Freedom From a Nebulous God
Psalm 72:18,19 Praise to the Lord God, the God of Israel, who alone does marvelous deeds. Praise be to his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory.
Psalm 73:28 But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.
Psalm 145:18 The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
Matthew 28:20 “And behold, I am always with you, to the end of the age.”
John 14:16-17 “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.”
Ephesians 2:18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. . . This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.
Hebrews 11:1-3 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
I was raised in the Catholic church until I chose to leave when I was 16. My father was upset, angry, yet listened to my reasons for pulling away, and did not argue with me. He weighed my words and feelings without confronting. I believed in God, but I resented the confessing to priests for forgiveness. I resented much of the church, and now believe that the lead pastor was a Pharisee.
My father had been raised in the church, including parochial school, and even prior to that he and my uncle were living in a Catholic orphanage for three years while my grandmother was hospitalized. This was all my father knew; he’d served as an altar boy and performed all the tasks of a ‘good Irish, Catholic lad.’
But he listened to my reasons for refusing to go to that church in any form again; not going to Mass, no volunteering with the children, no CCD classes, not attending the weekly youth group activities, nothing again.
While as a youngster, sitting in that church, I always felt as though Jesus was watching and approving us. There was a mural on the ceiling, showing Jesus looking down from the sky and watching over us. It made me feel safe, cared for, and certainly I believed in Him. But there were other things that I had issues with as I grew older. The readings never had anything to do with the priests’ subject of sermon—and it seemed weekly that they were asking for money all the time. I wanted, even then, to know more about Jesus, what happened when He was alive, what did He do, I wanted to know Him.
One of the issues that developed was the priest implying that God was separate, and only available to priests, we had to confess sins to the priests, and they dictated how and what you had to do to receive forgiveness. There was an arrogance and pompousness with the priests there, and I was aware always of a trepidation, and a desire to remain out of notice. The nuns were there when I was in grade school, and most of them were cranky and bitter, their rebukes to 6-8 year old children sharp. Those instances confused me; they were in such contrast to the Jesus mural which smiled down at us.
So, for me and my siblings, God was a powerful, angry, nebulous being. He was not approachable, He could dole out punishment at will, and the way to Him was through the priests. My parents reassured us that God heard our prayers as we knelt at our beds each night, praying mostly rote prayers, but ending in sincere prayer for grandparents, and others we loved that all would be healthy and kept safe.
That was not my idea of what God was supposed to be. Probably my ideas of having a loving God came from bible stories for young children—I don’t remember, but He still felt nebulous and powerful and distant. That did not set well and comfortable with me. My own father was loving, patient, caring, interested in what was going on in our lives, and I always knew I was deeply loved. My idea and feelings were that God was supposed to be like my earthly father.
As a young adult, I was attending a protestant church, and was stirred. Here the gospel readings were given an explanation, and education of what the passage meant, and how it related to us now. I sucked it up; I had a hunger for the teaching. Sure, I continued with believing that God was not truly approachable to all and that was a slow learning process for me to see the truth. He is available to all who believe in Him and choose to worship Him intently. But I did learn, and grew in my confidence, and began exploring the bible on my own, and listening to different bible teachers on tv, as I looked for a church to attend.
God was seeming less nebulous, less of a dictator, less of an impatient ruler, and of course, I loved the stories of the New Testament. I found the Old Testament difficult and ‘far away.’ It seemed to have nothing to do with my life. Why do I have to read this? How is this important to me?
It has taken years for me to connect all the dots. . . . well, many of the dots. I’m not sure I will ever have them all connected! But what a wonderful education it has been.
God, the Father, Son of God and the Holy Spirit are joined and available—yes, AVAILABLE to each of us, if we ask, seek and knock on the door for entrance. He loves us. Each being of the trinity serves a purpose to help us, comfort us, heal us, guide us, teach us, and to show us what LOVE is. God is not nebulous and unapproachable. He loves being approached and revered by us. He loves us and wants us to be His children, to have a true relationship with Him.
Yes, we are to revere Him, honor Him, but He is accessible to us. God is not a dark, nebulous unapproachable being. He has not changed. The rules and commandments God sent through Moses to us have not changed. Sin is still sin. But no longer do we have to sacrifice an animal to atone for our sin. He used those in the Old Testament to impress on all the people how an innocent animal was being slaughtered for THEIR sin.
But that all changed when the Son of Man-Son of God, fully man and fully God willingly took upon Himself all our sins, and asked that we follow Him and repent of our sins and spread His good news to all; to open their minds so all have the opportunity to be saved, forgiven and to develop a relationship with Jesus. That is what is important. We need to have a relationship with Jesus. As in all relationships, the more you interact with one another, the better you get to know each other, and the trust and friendship grow deeper and you look forward to spending time with one another. THAT is what God desires, a relationship, friendship, yes with a reverence, but he wants us to turn to Him with all our concerns, illnesses, worries, fears, and our thankfulness. Yes, He deserves our honor, our reverence, and devotion.
I am so thankful that I was able to find all the ways available to me to really get to know my Savior. I read the bible—it always amazes me that as often as I have read the words in the bible, I still find new information, a better clarity, and I grow in knowledge. What a blessing! I have been freed from sin, from a idolatrous church, and into a body of others who yearn to know more of Christ and His Father, and the Counselor, and will eagerly continue to seek and grow in my knowledge.
Thank You for helping me walk closer to You and for growing me and ‘mybellaviews’ closer to You.