13 Nov 2015

Do I really need God?

Actually, you don't.

If what you want is to get by in life, make it rich, have a good time, mind your own business...raise some decent kids. I would say you do not need God. There are plenty of non-God people who do well in every department of life, from studies to marriage to phenomenal success.

In fact, I tried being an atheist once. Just forget about God la.

It lasted about a week.

This is why.

God is not an add-on.
He is not a secret ingredient for the best life.
The Heavenly Father isn't lonely.
Jesus isn't desperate for followers {as I tell it in my book Shed Those Leaves, his political non-maneuverings led him to a grisly death}
The Holy Spirit won't overpower / spook you because he needs to deliver / fill / use someone.

Human beings at our best spiritually is Religious. This means we think, do, define stuff that measures us as: up / down, in / out, black / white. And religion has got us all into a lot of trouble which we are still trying to climb out of.

We can get by without God. He has graciously and generously provided the air and water cycle plus basic causal links which we can use to generate food, shelter and even regenerate ourselves.
When we reach for God ourselves, we tend to create caricatures, totems and idols.

What the Bible tells us is not that we are bad people. Not that we must improve. Not that Christianity or Judaism is a pathway to God even. No, the Bible tells us,

In the beginning God.
At the end, God.

We come onto the scene at his breath. That breath makes us alive on multiple levels: able to eat, relate to animals, work creatively, govern, procreate, hear and respond to God with immediacy. That the breath returns to the Giver by orienting us towards Him in reverence, obedience, and union.

But the breath gets snuffed.

We need fresh breath to be truly alive.

I named this blog To Really Live because I started out on life with very little. I wore the same dress twice to birthday parties and another child pointed it out. All of my life I grasped at what it means to live. I was alive even if I was hungry often. I was alive enough to thrive through some harsh setbacks. I wanted to be alive emotionally, intellectually, creatively... to really live was my quest.

For many today, a full life is a busy life, or a pleasure-filled life, or a life where one is not denied what one wants. Some are more outward looking and a full life is about making a mark, leaving a legacy.

But to really live, we have to be really alive first.

God says we need Him to be really alive.

With Him, it does not mean our lives are charmed. We speak of Grace, Favour, Providence, miracles. These are all true and we would be blind to deny they are real and experienced by many who trust God. Yet, our lives can also be filled with all the same issues and problems.

The difference?

It is to really live by that breath that turns us Godward so that we rise above ourselves. Our agenda is no longer ourselves. Our reward is no longer this-worldly. Our joy is no longer circumstantial. 

Jesus did a strange thing (especially to our sensibilities) when he appeared to his disciples after rising from the dead. It is recorded that 'he breathed on them'. That breath brings us right back to the first page of our story, when God breathed and brought forth a living being called man. It seems Jesus was re-enacting that; letting them know he is calling them to life.

{imagine the scene, being there and hearing the breath}

Perhaps pause now to hear (one of these):

Breathe on me by Hillsong

Breathe on me breath of God by Steven Green

And this fresh breath is sustained and swept up in a work of God that urges us forward to a vision of renewing earth, reconciling hearts, restoring hope that flickers within us. 

The story of how the disciples were struck by a wind that carried flames and loosed their tongues in Acts is the turn key event that establishes this grand sweep of a purpose no human can imagine or concoct.

The breath of God is God himself and He is afoot with mighty things that will thunder and billow upon this crusted terrestrial ball!

'to really live' quest lives on!

So I don't need God in a way.
But I cannot truly live without Him.

I was created in His image
To be in relationship with Him
In a way that brings Him glory

If I denied that, I am saying I don't need him.

What's your real desire?
Get on with life, or get on with God?

1 comment:

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and heart here, and helping to to build a real, faith-full community together!