A few days ago I got into a conversation with someone online about my faith – so far, so normal for me :) – and this person accused me of being a willing slave to God.
Yes, I am, I said. And here’s a little bit about why…
And just now I found myself thinking about that conversation, and making connections with romance.
I found myself thinking about the kind of situations when a friend tells you about the new guy in her life, and she’s so besotted and you wonder: what does she see in him?
And there’s two ways of asking that question – you might ask it with a massive eyeroll because everything you’ve heard about this guy is so negative that you just can’t imagine what she might possibly see in him… or you might ask it with an openness to hearing the answer. You might ask it as someone who really wants to know.
I think those two attitudes are there when I talk to people about God. What’s yours? You, reading this right now – when you hear me declare that I am utterly besotted with God and I want to devote my whole life to serving him, do you roll your eyes and think “all I’ve heard about God is so negative, I can’t imagine what she can possibly see in him”, or are you open to hearing my answer?
When I say I am really happy to be described as a willing slave to the sovereign, almighty God who created this whole universe and all that’s in it – are you ready to hear why?
There’s so much I could say… where do I start? I could start with me, or with Jesus – these are the two main characters in the story… The me of back then, when I didn’t know much about God – I’d only heard stuff from people who didn’t really know him personally, my only concepts of religion were of people who seemed obsessed with intricate rules and regulations, which totally didn’t make God seem appealing. I’d heard people talk about him as though he’s some abstract, distant entity, sitting on a cloud and judging us for whether or not we, for instance, ate bread during Passover or watched TV on the Sabbath.
I hadn’t heard anyone talk in terms of knowing God personally, or of God loving us…
And then, aged 27, I walk into a church and meet Jesus.
Personally. Powerfully. Life-changingly.
The life-changing stuff took a long while to happen. There was some very basic stuff about Jesus that I didn’t understand yet at that point – like him being the Saviour, who came to die on the cross as atonement for our sins…
Once I got that – aged 40 – my life really changed drastically.
And that’s really what it boils down to – Jesus is the reason I’m so besotted with God, so grateful for what he’s done for me that I can’t stop talking about God’s love, because it’s so shockingly awesome! Because the almighty, omnipotent, sovereign God, who made the whole world and all that’s in it and is in control and could smash it all to bits in a nanosecond and would be totally within his rights to do that because mankind has been in constant rebellion against him since the very beginning… and I personally was in constant rebellion against him and was living as though he isn’t even a thing… instead of doing all that, he said: here is my Son, I’m giving him to you as a gift, I’ve sent him from heaven to become a human being and to die a horrible death as though he was a criminal, to be the atoning sacrifice for all your sins. And he will be the mediator between us, and his righteousness (which is the perfect righteousness that no human being can ever live up to, but Jesus lived a life without sin) will be credited to you so you will be regarded by me as holy and sinless, despite all you’ve done, and through him you will be adopted into my family and be able to call me Dad and talk to me and know that I always always hear you, and that I care – you’ll know I care about you deeply, because I cared enough to give my only Son for you.
I didn’t know, and didn’t care to find out… but God in his mercy drew me to him, showed me the truth, opened my eyes to see – and, reader, I fell in love with him. He had me at “salvation”, at “atonement”, at “it is by grace you’re saved”… He won me over with the blood of Christ.
The deity I’d heard about when growing up – that was a man-made invention that held no attraction for me. Why would I want to worship some distant, unknowable being that doesn’t seem to care about us?
It all changed when I met Jesus, and like Thomas before me, all I can do is bow down in worship and say: my Lord and my God!