Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Who Is This God Anyway?

Welcome P31 subscribers! Im so glad you dropped by today and hope you will visit again soon.

Todays devotion touched on the topic of spiritual curfew, in other words, learning to understand and believe that when God guides us to do things, or not to do things, that He truly does have our best interest at heart.

I think that many non believers of Jesus, or new Christians, think that being a Christian is too much sacrifice and not enough fun - but its so not true! I have learned over the years that what I used to think was fun, even if I knew it was not the right thing to do, is really not fun anymore. My idea of what is fun, pleasurable, exciting and memorable has changed completely.

How did this change of perspective take place? I began to see my heavenly Father as someone who truly loved me, not someone who judged me or punished me or was ashamed of me.

I believe it all boils down to our self guided impression of who God really is. If we visualize Him as a hard-faced, stern, judgemental and punishing God, then it will be hard to accept His discipline or guidance in our lives. But on the other hand, if we see Him as a kind, patient, loving, generous and wonderful Dad, who disciplines us when we need it and sweetly speaks to our hearts when we need some conviction about something, then we are more likely to heed to His work in our life, and even be thankful for it.

This past weekend while we were doing some traveling, I read the book The Shack, by WM. Paul Young. All I can say is..... wow. I shed many tears while reading it, and my heart is changed after reading this book. My view of God has changed. My vision of what He looks like has changed. My idea of how He intervenes in our life, what heaven looks like, what love looks like, and how much God truly loves me, has changed. Not because of some fictional writing, but because of what God spoke to my heart while I was reading it.

Now please dont misunderstand me - nothing could ever replace Gods Word, or come anywhere close to its importance in our lives, but this book The Shack put Gods love for us in a perspective that we can all relate to, through the telling of a powerful story of a man who experienced unspeakable tragedy, blamed God and lost his relationship with Him as a result... but then found His Father in a way He never thought possible.

Whether you are a believer or not, I want to encourage you to make a commitment to read this book in the new year. It is a fiction book, but it was so amazingly written, that I felt like I was witnessing the events in Macks (the main character) life with my own eyes. The author so vividly describes each and every scene that Mack experiences with God, that in my memory, it seems as if I had seen it myself. I especially recall the chapter when God allowed Mack to see a glimpse of heaven, through the way God sees it - not pearly gates, but astonishing beauty and beautiful swarms of color illuminating from angels who were formerly here on earth. That is all I am going to say - because you need to read it for yourself!

Would you like to see God in a whole new light this coming year?

Do you wish you could find the passion to begin delving into The Bible, and maybe even read it through its entirety this year?

Do you long to feel overwhelmingly love by God, but you have been hurt and just do not know to see how your circumstance could be used to His glory or for some higher purpose?

Are you mad at God for something bad that has happened in your life?

Do you desire to see God as your loving daddy, but have a hard time doing so because your earthly daddy did not meet your expectations?

Do you want to take the first step of healing, and start seeing God for the amazing Father that He truly is?

Go get your copy of The Shack this week. When you are finished, if you are anything like me, you will find yourself empowered, motivated and excited to pick up the real book, The Holy Bible, and discover all the truths that the most important book of all holds for you.

But whether you pick up The Shack or not, I pray for God to impress upon your heart a desire to know Him better this year, and a desire to read His Word for guidance each day.

If you are not interested in fiction books, you could also check out my book, Reinventing Your Rainbow, which shares my testimony of redemption and how I found God again after allowing myself to drift away from a relationship with Him due to the shame and regret of sins in my past. Maybe that is why The Shack speaks so much to my heart, because in many ways, I can relate to what the character was feeling and thinking.

So there you go - two choices for great reading to kick off a brand new year! But no matter what you choose to devote your time to in reading during this coming year, I pray God will guide your heart and peak your interest in the books that will most speak to your heart, and that God can mold you and guide you. But most of all, I pray you will find time to spend with God each day, reading His Holy Word, and discovering who your God, your heavenly Daddy, really is.

