I was thinking the other day about how we relate to God. What struck me was how personal our God is. Now when I say “our God” I mean Jesus the Christ.
This train of thought actually began with something I read in A Pilgrim’s Regress, by C.S. Lewis. In the book Lewis talks about how, when we are confronted by the Living God of the Universe, an omnipresent God of true omnipotence we are forced to acknowledge we no longer have a secret, personal space where we can hide that deepest part of ourselves that we do not and would not share with anyone. Lewis hits the nail on the head when he writes about how hard it is to give up that “me” space. When we acknowledge the Lord Jesus Christ, we are no longer alone in ourselves. This is comforting yes, but it is also terrifying, as Lewis points out.
The point is the Christian God is a personal God. He stands at the door of our heart and knocks. The divine ruler of the universe asks, rather than commands that we give Him access to our most inner being even when they is no way we could keep Him out.
Which makes perfect sense for a God of Love.
But the really interesting thing is how much sense this idea makes when considered in the context of the Cristian doctrine.
Once we open our hearts to the living God, we are no longer trying to measure up to the standard of behavior we understand as good. The Good lives inside us and the more we get to know the Good the more we want to make our lives a fitting habitation for Him. I think this is really important. There is a fundamental difference between trying to be good enough to obtain and letting what we have been granted flow out of our lives. And this only works when our God is a personal God.
I’m probably not being all that clear here, but the coherence of a personal Savior with the Christian life seems to be one of those things where it is obvious nobody figured it out and then came up with a system to utilize it (i.e. the great deception). Its more like one of those “self evident” truths. We didn’t invent it but we recognize it, kind of like mathematics or social science.
And I find that personally comforting.