That question is a direct quote from today’s pages in THE GOD OF YOUR STORY, by Brian Hardin. I purchased the book for my sister, for Christmas last year. Then I decided to get one for myself. Published in 2019, it is his commentary at the end of each day’s readings from the Old and New Testaments and from the Wisdom books; Psalms and Proverbs. He will read and teach the whole Bible in one year. This year is his seventeenth time. And he tells it all like it’s his first. Fresh every day, in his position around the ‘global campfire,’ as he affectionately calls our community.
Today really got me. So many days it feels like these devotionals are written just for me to share with you. They echo our universal human-ness. Below is that paragraph in its entirety, but before you read it, really take a deep breath and step back to see that the relationship we have with God is no different than any other relationship we desire to nurture. That said, how do you go about nurturing a relationship with someone you love?
Brian quotes, “In our reading from Psalms, we encountered some important questions to consider: These are fascinating things to think about, but what if the answer to these questions was yes? How would it change your choices if you knew they were affecting God? Ah, but they are. And the Psalms help us to see this clearly…”
“I took the burdens off your backs; I let you put down your loads of bricks. When you were in trouble, you called to me, and I saved you. From my hiding place in the storm, I answered you. I put you to the test at the springs of Meribah. Listen, my people, to my warning; Israel, how I wish you would listen to me! You must never worship another god. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt. Open your mouth, and I will feed you. “But my people would not listen to me; Israel would not obey me. So I let them go their stubborn ways and do whatever they wanted. How I wish my people would listen to me; how I wish they would obey me! I would quickly defeat their enemies and conquer all their foes. Those who hate me would bow in fear before me; their punishment would last forever. But I would feed you with the finest wheat and satisfy you with wild honey.”
Psalm 81:6-16 GNT
Brian goes on to say, “…God wants to know and be known by us…call this a relationship…and in relationships, indifference doesn’t work. IRONICALLY, WE OFTEN BLAME GOD FOR INDIFFERENCE WHILE BEING COMPLETELY INDIFFERENT TO HIS HEART…Consider that your actions will matter in your relationship with God today, not because He might punish you if you’re bad, but because He has trusted you with His heart…”
He trusts you with His heart! He’s not that big, mean, wrathful God we learned about as kids. Try hard to remember God isn’t about religion. He is about relationship. Depending on what, if anything, you learned as a child, it’s so hard to see God in that light. Easier to see Jesus riding shotgun next to you than God, right? So…then just use Jesus as the go-between. Oh…by the way. That’s why He’s Jesus. He’s our go-between.
You don’t need the priest and the confessional. If you love those traditions of your religion, I am all for it. But if those trappings hinder your relationship with a Father who loves you and wants you to know Him, just get to the basics. Learn from the Bible, pray to God like He is your trusted, loving, forgiving Abba-father, because He is, and do it all in Jesus’ name, so He hears you.
At this time of year, we Christians think heavily on what happened in Jesus’ life this week, 2022 years ago. Even Christians, who have the Spirit in them, have a hard time grasping the enormity of the whole Jesus story. The WHY is the biggest question I get from non-believers. “WHY do you believe this crazy story contrived by a bunch of crazy, old Jews?” I was asked one time.
My answer was, “Because what if I’m right? And you’re not? And because the Bible is God-breathed. Yup. It’s all a mystery. That’s why we call it faith.”
Thing is, there is sooo much proof if you just allow yourself to learn from the story of God and His people. I mean, really learn it!
Listening to someone read the Bible to you, and help you unravel the mysteries, makes it so much easier to understand and apply to your own life. It becomes real when it’s taught to you in terms you understand. There is so much history that we don’t know if we never read the Old Testament. It matters! Because if you want to know what it means, you have to know what it meant.
Try it. I challenge you to go, right now, to the website or the Facebook page and listen to today’s podcast. Or Twitter even! You can find the podcast or the app easy enough. https://dailyaudiobible.com
In the meantime, start to read the book of Psalms. This poetic book of songs and laments is captivating. https://www.bible.com/bible/68/PSA.GNT
Here is a description of the book of Psalms from my YouVersion Bible app:
“The book of Psalms is the hymnbook and prayer book of the Bible. Composed by different authors over a long period of time, these hymns and prayers were collected and used by the people of Israel in their worship, and eventually this collection was included in their Scriptures.
These religious poems are of many kinds: there are hymns of praise and worship of God; prayers for help, protection, and salvation; pleas for forgiveness; songs of thanksgiving for God’s blessings; and petitions for the punishment of enemies. These prayers are both personal and national; some portray the most intimate feelings of one person, while others represent the needs and feelings of all the people of God.
The psalms were used by Jesus, quoted by the writers of the New Testament, and became the treasured book of worship of the Christian Church from its beginning.
Outline of Contents
The 150 psalms are grouped into five collections, or books, as follows:
And please remember you can always find
Peace in Christ