Some of us grew up with a view that God was distant and requires a certain level of achievement before we can contact or understand him. Perhaps this was reinforced by how our earthly family operated. Our dad, mum, or parental figure made us feel that we could not approach them freely without offering something of value first.
This faulty view of God is heavily promoted within parts of the Christian faith where there is a need to control or coerce people to believe in a particular point of view. But when you look at Jesus, the people that followed Jesus, and the stories of the Old Testament what we discover is that God is never distant.
In fact, the correct view of God in how he relates to us is more like a loving dad that is interested in our lives and cares about what we experience here on Earth. Jesus talks about God as like a father awaiting the return of a lost son and encouragers those who follow him to take any cares they have to the father.
An image that reminds me of what God is like and who we are when we relate to him happened on Sunday. One of worship leaders were singing and playing the guitar when suddenly his child appeared beside him. Slowly the child had made their way up onto the stage and with all the naivety in the word chose to stand next to their dad.
People continued singing, dad kept leading the worship, the child stood there completely calm and unaware they were standing in front of 150 people, and people looked and thought, ‘that makes sense’.
Now if another kid had jumped up there, we would have been like, ‘Where is your parent sir?’ but because this child was next to their dad it made sense.
That is what God is like.
In charge of everything. Running the show. The centre of attention for multitudes.
But he is still a father and when his children stand next to him there is no concern about what should or shouldn’t be done. There is just peace that everyone is right where they are meant to be.
When you follow Jesus, you have access to God. Not a distant figure who is waiting for you to mess up or who is absent entirely. You have access to the God who notices when you are missing and who is at peace when you are in his presence.
Josh has been on staff at Lesmurdie Baptist Church since 2018. He is married to Marnel and they have 4 children together - Azaliah, Ezra, Zoelle, and Zion. What drives Josh is seeing people put their faith into action so Jesus can change lives in the here and now.