
- Passion for righteousness
Why? Because of what I already know about Him.
This Past Year
I’ve had a very challenging year. Perhaps you’ve read some of my other blogs. But I can also say 2018 has been one of the best years. Why?
- Because of how He guided me through dealing with loss and change
- Because He sent people across my path whenever I needed them
- Because He advised me
- Because I saw Him help my loved ones
These experiences all got noted in my diary, the words plainly displaying my God’s characteristics. Did everything happen as I wished it would? No. But my God showed His power, care and foresight in sooooo many ways.
Result: I know Him to :
- LOVE me
- LOOK AFTER me
- PROTECT me
Back to This Morning
Now I read about His wrath. He really got mad…and God is unchanging, so He still gets mad. Therefore, if I don’t listen, He will probably get mad at me too.
But looking from the perspective of this past year I know that what He chooses to do, say or feel towards my actions isn’t based on hate.
- His actions are based on LOVE. If He prompts me to do something it’s because He LOVES the world and wants to LOVE the world through me.
- When He tells me to become better tomorrow than I am today (more compassionate, less afraid, doing rather than simply talking), it’s because He’s LOOKING AFTER us on earth and He needs me to play my part. I signed up to be His ambassador on earth and that comes with certain expectations and requirements.
- If He’s telling me to do this or not to do that, He’s probably PROTECTING me (and others) because He knows what’s coming.
These are characteristics I can FEAR, not BE AFRAID of.
FEAR (in this context): To respect, revere and trust.
FEARFUL: Feeling or showing fear and anxiety.
Reading His words to the Israelites from this perspective, I pick up on passion for them, not simply being mad at them. He wished they would act differently for their own sakes and for the sake of the world. He had a plan and wanted to use them in it.
My God is not distant, apathetic or out for revenge. He is actively and passionately involved in our lives, for the better of us and humanity at large.
My feelings towards my God can be described with words of fear, but also of love and appreciation. This fills me with renewed passion to be the kind of believer He can use.