Trying to Take God SERIOUSLY

My latest new book purchase is Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Christian Belief by John Frame. To be honest, a text on systematic theology wasn’t on my wish list at Amazon, but my pastor and one of the church elders brought it to my attention. They recommended it on Facebook after the e-book went on sale for $1.99 at the Westminster Theological Seminary bookstore. It seemed too good of a deal to pass up, maybe even a pricing mistake. (Now it’s back up to $26.99.)

It’s taken me a month but I’m about a third of the way through it, and it’s slow going. This has got to be the book with the highest information-to-purchase price ratio of any in my library! Reading deliberately and looking up Bible passages are not how I usually like to learn. The good side is that most of the conclusions are not new or surprising to me and that makes it a little easier to take.

Beyond a long introduction to theology, the part that I’ve read so far covers the attributes of God – omnipotence, omniscience, and the like. Asking myself, What am I learning here? the feeling I’m getting is that I need to take God way more seriously. It seems clear to me now that I take and have taken most things in life way too seriously, except for God where I’ve made the opposite mistake.

God is all-powerful, all-knowing, completely good. He loves me beyond measure. His standards are beyond compare. He can do anything he wishes. Nothing is impossible for him. Do I act like I know that? Do I trust him completely? Do I really try hard enough to follow Jesus? Do I approach God with the reverence he deserves? No.

Yet, I am following Jesus. I do take God seriously, but I don’t take him SERIOUSLY. As an analogy, I live in Florida and I take hurricanes seriously. They’re powerful storms, serious business indeed. But I don’t relate to hurricanes like my brother does; he was in Miami for Hurricane Andrew. He takes hurricanes SERIOUSLY, same for those who experienced Katrina.

I think relating to God is kind of like that. It’s easy to take him seriously, but hard to take him SERIOUSLY, until and unless you’ve had a direct experience of him. Many Bible stories show people getting a new respect for God after experiencing his power and presence. Moses, Job, and Jacob are some examples. Jesus, God who became man, also inspired awe and fear in his disciples at times. (Luke 8:25, Matt 14:26)

How can I relate to God like they did? How can I get that kind of reverence? I’d like to, but I don’t think I can, by myself. God will have to give it to me. Or not. Meanwhile, I’ll try to be as serious as I can, pray, trust, and keep following

God help me take you SERIOUSLY.

Comments

  1. Liked this line and felt it to be true of me — It seems clear to me now that I take and have taken most things in life way too seriously, except for God where I’ve made the opposite mistake.