Sometimes I’m so frustrated with God and my broken communication patterns with Him that all I want is Him in a corporeal form so that I can actually speak to Him in physical interaction. I want to see God here in THIS world, in my physical circumstances (perhaps as a little floating ball of fire on my desk); I don’t want to have to hear my own voice in my head and question if it is God or not. I don’t always have time to pray in the spirit or to talk to myself and leave space for Him. I want things on my terms without the confusion or complication of impressions, feelings, or hearing His “suggestions”. I want to hear a response! I want clarity. I want communication. I want my circumstances clear. I just want to believe, not question. I want control!
But oh, how short-sighted I can be! Oh how temporal I can be! Oh how self-centered I can be! I want God revolving around me and my life. While I understand that God pursues us, do I not have to also let Him in? Why do I try and tell God about what I want or need without actually having an honest relationship with Him? While I can be frustrated, I know God has a better plan than trying to minister to me when I won’t really be able to listen. I simply laugh at myself and my striving. I laugh at myself for my frustrations. I really do want to control God. I have an aching heart that demands a connection with Him. Do I not think that God understands me? Do I not think that God knows me completely? Do I not think that God cares for me? Do I not believe that God can speak to me in my own preferences and languages? He knows our being as we are created in His image! Let’s focus on God, not ourselves and our victim mentality. Let’s give glory to God! His ways are of relationship, not consumption, and His ways are perfect in understanding spiritual truth. The wisdom of His Holy ways connects us to Him in timeless intimacy and we re-learn what it means to have a close heart and relationship.
Think about it. If I really had my way, God would be speaking to my consciousness as an external source. How many other things in my life vie for my physical attention? And how much do I abuse my own attention jumping from one thing to the other as if I need to continually distract myself or keep my mind occupied? From my phone, texts, emails, articles, sports, conversations, imagined scenarios, replaying the past, or being curious about learning and absorbing all kinds of information, I confess that my attention is always worn thin. I fail to dwell on the things of God; I don’t often take time to rest and let things fully sink in and I’m usually on to the next thing before the last idea has but finished. I don’t have much peace, just a lot of activity to occupy a hungering mind and heart. Frankly, if God was physical like everything else in this world, I’d abuse Him like I abuse my own attentions and relationships.
Connecting To God In His Higher Ways
Meet With God Through: Undivided Attention
God doesn’t want competition for our attention. He loves us. Would you want your husband or wife preoccupied and paying attention to 100 other things when you are trying to be intimately connect? God wants us entirely for Himself to abide and dwell with Him because His ways are Holy and set apart; they aren’t something common that we should commodify like we tend to do with everything else in our lives. He wants us to exercise our own power of choice and free will, coming to Him even as we are, bringing near to Him the fullness of our minds, emotions, and will. He welcomes us in this! He wants us alone so that we can be in fellowship with Him in a private and intimate focus. He wants to teach us intimacy and relationship, free of distractions and full of connection. God wants us to know fullness of life, which is only when we are undivided and captivated in Him. Like a good father, God teaches us the importance of connection, and it should so be innate in our relationship with Him that everything flows from that, and anything less than connection feels off. That’s God gift to us so that we might also learn to connect with others deeply and share such God-given holy connection.
Meet With God Through: Abiding In The Spirit
Additionally, we live in a physical world! God is of the spiritual world. This is of a different order than all our external relationships. This does not mean we simply can just give up and allow for disconnection on our end. We need to pursue God ourselves as God also pursues us! How? Humans, as tri-part beings, have a spirit, soul, and body. Our spirit communes with God, and His Spirit can impress upon our spirit and even draw our souls to Him as He works on our hearts. Because God is spirit, He has power of all spiritual things and can break the power of sin, bonds, claims, and unhealthy patterns upon our spirit from acts of soul and body (our own and others). Knowing God in spirit is to acknowledge His power and His love for us even in the spiritual realm. We need to not look only with our outer physical senses (admiring creation), or directing our self (mind, will, emotions) toward God, but also connect with God in our spirit and receive Him as an influx of everlasting life.
