For a while, I thought I believed something I call “rational Christianity.” I searched the Bible for principles in the hopes of learning how God responded to folks in olden times. I searched Christian literature for the same thing. My goal? To get God to do something for me.
I chose the incorrect name for this set of beliefs… they weren’t rational at all. I should have called them “irrational Christianity” (and the “Christianity” part is doubtful, as well).
Rational Christianity didn’t work. No matter how hard I tried I could not successfully manipulate God into doing what I wanted, so I stopped being religious (except about hygiene – bathing, brushing my teeth, etc.).
During this period I learned God is my Father and I am His child.
I am a child of an earthly father. I have five children. To this, I can relate. My children love me. They don’t rationalize that they should love me, they just do. I love them too. If you ask them why they love me, the most common answer is “I just do.” Can you rationalize that? I can’t.
I know more about life stuff because I’ve been alive longer and have more experience. It bugs my younger children when I tell them they cannot do something that they want to do. Usually their requests are along the lines of staying up late on a school night or spending too much time playing a video game or going outside unprepared for the weather. I tell them “No” because I want them to enjoy a good night’s rest and get some exercise and not catch a cold.
They could rationalize my responses into “You don’t love me,” but that rationalization would be inaccurate.
Similarly, I realized I could not base God’s love on the stuff to which He says, “Yes.”
I realized later that I was being a spoiled child. I had a lot of things backwards.
What I’ve Learned
God isn’t a mechanism. I can’t “operate” God. I cannot manipulate Him. He has changed me and is continuing to change me. That’s what God does; He changes people. Ultimately, He will change those who love Him into something new.
God changed me into a new person. This process continues. I think “process” is a better word for describing this Relationship. It’s more than an event where I said a prayer, although the process began that way.
I want different things. I want what He wants. How do I know what God wants? Read the Bible; He inspired people to write what He wants. It’s there, all you or I need to do is read (or listen to) it.
I had it backwards, but God changed me.
Has He changed you?