Have a safe and happy New Year!

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10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I honestly don't know how God puts on your heart to write day in and day out exactly what I need to hear. Thank you for allowing God to work through you to encourage myself and so many others. You are truly a woman of the Lord. May we all experience peace with the Lord in 2009!

Anonymous said...

I second that. 'The Shack' is very inspiring, I loved it.

Joyful said...

Tracie, The Shack is a powerful book. Written so well. The author was interviewed recently on a Christian program here in Canada. I think the message that came across so vividly to me was how personal God desires to be with each of us.

What I want more than anything in the days ahead is to know God more - more than the Bible reading and the Bible studies - more than going to church and teaching Sunday School etc... Just writing that made my fingers slow their typing as I caught my breath in the realization that in order to know God more, I'm going to have to experience things that will lead me to experience Him in ways I have not yet learned of His character. Can I be honest and say, that frightens me a little, wondering what God will allow to touch my life so that I can meet Him in new ways (especially considering I have tests at the hospital this afternoon because of concerns that were evident in a recent proceedure). It's hard to get to that point of saying, Lord, whatever it takes to bring me closer to You, then I'm OK with that! Lord, hold me through the process and may Your will be done.

Desiring to discover more of God,
Happy New Year,
Joy

Jennymac said...

Thank you, Tracie, for your transparency and your writing today (and all the other days!)I have been feeling "dry" with my relationship with God & I do get to feeling it's all about the "Don't touch, Don't drink, don't do this & that" sometimes. I was involved in a cult-like church for 3 years so I was taught (brainwashed) into believing God was like that. I need to retrain the brain when I find myself slipping into that mode. Thank you so much for this new book recommendation. I am going to pick up 2 copies today. I was trying to figure out what to get my dear friend for her birthday and I know God is leading me to this book! By the way, I LOVE the picture on your blog of the beach -that is what heaven looks like to me too! Have a wondeful New Year!

Anonymous said...

I appreciate your words today! I also have read "The Shack", this book fanned my fire for more of God and what he has instore...I would talk about this book daily as I read it and told those around me how amazing this book is and is a must read. We have this picture painted in our heads about God and what he looks like and who he is, but what left me in awe is the condition of his heart for me. This book left me crying and excited about my eternal home and my passion for a relationship with my Lord! I will be giving this book as gifts! To believers and non! Thanks Tracie!

Renee

Kim said...

I read "the shack" and am planning to read it again after the new year. Amazing book!! I realized that I have God in a "little box" and he is just SO HUGE and I am so little and yet he wants me to come to him in every circumstance. It was a life changing read for sure!!

blessings to you in the New Year!

B His Girl said...

Hi Tracie,

Happy New Year! I have read the Shack and I loved it! God wants us to experience life with Him, not just Wednesday Bible study. He speaks to us through His word and the things around us ALL the time. I could relate to so much of what Young said. He called Saraya,(Holy Spirit) way out there. If we are walking by faith, we understand that statement. There is one part of the book, I am going to go back and look deeper into. I put a question mark beside it. Who is this God anyway? He reveals Himself to us as we follow Him. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror, but THEN we shall see face to face. Now I know in part, then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
He is an awesome God!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I have read the book... and was able to listen to the auther speak... He is an amazing servant of our LORD.... His life testamony is worth hearing.... blessings

Van said...

There is so much I could say about God-boring? dull? not fun? I thought we had a blast this summer - traveling twice and getting lost in the mountains- all to bring God's message to His girls. I thought of this today as I read the news and saw this article. You gotta read it and then throw Nancy Never Lost away! http://www.switched.com/2009/01/02/new-study-reveals-gps-navigation-systems-often-give-poor-directi/?icid=200100397x1216026416x1201054957

Tammy Nischan said...

Tracie,

Loved your devotional thoughts! Reading The Shack really helped me come to terms with my son Nick's cancer.

I highly recommend it to everyone!
Love,
Tammy Nischan