Saturday, August 25, 2012

To Find or to Define God?

I want to know God. I've heard so many sermons, read so many inspirational books, even gone the ridiculous route of looking within myself, but throw all that away. I want to know God. The One who's name is Faithful and True. Who called the religious hypocrites a "brood of vipers" and told them to stop tripping over what their peers thought of them, and get their hearts right with Him.

I realized this when I tried to find a scripture the other day of what it means to know God. This is what the Bible said about a man, David - Jeremiah 22:16 "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" declares the LORD." That can't be it, I thought. I looked for something else. The prophet Micah said "He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." I was disappointed. It seemed so... blah. It wasn't the answer I had wanted; I was ready to reject the truth because it didn't sound profound enough for me. That was when I knew that I had got to stop romanticizing God. If my words of adoration are beautifully structured, creatively designed, yet do not speak the truth about God, then who exactly am I worshiping?

As Paul says, "Let God be true and every man a liar."

I want to know the God of whom it was prophesied even before His birth: "He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him... Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem." This is who I want to know. Not the tall, white hottie with the blond hair and blue eyes who fits my idea of a hero, but the ugly man that didn't speak up to defend himself. The One who took spit in His face and didn't give the perfect speech to shame the crowd like Maximus in Gladiator. The one who bought our death with His life.

Not the projection of Him that changes depending on who's talking about Him. Not the one that fits into my personal experiences and enthusiastically supports all my values and understands the reasons for every sketchy thing I do. The One who thinks more about the widow, the orphan and the afflicted than about how much money I am pledging to the building fund. The One who loves me, but hates my hypocrisy and my sin. The One who loves the people I cannot stand, and has embraced the people who have broken my heart with the same faithful forgiveness that He gives me. I want to know this Jesus, who didn't just take the government and authority of God upon His shoulders, but also took the suffering of the world on them, silently. The One who wouldn't even let people call Him "good teacher" on earth.

The definitions have become tiresome, and many times when we talk about Him, I see our hands outstretched, shaping and fashioning what we would like to worship. Removing the parts we dislike, adding on extras, messing with the image of the only worthy One. I want to erase every self-made idea and just know Him. And love Him. Not just say it. Not just love Him with my heart, but put all my mind, soul and strength into loving Him too. I want to worship Him. Not with my idea of worship but with His. Not with my idea of a sacrifice, but with His. With the obedience of everyday of my life. "You will seek me," He says, "and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
May we know You, Lord.