Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Questions that Shape our Thoughts and Actions

There are two foundational questions that I continually encounter in my spiritual journey: Who is God? and What does He want with me?  In fact, I would argue that most, if not all, disagreements between individual Christians and groups of believers ultimately lie in one of these two categories.  Also, as I look at Scripture it seems that most, if not all, passages deal with one of these two questions.

Interestingly, I find that at different times in my life I deal with one of these questions more than the other.  There are times that I am literally consumed with the question of "Who is God?" to the point that I am no longer being effective in my relationships and living for him, and other moments when I am so consumed with wondering "What does God want with me?" that I lose all focus on who He is and why I can even ask this second question in the first place.

And while these two questions, as extremes, can sometimes lead in two different directions, it occurred to me today that they can only be answered in relationship to each other.  My understanding of who God is is meaningless unless followed with the question of what God wants with me, and my understanding of what God wants with me is meaningless unless tethered to my understanding of who God is.

I began reflecting on this because I've realized recently that I've become so consumed by my day-to-day activities, so focused on living in right relationship with others, so caught up in living in a God honoring way that I have ceased to ask the question of "Who is God?".  The deepest desire of my heart is no longer to know God, to love Him and seek Him above all else.  My desire for righteous living started as a desire to grow God's kingdom, to honor and please him, but somewhere along the line I forgot about God and simply started living for the sake of living.  I believe that this is corrected by turning to the other question, the one I haven't been asking, but in doing that I must not be careful to so turn away from considering myself and who I ought to be that I forsake the second greatest commandment.

Where are you at?  Do you spend more time asking yourself who God is or what you ought to be doing?  Do you have a desire to know God and things about God but find that you don't really care to live for Him when it comes down to the details of life?  Or are you so caught up in living life that you no longer care who God is or how His desires relate to those details of life you are caught up in?

Return to Scripture, where we find God answering both questions with equal clarity, care, and passion.

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