God Is Not Looking For Perfect, He’s Looking For You

How to Become a Better Christian

If I was to ask you what being a Christian is, many people aren’t sure how to answer. People believe in God, but what is being a Christian really about?

In the Book of Colossians, chapter 1, verse 10, it says:

so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,

If someone asked us what being Christian is, we could quote this Scripture and say there are four things:

  1. To be worthy of the Lord
  2. To be fully pleasing to God for who you are.
  3. To bear fruit in every good work
  4. To increase the accurate knowledge of God. =

The first, second and fourth points are all about God. The third point is about our need-to-know God and bearing fruit in every good work.

In Ephesians chapter 2, verse 10, it says:

For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.

Look at the last line. ‘God has prepared the good works that you are to do.’ They were made and determined before you were alive. You were placed here with it already before you. The whole point of our human existence is about God.

If I ask people what God is like, many say, “I’m not sure.” But how do you pray to something you’re unsure of? How do you have a relationship with someone if you don’t know what they are like? How do you relate to God?

The way we relate to God is through prayer, isn’t it? We talk about our relationship with God as prayer, which is talking to God. It’s listening to God which isn’t about audible voices but the development of our spiritual life, antenna and depth to where we can be sensitive to the voice of God. We begin to hear with a different set of ears and a different set of eyes.

God guides us through our conscience. How do we form our conscience? It is through reading. It is through Scriptures. It is through the wisdom, teaching and leadership of the Church.

Having listened to all those things in our conscience, what are we meant to do? What you do and what I do might be different because God speaks a different word to each of us.

Growing up I remember going to the priest and asking for answers. Then if I didn’t do what he said, I suffered from Catholic guilt. Has anybody ever heard of that? My Protestant friends call it Christian guilt because it exists everywhere, as much as it does in the Catholic world.

We can relate to God because of His presence in our life. We have a sense of God here with us. Do you feel him right now? Do you feel the presence of God surrounding us right now?

It is hard to pray if you don’t know God.

When I first met Rosemary, I was attending a youth group. There were about 150 of us, and we were all university students or young workers. I remember seeing Rosemary in the distance and going up to someone and asking, “Who is that?” They said, “Oh, that’s Rosemary Nolan.” I worked my way over to get into her orbit, and when I got there, I immediately noticed that she was shy. She just didn’t talk, and I liked that. That was a challenge. Rosemary is an identical twin sister, and what I noticed about her very quickly was that she was smart. She had opinions on things and she was intelligent. I also saw she liked me, but I didn’t really know her, did I?

I looked at her, and we talked, and I thought she was very cute. We got on well, but I still didn’t know her. So, I had to go and fill in the backstory. What was her family like? Where was she from? Who were her mom and dad? What were her brothers and sisters like? What interested her, and what various events in her life had shaped her? And then, the more I understood her, the more I knew her. The more time I spent with her, the more I experienced her. Getting to know her and loving her was what relationships are all about.

But if all our understanding of God is just a book understanding of God, how do we love God? Yet the problem is my relationship with Rosemary example falls short because how do you describe God, who is infinity? How do you describe perfection? How do you define a being that is so other, beyond us, that for us to understand, we grab God and shake him down into something that looks like a human person? Because that’s all we can conceive with our finite minds. Yet God is so other and beyond even what we can imagine.

I know who President Trump is, but I don’t know him. I know of him. Many people know about God, but they don’t know God.

When the priest prayed for me when I was thirteen, I knew something was different. There was this sense of the presence of God surrounding me.

Over my life I have come to understand some things about God. God simply is, which is mind-blowing for us because nothing else simply is. No one made God. He has always existed. God will never end or die. God is what we might call complete in himself. You can’t add anything to God.

It says in the book of Jeremiah, chapter 10, verses 6-7:

There is none like you, Oh Lord; you are great, and your name is great in might. Who would not fear you, O king of the nations? For what is your due; among all the wise ones of the nations and in all their kingdoms there is no one like you.

God is so other. Before time existed, God was! That is just mind-blowing, isn’t it?

In the book of Genesis, chapter 1, verse 1, the first verse of the Bible, it says:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

In other words, God was already there. Yet most of the time, when I think about God, I think of Him as a perfect version of a human being. Do you know what I mean? I would pray to this perfect human being, but God is so beyond that.

God existed before heaven did. Isn’t that interesting? The Scriptures say:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth

Before heaven existed, God existed. God existed before the universe. God existed before the earth. God is so beyond. God existed before Angels. God existed before anything.

God needs no one. In a movie, Tom Cruise looked at a girl and said, “You complete me.” God is completed by no one. Before anything else, God was sufficient, being dependent on no one else. Before anything else existed, God didn’t need anyone. God did not need to create anything. He didn’t need anything. He didn’t need any spiritual beings in his world. He didn’t need people. He needed nothing because he was complete, total, and absolute in and of Himself.

So why did God create us? He created us out of His goodness. He created out of His fruitfulness. In Ephesians 1:5-6, it says;

He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

The aim of us as Christians is to be worthy of God and His perfection, which we all fall short of.

It is Jesus that is going to make us worthy.

so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,

We can’t do it ourselves. We have all failed and fallen short. If the aim of the Christian life is to be fully pleasing to God, the Scripture says in Colossians 1:10 that God would look at your life, and He would not see perfection. He would see you, and He would see your heart and your desire, and you would be drawn into Him. It’s what the Saints talk about, ‘God sees the heart.’ He doesn’t see the hands and the mistakes. He sees the heart.

I can’t, on my best day, be good. I need God.

Then it says that we would bear fruit in every area of our life. So, you look at people who are musicians, people in politics, people in industry, people who are mums and dads. You look at people who are schoolteachers and plumbers and shopkeepers. God created people in all those places so that they would love Him, search for Him, find Him, know Him, and be fruitful in all their different places.

Most of us can be no holier than when we are with our husband or wife or children. You can be no holier than when you go to work on Monday morning. You can be no holier if you are retired than in the place where you’re living and experiencing God’s presence there. We need God but the people in our lives need us to love them and show mercy in the way our Father has shown us.

 

 

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