Day 2: Knowing God

I grew up in Kansas. Where there are four distinct seasons.

During the summer of 1996, I moved to California to attend graduate school.

Same country.
Very different state.

I loved the odd-looking plants, like oleander and palm trees and shapely shrubs that made neighborhoods look like they were designed by Dr. Seuss.

And all the swimming pools! It was already late August. Fall was not far away. And I was looking forward to enjoying my new apartment’s amenities as long as I could. So I asked the apartment manager when the pool closed.

“At 11pm,” she replied.

It took a minute to realize she’d answered a different question than the one I’d asked. Back home, the pools close on Labor Day.

That was the first of many paradigm shifts in getting to know California.

Getting to know God requires MORE THAN ONE paradigm shift.

All Christians begin with a partial understanding of Who God is.

My mom didn’t contribute much. I don’t remember ever hearing her pray. But she did read her Bible a lot. She kept it by her rocking chair and underlined verses. Sadly, that was her only testimony.

Thankfully our ultra conservative church provided the Rules for Living. And we had the world’s absolute best youth group. We went roller skating, camping, boating, and on hayrides. But my church also taught me …

  • that you could mess up things with God.
  • so you need to “come forward” and “get right with God.”
  • and that the being a Christian meant you lived with guilt and shame.

Does any of that match your experience?

If so, here are some ways to open yourself up to Who God really is …

  1. Talk to Him. He’s very approachable. And He doesn’t expect perfection. Just a conversation. (Jeremiah 33:3, Hebrews 4:16)
  2. Read the Bible. Don’t merely accept others’ interpretations as the Absolute Truth. Seek to know the Truth that will set you free for yourself. And if it doesn’t set you free, it isn’t the Truth. (John 8:32)
  3. Surround yourself with people who are kind. And full of love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23).

TODAY’S DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  1. How different would your life be if you fully understood the Lord’s love?
  2. What would change about your outlook for your relationship?
  3. How might your relationship be different?