A Fresh Encounter with God Changes Everything

How well do you know God? Do you see Him as an “out there” being who is gambling with your life? Is He a cranky old judge, ready to dole out an indictment? Or is He kind and gentle, gracious and forgiving?

Who we think God is, impacts everything about the way we live our lives.

Growing up in an abusive home made it nearly impossible for me to see God as a loving father. My faith upbringing didn’t help either, as I believed I had to earn God’s love and blessing. Can you see how that might play out in my life, even today? Ahem, control issues. I always saw myself as needing to defend myself and provide for myself, because I didn’t believe that God would be there for me. Honestly, it’s a miracle I ever came to know Jesus as my Lord and Savior in college, considering my distorted thinking about God.

What we choose to believe about God’s identity – who He says He is – is the framework for how we live out our faith.

Understanding the character of God and His inherent attributes influences how we see ourselves and the way we approach every situation. It determines our response to temptations and trials, obstacles and conflicts. It even influences how we respond to blessings. Do we take the credit or give God the glory?

It’s kind of ironic, don’t you think, that we spend most of our time focusing on ourselves and striving to define our own identity. We allow our roles and responsibilities to determine our value. We allow our past to predict our future. We allow our pain to define our potential. We allow opinions and accomplishments and metrics to measure our worth. And what does that effort amount too? Nothing. Zilch. Nada.

We are a defeated, depressed, anxious, overwhelmed, distracted, stressed-out and downright joyless people who have created an idol of self in search for meaning.

Friend, there is another way to lead life. Since the beginning of time, God’s people have done exactly what we’re doing – doubting His character, forsaking His commands, and turning from His best in search for something more. And yet God graciously responds to such rebellion with an urging to turn back to Him. To meditate on His Words and study His decrees. To love Him wholeheartedly and obey without delay (Deuteronomy 11:18-22).

By devoting ourselves to the study of His commands and reflecting on His ways (Psalm 119:15, NLT), we can purposefully shift the focus off ourselves and onto God. As the truth becomes our plumb line, we can overcome biases about God’s character and our misunderstandings about His promises.

So, may this very moment be the one in which we choose to seek a fresh encounter with God through the study of His Word, so that He may truly transform our thinking and living to align with His best.

This post originally appeared at Girlfriends in God.

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1 thought on “A Fresh Encounter with God Changes Everything”

  1. As I am reading this post, I see myself so plainly. I too was raised in an abusive home and my faith upbringing taught me that I had to earn God’s approval. The thing that I can’t understand is that I have known the Lord for over 43 years. I am now 73 years old and I met Him when I was 30. I must have been this person back then who had to be in control but I don’t remember having these issues in the beginning of my walk with Him. I heard His Voice, and I feel that I had a wonderful relationship with Him. For whatever reason, an I can’t figure out exactly what I did, I have had no communication with Him in a few years, about 8 I would say. I am so miserable, depressed, defeated anxious, overwhelmed , distracted and all of the other things that were described here. I see myself, my need to be in control and I see that I have not allowed God to be in control of my life for a long time. I just don’t know why…why now after so many years of knowing the awesome love of God..I do not feel that way anymore and I want to go back. I try to read His Word and hear His voice that way, pray..I have a special place where I go to do this. I have not heard Him there and I am scared that I have lost Him forever. I know that this does not sound like someone who has ever know the Lord and that is what scares me the most. I just want to go back to that person who trusted Him and knew His Love. Is this possible at the age of 73, with health and memory issues? I may have memory issues, but that time with Him from the late 70’s until the late 90’s I will never forget. I need someone to talk to!! Carol

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