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Pointers along the way #529

How personal is your God?
- Jacob Ninan

When we say we know someone personally, we mean we have met and interacted with him for some time, and we have enough knowledge about him through our contact that helps us to have an opinion about how much we can trust him. How much we trust God also depends on how well we know Him through our interactions with Him. It is obvious that if we have only heard about Him from others but have'nt met Him personally it is unlikely that we trust Him much. Our ability or difficulty in trusting God is certainly not because of any fault on His side. If we know Him, we can't but trust Him.

It is well known that a large number of people who assume they are 'Christians' or children of God think so based on false assumptions--they were born in a 'Christian' family, they attend church, take part in some church activities, read Bible, pray, or they have left their earlier religion and joined a church, got baptised, etc. Their lack of knowledge of God is seen at the time of trials when they find themselves unable to get any comfort, encouragement or help in their heart by holding on to God (Ps.46:1). (Isn't it good that trials come and show us where exactly we stand?).

Some 'Christians' even find it difficult to believe God is almighty, who created the whole world out of nothing and who can do whatever He wants (Ps.115:3;135:6). They don't think the stories of miracles in the Bible actually happened. In this case it is easy to see how they find it difficult to even expect that God will do something for them in their situation, and naturally they don't even seek God for help.

Of course, it is not that all who are truly born of God automatically find it easy to face trials. The difference is that they trust in their Father and turn to Him instinctively when they are in trouble. On the other hand, what we see is that some 'Christians' are not able to receive any comfort or encouragement even when someone shares God's promises with them or prays for them. It is that their heart hasn't been regenerated yet, and they can't even 'see' the things of the kingdom of God (Jn.3:3).

There is so much need to preach the true gospel of God, urging people to turn from their sins and the wrath of God, and to throw themselves at the mercy of God so that they can receive the forgiveness of sins freely as a gift. God longs to be gracious to everyone, but people have not really heard how they can receive that grace (Is.30:15,18). Most have received a cheap grace where all they need to do is to 'accept' Jesus, without any reference to their sin or what it cost God to give them forgiveness freely. Many such people think that God is a very tolerant person who will show grace to everyone.

Anyone can learn to sing songs, clap hands, 'worship' God and be active in church. But if we have a true relationship with God, it will be seen in the way we relate to Him in times of trouble. We can see where we stand by the fruit that comes out in our own life (Mt.7:20).


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