The time has come, the Spirit says,
To speak of many things . . .
Of facets and of fractals
And living with the King.
(Okay, I personally hate Alice in Wonderland. It’s too scary and too nonsensical for me. In fact, I’ve always wondered what psychotropic drug Carroll was using when he wrote it. But . . . the time has come!)
Father God has shown me many things over the years, and He has made it clear that I need to start sharing!
So, here goes . . .
About 18 years ago, give or take, I had just had a revelation of how much I (me!) am totally loved and completely accepted by the Father, which drastically altered my world view, and changed my whole life. This caused me to revisit a lot of the things I’d always believed about Him, me, life, etc.
One day, I was thinking about trials and tribulations – why do we go through them? Now, being in church all my life, I’d heard a couple different doctrines on this subject. One said that God was so holy, so pure, and we were so vile, that He couldn’t stand to be anywhere near us. So He had to clean us up by putting us through stuff to get rid of the sin/impurity in us. (Where is ‘we are become the righteousness of Christ’ in that doctrine???)
The other, similar idea, was that God was putting us on the fire, ‘burning off the dross’, to make us like Christ. This one (actually, they both) had a lot of scripture to back it up, making it clear that we were not clean, or acceptable, in our human condition, even after salvation. As I said – similar, but without the disgust/dislike of the first one! The focus here was on recreating us into His image, rather than cleaning us up.
But, with my new understanding of just how much Father God loves and accepts us, I was now questioning God’s supposed motives in these doctrines. (I have gradually been made to see that motive is everything – isn’t that the point of Jesus’ words about looking at a woman to ‘lust after her in your heart’ and the rest of that section of Matthew 5? What the heart motive is, is what counts with Him (I Sam. 16:7). So I think we need to understand His heart motives, too.) We all, mostly unconsciously, absorb the underlying motives of what we are taught, ascribing them to God/parents/whoever the authority is in the situation, whether they are true or not. So now I had to look at what I had previously believed were God’s motives underlying these doctrines.
The first one made it clear that God couldn’t really stand us the way we are, couldn’t even look at us, we were so filthy. So He had to change us. I was left with the belief that we were disgusting at the best of times, even after the work of the cross! This really made me not believe that He loved us, me in particular. In fact, this left me with the belief that the only reason He hadn’t squished the whole creation into a ball of clay and started over, was some kind of dislike of being wrong. So He was gonna fix it, and show ’em all!
The second one was a little more charitable – nothing indicated that He didn’t love us, but I sure was left with the impression that He didn’t like us! After all, He thought we needed to be made over into Christ’s image, which sure sounded like He disliked humanity. This didn’t change my basic belief that He didn’t love me, but I was able, finally, to believe that He could, just possibly, love humans in a sort of overall ‘I made it, so I gotta love it’ kind of way.
But neither of these ideas fit with what He had just shown me about His total love and acceptance of us (me!) ‘while we were yet sinners’! And even after!
So, I asked Him, ‘why do we go through trials and tribulations?’
* * *
And He showed me a huge diamond, maybe two stories tall, with me standing in front of it, looking at this facet that was about two feet wide. He said, “When you get saved, you see this facet of me – Savior. But I want you to know more of me, so I allow situations in your life which cause you to see other facets of Me – Healer, Provider, Father, and more.” here I moved a little to one side, and found myself facing a different facet, then another and another. “Everything that happens in your life is an opportunity for you to know me more fully. The trials and tribulations are not to clean you up so I can stand you, but to show you new facets of Me.” Wow! Yet another false doctrine bit the dust! Yes, Father allows us to go through stuff, but not because He can’t stand us! Because He loves us, wants to help us, but even more, wants us to know Him.
* * *
I can hear you disagreeing! Lots of chatter about holiness, etc. and I’m not trying to nullify those scriptures which talk about cleaning us up. But what He showed me that day was His underlying motive, which always, always, always, is His great unconditional love for us, and His desire to have an intimate relationship with us. He hates sin because it hinders that, and because it hurts us! If you love someone, you hate anything that keeps them away from you, or hurts them in any way.
What He showed me with the facets on the diamond, was that I need to start looking at the trials and tribulations in my life as opportunities to learn to know my Father and God better! Not as punishment or as something motivated by disgust of me.
* * *
Over the years He has added to my understanding of this vision: I saw that as we get to know a certain facet of God – Healer, for instance – it does change us, making us more like Christ. Eventually, I also saw that as we are changed by getting to know this or that facet of God, we then begin to reflect that facet of Him to others.
Those are just side effects, though, of the real point, which is to know Him! The more and better we know Him, the more facets He cleans and polishes in us, and the better we reflect Him to the world. (And, trust me, you can’t clean or polish them yourself! It must be His work, through revelation of Himself to you.)
The point is knowing Him! Everything in the Christian life is based on that, and flows from that. If it’s based on anything else, it’s ‘wood, hay and stubble’.
So the next time you are facing a trial, instead of wondering what is wrong with you, ask our Father what He wants to reveal of Himself to you through this. The answer will be amazing! And freeing!
* * *
Be blessed with understanding, wisdom, and revelation of more true facets of Him!
And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. John 17:3