A.W. Tozer once penned the words, "What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us." I think he was right. But so often people see God in different ways, and those ways shape who we are, what we do, and almost everything about us. I often like to ask people what pops in their head when they think about God. Though He has revealed Himself in a number of ways and is a number of things to and for us, I have come to find that there is most often a place where our heads go first. It could be Savior, or Father. Possibly for you it is Lover or Friend. But there is a place where our heads can go, how we see God. I have come to see this as a beautiful thing, but I have also found that it can also be somewhat dangerous. Let me explain...
When I think of God, the first place my head goes is King. Jesus is my King. Though He came to the world in weakness, though He came meek and lowly that is not where He is now. Christ is sitting, now, enthroned on Heaven's white throne. He sits there to rule and reign. There is nothing that comes to pass that He does not will and allow. He is King. He is a strong King. And as King, He has authority. For me this is a place of comfort. With Him as my King, who should I fear?
Though I do believe that this is a good way to view Christ, this is not the only way that God has shown Himself to us. Without knowing it I had let my view of Christ as King to diminish some of the other ways which God has shown us Himself. And when we start to enlarge an aspect of who God is in a way that diminishes other aspects of Himself we begin to create false gods to worship.
For the longest time when I would be wounded or hurt by someone I would keep it to myself. I would look to my strong King, knowing I could take this pain to Him, and I would keep the pain in my own heart. Though I knew that I could come to Jesus broken, I wanted to be strong. Not because I thought I had to be, but because I wanted to be. To be in the presence of someone strong makes me want to be stronger. I believe that often we, as the Church, should be much more reverent in regards to God, I let my view of the King keep me from honesty and brokenness in prayer. I would articulate prayers knowing that they were offered in the throne room of Heaven. But seldom offer prayers in the loving presence of my Father.
I still pray this way at times, and I still believe that at times this is how prayer should be offered. But I have come more and more to understand that God is my Father. Not in a theological way. But in a practical way. As my Father God desires to know my heart. He bids me come to Him not only in my brokenness but with it. He desires that we not only weep for the broken lives of others in prayer, but the brokenness within ourselves.
This past year has pushed me, more than any other time in my life to come to God with my brokenness. For at times that is all that I had to offer. Though I often find myself wishing again for a season in which I feel strong, I have come to see Christ as my strength. I have been taught so often that to I am to come to God as I am. At times I am able to stand before the throne of grace firm in my faith, knowing that God hears me and that God will answer. And I am just as welcome to come before that same throne crying like a school-girl who just got asked to prom begging God for the faith to continue. Though it has been through pain. Though I have had to bear the wound caused my my sin and wounds caused by being sinned against, I have been able to press into God and know Him as my Father. To know that as a loving Father He desires that I come to Him. No matter where I am coming from...