I’ve known God my whole life. My kids have known God their whole life. Heck, at this point I would be convinced that even the dog and hamsters and fish all know God because you really can’t avoid knowing Him if you enter our house.
If you can read you’ll find bible verses scattered around the house. If you’re observant you’ll see bibles near almost every comfy sitting surface. If you look beyond a glance you’ll see bracelets hanging from random cupboard knobs and you might wonder what they’re for. If you live here, you know.
Of course, if you can hear then you have no excuse in this house. You will hear and know of God in a matter of minutes because the talk of Him in this place is unapologetically often. I’m sure for some it would be nauseatingly often but for us, it’s our mode of operation in this world.
Are you worried about something? Let’s see what scripture says about that. Are you excited? Let’s give thanks where thanks is due. Are you moody and mean? Let’s talk about what Christ has done for us. Did you accomplish great things today? Let’s turn that glory to the one who gave you strength. Are you scared? Let’s ask for courage.
We have a worldview that infects all of life. As do you. Ours just happens to be centred around God.
But it wasn’t always this way.
Yes, we always knew God because we were raised in the church and had children’s bibles and went to VBS. But knowing God wasn’t some golden ticket that earned us our place in heaven. We didn’t find one of five hidden in a candy bar to secure our spot in the chocolate factory. Y’know?
Because though we knew God we didn’t really give a dang about doing anything with that knowledge. Sure, we had the knowledge of who He was along with the stories of Noah and Jonah and Moses and so on but there was no grasp that we were somehow supposed to meld the two.
We had knowledge of God. We had our life. We never really took the time to introduce the two.
Life was lived for our own gain. Earning the diploma and getting the job were what our strivings were for. Energy was placed on making more money and finding a cooler apartment. Money was spent on clothes and technology and whatever else we wanted, really. Weekends were spent in a little diner and then off to the beach because that’s what made us happy.
Our pursuit of happiness was in making day to day choices that made us smile right there in the moment, with no thought on what the next moment held.
Romans would say we had foolish hearts and were futile in our thinking. Romans would be correct. Because when you fall prey to the notions that you only live once and so you should seek all the good for yourself right now and in this moment then we make ourselves into self-serving, self-righteous, little gods who demand that the world give us what we want, when we want it and how we want it.
Or as Metric’s hit single states so glaringly on repeat, “I want it all. I want it all. I want it all. I want it all.”
This sort of happiness, I can state with authority, does not have longevity. But it does feel awesome in the moment. Until it doesn’t. And that’s when we need another moment to boost us up again and we look around for the next thing that will make us happy. Again.
Money, stuff, sex, the illusion of a good life. A promotion, a few drinks, a conversation with a co-worker that makes your heart pound a little harder than it should considering you’re married. Fun becomes reckless because safety isn’t fun anymore and adrenaline feels good. So we max out credit cards in this fruitless pursuit and we furnish our hearts with all of the things that we think it wants all the while colouring it a deeper shade of black. With each purchase we think will bring happiness we smudge up a corner of our hearts. With each flirtation that goes a little further we toss up some dark paint. With each craving we seek to fulfill we rub the charcoal over all the areas of our hearts until they are nothing but murkiness, darkness and black.
Knowing God doesn’t change anything about this. It’s only when you take the time to introduce God to the rest of your life, that they shake hands and exchange pleasantries and decide its time that they hang out, that anything changes.
Romans 1: 21 says, “For although they knew God, they did not honour him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their foolish hearts were darkened.”
You can know Him all you want. Study His ways until you know them front to back. Take all of the 400 level classes on who He is. Read all of the popular theologians that will explain to you every characteristic He has. You can memorize large chunks of His Word. You can even teach other people all about Him from your highly evolved and very educated brain. You can spout it off in large circles and impress the best of ’em. You can.
But until you honour Him as God it is futile. Until you introduce Him to every single segment of your life, it’s pointless. It’s only once you recognize and honour Him for who He is that anything changes. And everything changes. And there isn’t a crevice of your life you can segregate. Oh, you can board up your work life or your online life or your financial life. You can put up a chain link fence and all of the no trespassing signs you want around your sex life or entertainment or need for control. But once you honour him as God there isn’t an area He won’t bulldoze. I assure you, He ignores the Do Not Enter signs, just as He ought.
So worth it? A million times yes!
Do you just know him? Or do you honour him? These are the conversations we’re having in our home just now.
**I decided to pick a nice light book of the bible to study with the kids over summer. I mean, really, what better time to tackle Romans, than while lying by the pool or sitting around the campfire, right?
If you’ve read Romans you can feel the sarcasm dripping from my words because this book is anything but light. It’s rich and theological and contains sentences that I have to reread 7 times to make sense of. And let’s be honest, even then my ‘sense’ of it is baby like.
This book took John Piper something like 8 years to preach through (if you’re interested you can find out how to get all 224 of those sermons here!) and we’re going to get through it in a summer. Go us!
This post was inspired by the first chapter of Romans and I’m sure there will be many more following from this book. Wanna join us in reading it this summer?