Monday, May 7, 2007

The intimidation factor

A couple of weeks ago, I was talking to someone who had a pentecostal background. They mentioned how it took them a while before they could really see God as a friend, instead of being intimidated by Him. That struck a chord in me.

It's hard to have any kind of "deep" relationship with someone who intimidates you. You instinctively want to keep them at arm's length. You don't have to dislike them--in fact, you can hold them in very high esteem and still keep them at a distance. Unfortunately, that's where I am in my relationship with God right now... and that's where I've been for quite a long time.

The problem is, I don't really believe that God loves me unconditionally. I know it in my head, but I don't really believe it yet in my heart. I believe that He loves me when I do the right things, say the right things, etc etc...

I've had to completely re-think what it means to be loved by God. I used to believe that God loved me when I felt the warm fuzzies and did the carpet time and got the "prophetic words" and life was going well. So much of what I understood in the past was tied up in either emotions or results. Emotions, because it was so important to feel God's presence, power, and love in a tangible way; results, because God's favor was guaranteed if your relationship with Him was right. You could guage the health of your relationship with God by those factors.

So what happens when you take those things away?