Putting God on The Shelf
A few weeks ago I received an e-mail from my good friend Cindy that read:
“My life revolves around God, but at times I put Him on a shelf and call on Him when I need Him.”
I thanked Cindy for her message, and then spent a few moments reflecting on what she’d said. I never really considered the notion of putting God on the shelf, but I think that it’s a pretty good analogy. I guess that many of us have, at some point in our lives, put God on the shelf…especially when life is good.
How do you define a true friend?
Someone to laugh with? Cry with? Someone with whom you can share your darkest secrets, your fears, your hopes, your dreams? Someone that you know will be there for you, regardless of the situation, regardless of your need? Someone in which you may place all of your trust? Someone who will celebrate your victories, and offer consolation in your defeats? Someone that “has your back”, that’s gonna cover you, that’s gonna put you first? Always?
Do you have a friend like that?
I believe that true friends help us to grow…they push us to be better through encouragement, sharing, and nurturing.
True friends are very rare indeed. If you’ve had at least one true friend, consider yourself fortunate. If you’ve had more than one, consider yourself to be blessed.
Good time friends.
I think it’s safe to say that most friendships spring from good times. I mean, how many times have you attended a funeral or a foreclosure to strike up a new acquaintance? I know that’s a bit extreme, but I think you get what I’m trying to say…new friends are more often found at venues such as church, social functions, and sporting events. We meet someone with a common interest, passion, or personality trait, and a friendship grows from that meeting.
It is from those good times friendships that true friends are found…friends that help us get through the bad times.
How about God?
Do you consider God to be your friend? If not, well maybe you should.
He’s always there for you, especially when you need Him. He knows your darkest secrets, your fears, your hopes, and your dreams. You can trust Him with all that you have, and cry out to Him in times of need or despair.
And as far as making you a better person? Take a look at what He has to offer you…
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him-the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and fear of the Lord-and he will delight in the fear of the Lord. ISAIAH 11:2-3 (NIV)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. GALATIANS 5:22-23 (NIV)
To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 1 CORINTHIANS 12:8-10 (NIV)
All of these “gifts” are available to us through a relationship…a friendship, with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
And that part about putting you first?
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. JOHN 3:16 (NIV)
Do you get what I’m trying to say here?
If you let Him, God will be the best friend that you ever had. Think about that for a moment.
My wife Jackie is an amazing lady…she nurtures me, pushes me to be better, does all the things that a friend should do, and is all the things that a friend should be. Be that as it may, there are things that Jackie cannot do for me, things that she cannot give to me, things…blessings, that I can only receive from God.
And remember: true, meaningful friendships are developed first through the good times. It’s the same way with God. Get to know Him when life is good. Run after Him when things are just right, when your life seems “perfect.” Enjoy His company, and love Him, and laugh with Him, and talk to Him when all is well. Thank Him for the good in your life…tell Him that you love Him…bask in His glory! Don’t just wait until you need Him.
You see, having a relationship with God when things are really good makes the bad stuff seem really, really, small.
Never put God on the shelf. Let Him be your constant companion. Your life will never be the same.
See you next week!