Receiving His life is possible because our body is a temple of God where His spirit can dwell. Man is God’s temple. Our body, here in the physical world was given life as God breathed our own spirit into us at birth/creation. This created our soul (self). And so we belong to two worlds – physical and spiritual. Our bodies house the medium of our soul and spirit, and serves as a dwelling place here in this world for God. Additionally, after Jesus’ death and resurrection, the Holy Spirit was poured out into the hearts of all who believe in Him so that God’s spirit can dwell within us personally and individually. This is how we are to know ourselves and know God and His spirit, through a spiritual reality of the world. We can also know God through God’s extravagant love for us, shown by how He sent His one and only Son Jesus to pay for our sins on the cross. His aim in dwelling with us is for connection with us. Via relationship, we can love Him back and live a Holy and fulfilling life with Him as His children, now and forever.
Meet With God: In His Holy Temple
In the Old Testament God made a way for us to come to Him via His Holy spiritual temple. God’s physical temple had a gate and outer court for all to enter and worship under the supervision of priests. Further inside the temple was an inner courtyard as a holy place for the priests to make sacrifices, be cleansed of their sins, and to come before God’s veil. The veil separated God from His people because they could not come into His Holy presence which would strike down all sin. Beyond the veil was the Holiest of Holy places where God dwelled. Here God’s own light and brilliance radiated light inside the Holy Place. This place was the most intimate and deepest part of the temple.
We need to remember that this physical temple was created because God’s people were sinful, obstinate, and didn’t want God to dwell among them. God wanted to be with them in full, but the sin in His people’s hearts and rejection of His glory prevented that. In the Old Testament, Jesus had not yet come to reconcile them fully to the Father, nor the Holy Spirit to dwell within them. The temple was an arrangement so that God could dwell directly among His people and teach them His Holy ways. Yet they still rebelled. I wonder what God’s glory would have looked like in the Old Testament if He didn’t have to resort to these means! Regardless, God through His actions continued to reveal Himself and the truth of His being, through all forms of interaction with Him.
The temple was also more than an arrangement, but a reflection of God Himself. It served to show 3 layers of God’s Holiness and 3 layers of how we can relate to Him (and grow closer). Even in Heaven there is order and value to all things (which is a good thing!). It isn’t that God sits in a far away throne, but rather His presence and Majesty has layers. His love radiates from the center place and draws us toward Him spiritually. Similarly, the temple of man has 3 layers: spirit, soul, and body. Thus, we can meet with God in the deepest places of our being, the Holiest of places, the most intimate of places. That place is just for us as our spirit communes with Him. We must leave the other parts of ourself behind.
In the New Testament, belief in Jesus is the gate into the temple. Jesus paid the sacrifices for us and serves as the Holy bread and blood. Jesus is the High Priest who presents Himself as a sacrifice to God to make a way for us. Upon Jesus’ death, the veil was torn and we all were granted access to the most intimate access and communion with God the Father in the Holiest of Holy places! Upon His death we are washed clean in God’s eyes, just as God’s word helps to cleanse our souls, and so we can approach the Father boldly. Additionally, with Jesus serving as the forever sacrifice, God can also come directly to us with His presence.
Thus, meeting with God face to face is always through our relationship and the transaction of Jesus Christ. When we come before God within the temple and church of our own body, we enter into spiritual relationship. We ourselves a temple, discipline our bodies, make our inner life holy and sacrificial to God, and then come to Him with our spirits for us to be free from sin, set apart to God, and to know the depth of relationship and fullness of life from God. It heals our souls as we abide deeply with God. The means of abiding can help usher us into deeper intimacy and communion with God.
