Wednesday, June 14, 2023

God of Clear Standards

Much has been made in Christian circles of figuring out what it is that God desires from His people, how we are supposed to live as a people of God. I should say, too, that much money has been made claiming to have figured this out. There is no shortage of spiritual gurus who will try to take you through a labyrinth of biblical study, complete with cross references and ancient languages and "necessary" "interpretations" to tell you what it is that God wants from you. 

Do we tithe? Do we go to church? How often should we go to church? When should we pray, for how long, and for what? Or whom? Do we curse? Is it okay if we're not cursing anything specific? Do we dance? Play cards? Drink? What about tattoos? We have a thousand questions, it seems, and we'll go to whatever lengths we have to go to in search of answers. 

Either that, or we go so far looking for answers, get frustrated that we're not finding what we're looking for (either because it disagrees with what we hoped it might be or because it seems everyone has a different interpretation of what we're looking for), and we give up entirely. We just can't live the kind of life that God really wants us to live. We just can't figure out what that life really even looks like. 

But God says it's not as hard as we're making it out to be. 

God says, actually, that it's very easy. 

God says that we don't have to go to the highest heavens or the deepest depths or the furthest horizons to find His commands, His expectations, His hopes for us. 

We don't have to go that far because He is a God who has woven them into the very fabric of our being. They are already inside of us, in the same space where His Holy Spirit dwells. They are right here. 

We never have to go searching for God as much as we do. He is already intimately near. 

Because of this nearness, because of this indwelling, because of this interwovenness, there is no question about what God wants from us, what He desires, how He expects us to live. Our hearts already know. We're just wired that way. 

If we're honest with ourselves, we know that.

If I'm being honest with you (and I always am, to the best of my human ability), I can't think of a single time that I have gone searching for what God wants from me when I haven't really just been looking to justify myself. When I haven't just been wanting to get some kind of clear evidence or guidance to go ahead and do whatever it is that I want to do anyway. I have never done any kind of searching where I wasn't hoping that God was going to somehow bless my human, earthly, selfish desire. 

I'm fairly certain I'm not alone in that. 

Still, I pretend sometimes that it's harder than it needs to be. I don't know why. It's a very human thing to do, I guess. 

But I'm so thankful for a God who doesn't make it that hard. Who doesn't require me to go searching for these answers because He's promised me they are already near, already so near that they are woven right inside of me into the holy place where He Himself dwells. 

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