The Trickster. The User. The Punisher.
Like characters in a play, I was caught up in the personalities of these three. Who are they? Oh, just some secret ideas I had. About God. And what was wrong with Him. Unfortunately, I didn’t know they were characters in a play. I thought they were real. I thought these ugly characters were God.
And I found these things hidden, buried in my heart.
I didn’t just find them as I was moseying along either. Because they were so far below the radar of my mind, I didn’t know my secret ideas existed. They had become such a familiar part of my life – like breathing – that I had lost my awareness of them. I had to go digging for them.
But how could I go digging for them, when it didn’t occur to me they could even exist? After all, I knew the truth about God. I was well taught by church. He’s good and wonderful and all that. I believed in these truths. There is no way I could have had secret, lying ideas about God! But I would discover later, that my faith in God’s goodness just didn’t quite make it all the way down to the deepest, most vulnerable parts of me.
What I also didn’t know is that these secret ideas, these characters, were the source of trouble in my messy life. And because I didn’t know they existed, they were free to run havoc, causing all sorts of problems: unhealthy relationships, illness, money issues, work issues, despair, depression, and more.
Unfortunately, I had to learn about my secret ideas the hard way. That’s me. I learn by doing, by going the long way around things. It’s so much fun. (Sigh) So when I started out, trying to clean up my messy life, I started with the most obvious source of all my problems.
So I set out to change myself. Bible study, more church, doing good, giving back, repentance, spiritual conferences and religious conferences. They all ensued. And I did find some things to fix. There was some improvement. But based on what I’ve already told you, I think you can guess that fixing me wasn’t solving my real problem.
Yep. I still needed to evict those characters – The User, The Trickster and The Punisher – and replace them with the true character of God.
In the near future I will tell you the story about how I came to suspect the masqueraders’ presence, and even more importantly, about my joy in coming to know God as a good Father I can trust. But right now let me tell you why knowing God’s true nature is so important – absolutely vital – in changing your life.
Because when we really know God, we have eternal life and all it implies. We don’t have to wait until we get to heaven. We can experience heaven and the transformed life heaven brings. Now. On this earth. Now.
Jesus was in the garden. He was praying to His Dad. His closest friends are standing around listening and watching Him. He knew he was about to be taken away by soldiers to the trial that will lead to His Crucifixion, so these last words in the garden are urgent. (John 17:3) He wants his friends to hear and remember every word. And this is what He says to His Father:
Now this is eternal life: that they know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
Knowing Him, the only true God. This is eternal life. And we can have this. Now.
And in that place of eternity, while still here on earth, my life begins to transform. Oh, it’s not perfect and yes, there’s pain, but my life is satisfying and full.
Even though I am still in process!
And in this process, good eternal life stuff is happening! Messes are becoming order, addictions are becoming freedom, oppression is becoming prosperity, weakness is becoming strength, despair is becoming hope, and this lost daughter is found.
I am home.
Shining in 2013,
Do you have a secret idea about God deeply embedded in your heart, just below your own radar? How did you find it? Were you able to overcome this secret idea? Were you able to bring it to God and discover a special facet of His character to replace your secret idea? How did that go? Has he shown you yourself too, and how you uniquely reflect His image, unlike any other daughter or son that’s ever been created?
I would love to hear about it. And I’m sure I’m not the only one who would benefit from your story.
Use the reply box below if you would like to share about the amazing God you know and what you had to overcome to know him in that way. OR start your own blog and send me the link!!!
Carla Porter writes, sings, designs architectural interiors and loves God, all in Los Angeles, California.
© 2013, Carla Porter and Whisper of Grace, all rights reserved.