See God: In Everything
Once we attune into the spirit and connect with God, we can emerge with spiritual eyes and see how God already is in everything! He’s even in our frustrations. Once we know this, we receive calm and knowing of God and can meet with Him intimately, anywhere. Then, we see how we are to move and respond to the world that needs our love and purity. We are to restore, care for, and share with others the riches we have through Christ.
One More Thing…
Did Jesus die for us so that we’d have this access to God in the Holiest of Holy places? It is true that Christ’s atoning death makes possible the forgiveness of our sins and our reconciliation to God. We need to trust God in this and stand firm in it with confidence. But God gives us something more to trust, believe, and hope for: that we have everlasting life! God loves us enough to come to the planet Himself as His Son Jesus to die for us. Jesus (God) was then resurrected on the third day. How much more will be resurrected to be with God in Heaven? All shall be made alive in Christ! We will carry on with our spirits reconciled to Him fully in eternal life.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God. John 3:16-20
This is something much more to consider and rejoice in! As a first step, let’s understand the Holy ways that were made for us to relate to God and let’s begin that connection.
Let’s Reach Out And Connect To God! – A Closing Prayer
We are free to do so! If this whole blog post has any purpose, it’s so that we take this knowledge and act on it! Let’s connect with God! He already knows about us. Accepting Jesus as our savior, we can go before God! So, where should we start? That’s a better question.
God, we reach out to You knowing You want to be with us and made a way for us! We want life with You! We accept Jesus as our savior, who died for our sin and made the way to You.
- Let us feel your presence in our inner being so that we might know You and commune with You in the deepest of places.
- Convict us of our sin so that we might know why Jesus had to die for us personally and so that I might recognize Him and You as my personal savior.
- Let us feel your love for us. We’ve begun to study it, but let us feel the depth and breadth of it, to experience how real it is, how full it is, and how there is nothing like you God. Your love is perfect and glorious.
- Help us to know how Jesus finished everything on the cross and that it’s not by our works or performance, but Your love that frees us.
- Help us to know You. Build our hunger for you. We long to know you.
- Help us to heal from our wounds and hurts. Help clear our eyes of sin and look to You for righteousness and clarity.
- Help us to share this start of our faith journey with someone we can trust, someone who knows Your love, and is open to your children.
I ask that you help us grasp the spiritual reality of this world. The symbolism of your Holy Temple reveals the nature of your presence with us and the order and value you assign around You. Your Son Jesus shook the temple in His death and made a way for us to you. In His resurrection, you demonstrated eternal life that we can trust and believe in. We saw your glory and magnificence as the Almighty in this, and your love for humanity. We don’t need to earn our way to you, but simply believe. I ask that you help us see that our life isn’t about works, but that the work has already been done by Jesus, because He was the only one who could live a perfect life. We accept this gift and do not try to achieve it ourselves. We can live from it by accepting it, not trying to recreate it by our own futile means. Thus, our highest commands are to ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
When we understand that the work has already been done and that we can’t get to heaven and eternal life by our own works, where do we have left to turn but to understand this great gift and come to you in personal relationship and to be set apart unto you for love? Though we are saved by faith and grace, we often yet shrink in fear of our sin being exposed. Why do we fear punishment? We should rejoice in the eternal life you lead us into. Let us by trust in you come into your light and be seen by you. It’s so easy to be fearful. But let us know that Jesus took our place of condemnation and our sin can be removed. We don’t have to fear condemnation ourselves. So what stands in our way? Let’s cast our anxieties and fear upon Jesus and step into the light to experience the Father!
We want this experience, and from it, we can then go from the spiritual world into the physical world and share You with the world! You are evident by Creation, but your character and love should also be articulated by us, your children who experience intimately your goodness. We belong to you in this way and are your hands and feet. Once we experience your healing and know you are making us Holy now and for eternal life, we rejoice in that! Come Lord Jesus. Come Father. Be with us. I invite you here. I come to you. Let’s be together. Let’s be here.