Excerpt from GOD: AS HE LONGS FOR YOU TO SEE HIM by Chip Ingram
“What you think about God shapes your whole relationship with Him. In addition, what you believe God thinks about you determines how close you will grow toward Him. Many of us have formed a picture of God from impressions we’ve picked up in passing. If we see Him as an overzealous policeman, we’ll always be walking on eggshells. If we see Him as an angry judge, we’ll always feel guilty. If we think He’s just like us, we’ll be casual about our sin. But are those ideas accurate? What if they’re not true at all?
Misconceptions about God can certainly create a barrier in your relationship with Him. And meanwhile, the friendship, love, and encouragement you could be sharing with your heavenly Father are never realized–all because of wrong conclusions about Him.
He created you for closeness, love, and friendship. Are you experiencing that? His Word is meant to disclose His deep, personal thoughts to you, and prayer is meant for you to disclose your deep, personal thoughts to Him. Are you enjoying that kind of intimacy? Do you feel like you never measure up, that God is “down on you” or waiting for you to mess up so He can discipline you? Do you often find it hard to pray? Does the thought that you are the object of His utter delight seem foreign to you? Your answers to these questions will tell you a lot about your perceptions of God.
You may be used to thinking that God is a distant, impersonal observer who is too busy to be concerned with you. Despite your desire, He may have always seemed out of reach. Forget that for a moment. Just for now, can you set aside the feelings that tell you you’re not good enough to be accepted by Him, or that He’s been unfair, or He’s too busy to care?
Now imagine breaking through all of those misperceptions and somehow experiencing complete acceptance and deep intimacy with your heavenly Father….the God of the universe…the One who made you just for His pleasure. What if all the hurts that you’ve felt from other people could be dissolved in His perfect love? What if your disappointments could be instantly reversed by the complete satisfaction He brings? What if you could stop looking at God through all the distortions of life and begin to look at life through Him instead?”