Firstly, a teenage girl was looking up into the sky at night. ‘Where did all this come from?’ she asked herself. ‘Is there a God – out there – a Creator who made all this from nothing and who provides the life force behind everything that lives?’ At school she learnt science which described the rules by which the universe runs, but no subject at school seemed to describe the wonder of actually living in such an amazing world nor the joy of painting or crafting something new.
This is where the God who is my Father comes in for me. When I see an amazing sunset, or catch my breath in amazement at the beauty of science or maths, I feel I am ‘thinking God’s thoughts after him’ as Kepler said. I can say Thank You to God and worship Him knowing that everything He made is good.
Secondly, a clever editor wrote in a newspaper article that he thought his life of depression and loneliness was not worth living anymore. If I could get God to sit in a chair here by me and talk to me, man to man, we could reason together. I’d soon tell him my point of view and, yes, I’d listen to his view as well.’ He finished his article: ‘But God will never really understand because God will never be a man like I am.’
This is where Jesus being God who lived on earth as a man comes in for me. I see Jesus in the Gospel accounts being a man who really loved people, someone who could be trusted, someone who walked with God His Father and someone who was persecuted for what he believed in. When I pray, I can talk to Jesus as easily as if He were sitting by my side.
Thirdly. a sharp tongued businessman decided one day to start to be a good person and to do the right thing. However hard he tried, he could not control his sharp tongue and inner anger. He needed an inner strength which he did not have. He went on an Alpha course and met some Christians who seemed to be able to control themselves far more than he could. What was their secret?
When Jesus died, the whole of the old creation died with Him, and my old self died as part of that. So I died and now I live a life in the Spirit of God who empowers me to overcome. It is an exciting journey internally with Him, although it hasn’t always been easy.
I find that at different times I need different aspects of God and I find these three approaches helpful to me in my prayers and understanding. God the Creator Father, God the Suffering Son, God the Sanctifying Holy Spirit. One God, full of riches. God Almighty who I find in the circumstances of my external world, God Intimate in my relationship and friendship with Jesus as One to talk with and as the glorious Holy Spirit who empowers me to serve others.
Which aspect of God do you find most helpful or do you relate to all of them equally? Do you try to listen more carefully to self controlled people or does character not matter in discussions?