When I was little, I wanted either my mom or dad to give me “butterfly kisses”. There was an excited anticipation I would feel in my belly as they drew their head in close to mine. There was always certain stillness and quieting necessary to focus and align eyelash-to-eyelash. Plenty of giggling involved. It led to a hug, a kiss goodnight, and whispers. Face-to- face encounters are at the heart of intimacy and meant to be a safe and holy place. It’s God’s plan for us with Him.
This type of knowing and face-to-face encounter with God can be a struggle. Somewhere in our mindset, we’ve had previous experiences that have led to false conclusions about the character of God. Also we have made choices that we are not proud of, so we fear drawing near. Maybe a parent or caretaker was strict and harsh or a religious hypocrite, so we think of God as a hard task master, One that is not easily appeased and shifty. We reason through the evil we see, concluding that God is not good. Some are dumbstruck with devastation after striving hard to follow God’s “commands”, only to have their world crash in on them. In all of these circumstances many conclude God is the one who remains distant. Or just as true, many are simply not interested in drawing near to God because they want to conform to their life mantra, not God’s. People can inherently prefer distance from God.
It’s the way we think and translate that leads to how we perceive God’s commands. The word “command” itself sends negative vibrations through our bodies for those who have a skewed view of God. We assign a tone in our head when we read scripture like, “If you love me you will keep my commandments”. Somewhere there is a guilt trip in that, somewhere there is a harsh hand waiting to strike. It’s a cold voice speaking, an unsafe authority in charge. But we’ve lost our way in translation.
The English language has its root in the Greek and Roman language which tends towards abstract thought. We make vague statements to express ourselves. “It’s a beautiful day”, we might say. In terms of me really knowing something about you, it lacks power. What consensus does it really build if my idea of a beautiful day is a soft rain with intermittent sun breaking through clouds and yours is a day on the golf course? To me, golf is not worth the time and money, so I would not agree with your assessment of a “beautiful” day. It’s the same with God’s commands. If the picture forming in my head of following His commands is radically skewed from God’s reality, I won’t connect with Him.
The Word of God is filled with pictures to give specific context and reveal true intent. He is the ultimate storyteller, wanting to engage all of our senses and imagination to reveal Himself in all of His glory and impress them into memory. Take for example the word “command”, which in Hebrew is “mitsvah”. In our culture we tend to assign a strict disciplinarian tone, a military like setting, an unpleasant task to the word “command”. However in the Hebrew language, the meaning is one of signs or markers to his nomadic people on their journey to know Him. The Israelites were desert dwellers and shepherds that needed divine guidance for survival as they journeyed with God. Therefore the picture behind the word command is a one of visual cues and landmarks that pointed His people to water sources and resting spots for their human survival and divine soul care. King David expressed it beautifully in Psalm 23 as one example. Count how many pictures you see to define how David has experienced God’s love. Where God wants you in your relationship with Him is continually looking for the signposts and stopping in those places with him. He wants you to translate His Word according to His intent not your own. This is done in face-to-face fellowship and honest processing with God.
I am excited to say that a decent size (abstract thought) is gathering at this site, wanting more of God!. Over 70 of us (concrete expression) are pressing in for more of God, desiring more in prayer! Pretty good considering I am just reaching a few hundred right now. Remember, if you haven’t signed up, you have access to the blog only. Those who sign up on the member page will receive an email with prayer exercises. Be blessed to read the Word of God in the pictures He paints, stepping into the story with all the fullness He intended, obeying his invitation to walk with Him in the story He designed for your survival and eternal care.
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Hi my name is Gina; and I'm the founder of the ministry. My 25 year journey with God has been centered on immersing myself in the safe relationship God offers, learning about the power of surrender, and praying for His life in greater measure!