Normal Matters

Our "normal life" matters

Too Familiar

How “familiar” are we with God? Put another way, are we too familiar with God? It is certainly possible, but where does one draw the line? The answer depends on who God is, something He has revealed in the Old and New Testaments of the Biblical record.

Old Testament

In the opening paragraphs of the Bible God reveals Himself as the Creator of the heavens, the earth, and all that exists. His crowning act of creation was man, whom He created in His own image and with whom he had fellowship in the Garden of Eden.

God further revealed Himself to be:
• Everlasting, without beginning or end
• Supreme King
• All powerful
• Pure, holy, righteous
• Glorious
• Unapproachable in His fullness

God is infinitely worthy of worship, honor, fear, respect, and obedience. Above Him there is no other.

God and man’s pure fellowship was broken when man, thinking he knew better than God, chose to do something God had prohibited. From that point on, as a sinner it was impossible for man to approach the holy God whom he had disobeyed. To even attempt to do so would be the height of impertinence.

The Old Testament reveals God established a covenant with man. It was a covenant of law, based on works, and revealed man’s imperfection and inability to please God. It contained a sacrificial system that demonstrated the seriousness of sin and and its death penalty. It pointed forward to the ultimate sacrifice God would make by providing His own Son to pay man’s death penalty for sin in man’s place. The completion of this final, supreme sacrifice would be the culmination of the Old Covenant of law and would usher in the New Covenant of grace.

The people of the Old Covenant were not at all “familiar,” or casual in their relationship with almighty God. Rather, they were so respectful they dared not even say God’s covenant name for fear of taking it in vain. When they encountered God they immediately realized their unworthy sinfulness. Terrified, they fell at His feet as though dead.

New Testament

The New Testament reveals Jesus, God’s Son, came to earth in a beautiful union of God and man. Being fully man, he identified with man. Being fully God, He revealed God to man. Veiling his deity, He as Holy God was approachable by sinful man. His purpose in coming? To be the perfect sacrifice.

Jesus lived a perfect life, flawlessly keeping the Old Covenant Law. Tragically, His own people, the Jews, condemned Him to death for claiming to be the Son of God, thereby making Himself equal with God. His death was the payment of sin’s penalty and fulfilled the requirement of the Law. The fact He was sinless meant He was not paying his own, but someone else’s penalty. His death was a substitutionary one, taking man’s place and bearing the punishment for man’s sin. It would be applied to all who believe and trust in Him.

Jesus, in his life here on earth, was God accessible to man. His death allowed man direct access to God. When He died the veil of the temple separating man from God was torn, thus allowing direct access to God. His death was efficacious—the resurrection of Jesus proved His sacrifice had been acceptable to God. It was the beginning of the New Covenant.

The New Covenant relationship of God to man was no longer one of law, but grace. In grace Jesus identified with sinful man and paid man’s penalty for sin. In grace He offers and applies this payment for sin to all who believe. By grace all who believe are adopted into the family of God. They have the privilege of being children of God!

For children of God it is normal to talk with their Father. Through prayer they thank and praise Him for all He is, has done, and will do. They ask for wisdom, relief and strength. This interaction of prayer can be aloud or silent. Their ever present Father knows the thoughts and intents of their heart.

The Danger of Familiarity

Despite the intimacy with God experienced in the New Covenant, there are dangers. One danger is taking God for granted. An expression of this would be trusting God for salvation, checking that item off the list as it were, and moving on with life, leaving Him out or taking him for granted.

Another danger is losing focus on Him and simply going through the motions. Or taking the things provided by God for granted instead of being thankful. Or doing right things but in the wrong ways, for the wrong reasons. An example would be going to church on Sunday simply because that’s what they’ve always done on Sunday. In church the activities of worship—the singing, prayer, sermons—can be viewed as performances instead of actual interaction with God.

There is also a danger of being flippant. Instead of referring to God with respect, one may thoughtlessly incorporate His name in exclamations of shock or surprise. Doing so is an empty, vain use of God’s name.

Lastly, swearing, or cursing, is a dangerous activity in that it uses God’s name in ways it was never meant to be used, either in anger, or without thinking. It casually dishonors God.

The End of the Matter

Interaction with God is both simple and complex. He does not change and is infinitely worthy of our worship, honor, fear and respect. He is high and lifted up. Pure and Holy. Yet, to the believer, He is also the loving, merciful, Father, desirous of fellowship and obedience. It should be normal for the believer to humbly approach and interact with God daily, knowing God loves him and cares about his daily life.

About Wade Flaming

Wade is a both a writer and simulation software engineer. He grew up on a farm in the central United States and works as a contractor for a company writing aircraft simulation software. He enjoys writing software as well as observations of day-to-day normal life matters.

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