A few years ago I had a conversation with a coworker I never forgot about. I had been working at this job for about five or six months and spent a considerable amount of time with this coworker, but one day when I answered a question he asked, he was shocked by my response.
You see, he thought I would answer the question one way, but I answered it completely the opposite, thus shattering his expectations of myself as a millennial.
What I realized about that conversation is that this coworker only knew me as a coworker. He didn’t really know me. Sure he knew my work habits and how I preferred to organize things and communicate, but in relation to the most important pieces of my life and my identity it felt like he didn’t know me at all.
I’m sure you can relate to that. Have you ever realized someone only knows one small piece of your character? Maybe they only know you as a boss, a neighbor, a lawyer or a pastor.
Parents with young kids; I know you can relate to this because your child only knows you as Mom or Dad. They don’t know anything about your life as a spouse, a sibling, a church member, a professional…none of it. They only know you as a parent.
This conversation with my coworker came to my mind a few weeks ago as I was preparing to speak at an event this past weekend. And I realized this was a pretty good analogy for our limited understanding of God’s personality.
Many of us know God as our savior. We get that he died for us in order to forgive our sins and offer us eternal life. But sometimes we end there. We never get to know the rest of his characteristics. We don’t spend time getting to know him as a friend, a father, a bridegroom, a judge, a creator, a king. The list of his characteristics could go on and on and on for eternity.
That’s what I spoke about this weekend.
How do we connect with God’s different attributes in prayer? The Bible is full of examples, stories, and illustrations that reflect God’s character if only we take the time to notice them.
Sharing from God’s word is always a powerful experience. I spend hours in preparation, study, and prayer and want nothing more than God to take over and communicate whatever message he has for his children.
This weekend was another great example of that happening, and it reminded me of how blessed I am to know this God. To know him intimately, and for people to recognize his spirit in me and ask me to share about some of the things I’ve been learning about him. (You can learn more about my speaking services on my website.)
Is there any greater mission or call? (To those who are deathly afraid of public speaking I can hear you yelling, ‘YES. There must be a better calling.’ But I’ve been one of the few who actually enjoy this task for most of my life).
As I reflect on my time preaching at the Albert City Threshermen and Collectors Show, I can’t help but ask God, “Why me?”
Why did you choose me for this beautiful opportunity? Why did you trust me to dig into your word and present a message in a way that encouraged people to spend more time with you? It was an absolute privilege.
The Albert City Threshermen and Collectors Show has a special place in my heart, because my grandpa was a big part of this event throughout his lifetime. In some senses, it’s similar to a county fair with lots of agricultural equipment and experiences. I remember running around with all of my cousins looking at all the animals and tractors, riding the horse-drawn trolley around the grounds with Grandpa, and eating our body weight in their famous homemade ice cream. But none of that quite compares to humbling myself before God and this group of people and allowing Him to use me how he saw fit.
So today, I’d like to challenge you to spend some intentional and intimate time with your creator. Ask him to share his heart as your father, ask him to show you what it means to have him as a friend, ask him to demonstrate his love for you as a husband loves his wife.
Because you can read all the books you want, you can listen to all the sermons you can find, and you could read every blog post or article ever written, but none of it will replace or compare to the time you spend with your father in the secret quiet place getting to know who he is.
Spoiler alert: he is good. He is so so good.
And if you don’t believe me or you’re struggling to understand how that can be true with everything that’s going on in your life – please do not hesitate to reach out. I would love nothing more than to have the privilege of walking with you through that season of exploration.
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