by Pastor Tim Burt
Have you ever had a wrong perception of someone? Personally, I hate it when I get the wrong perception of a person. I was at a conference a few years back. I met this guy who introduced himself to me. We had a very pleasant conversation and I remember walking away thinking, I'd like to get to know that person better. I mentioned meeting him to a couple of other people, sharing what a nice guy he seemed to be. They immediately painted a bad picture of him to me. It shocked me because the picture did not match what I had experienced. I found out over time, that he was a great guy and the other two people who painted him not-so-nice, were jealous of him.
It happens in life. People judge or size-up someone for various reasons and too quickly allow a wrong perception to be formed. I think we all hate when we do that and feel embarrassed when we are so wrong in what we thought.
People do this with God all the time. They have a wrong perception of Him. It's because they don't know Him through the knowledge of His Word. They might not know God except through what they have figured out or have been told by others. No offence but figuring out God for yourself is ridiculous! If you could figure out God, then He wouldn't be God. And if you think you can figure out everything about God, you are really creating your own god. God reveals Himself to those that hunger and seek to know Him. Jeremiah 29:13 NIV says, "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
God does not want to be figured out. God can't be figured out with the human mind. That is what false religion and cults are born from—figuring out with the human intellect who and what God is. How prideful and vain that is! The human mind cannot begin to fathom the majesty of God. Job had been guilty of figuring out God and God corrected him saying, “Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words? ...Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you know so much..." Job 38:2-4 (NLT)
How does God reveal Himself and to whom does He? For starters, God reveals Himself to those who, through a cry of the heart pray, God, if you are real, I sincerely want to know. If Jesus is your Son I really want to know. Please help me to know you! That simple prayer sincerely spoken will solicit God's heart and a response will surely come. God will reveal Himself in countless ways that look like a series of coincidences. They aren't. Eventually you'll hear someone preaching or teaching from the Bible and God can and will reveal Himself. You'll conclude God is speaking to you. But, most of those ways are visible only to the heart that is seeking Him. He does not reveal Himself to the mocker or indifferent! As Jesus said, "Do not cast your pearls before swine."
When a person receives Jesus as their Lord and Savior, He immediately sends the Holy Spirit to live within their heart. The Holy Spirit opens the eyes of their understanding and they begin to see life though God's eyes. And then God reveals Himself and answers to life's mysteries, and of Himself and His will. 1 Corinthians 2:14 (TLB) says, "But
the man who isn’t a Christian can’t understand and can’t accept these thoughts
from God, which the Holy Spirit teaches us. They sound foolish to him because
only those who have the Holy Spirit within them can understand what the Holy
Spirit means. Others just can’t take it in."
When you haven’t come to know and understand the depth of God’s love, mercy, and grace, you easily formulate false ideas and perceptions of who He is. It may even pervert your faith, instead causing you to fear of Him.
Some believe God is mad at them and wants to strike them down or punish them with judgment or destruction because of something they’ve done wrong. God is just and nothing escapes His sight, but God isn't out to get anyone. He desires to draw us into reconciliation and forgiveness of sin. That is what Jesus died for. He wants to help us to understand His love and see life through His eyes. Then we will want to live for Him. But, for far too many, instead of drawing close to God in faith because of knowing His mercy and love, they are deceived into thinking every little thing going wrong in their life is God’s doing because He is mad at them. They fear Him and pull back from Him. Some believe that God made them sick to teach them a lesson or as a judgment for their sin. They have taken Satan’s attacks and destruction and attributed as God's doing. Now that's a false and wrong perception. It will affect their faith. If they think God wants them sick, then they surely won't look to Him for help or to minister healing to them.
Is a wrong perception of God stealing your faith? When you are going through a hard time, do you begin to wonder or doubt if God cares or loves you? Do you question if He wants to help you?
Luke 18:7-8 (NLT) "... So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to Him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, He will grant justice to them quickly..."
God makes it clear. The problem is not with Him. It boils down to this. Do we really know Him? Have we taken the time to know and become intimate with Him so that we do know of His mercy and goodness? Or, has a wrong perception because of a lack of seeking and getting to know Him for who He really is, stolen your faith? Do you only know what others say the Bible says, or have you learned to read it for yourself? Seek Jesus! He loves you! He is constantly trying to reach you. He wants to help you! Open your eyes and pay attention and you'll see. As Hebrews 13:6 says, "So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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