Wednesday’s mid-week family time and dinner was very entertaining. This week after reading “I Am Granna” the boys decided they wanted to try to write something themselves. Hunter settled down at the computer to peck out all seven years of his life’s story…we had a bit of contention as there is only one computer down stairs and two boys.
The recently-turned-five Gage, quickly gave up as he exclaimed, “Oh well, I’ll draw a story because I can’t write words, heck, I can’t even read words!” As most pre-kindergarten drawings are difficult to interpret I asked him to tell me the story and I would write it down. Here is what Gage had to say…
One day, God was on an adventure with His friends. Then His friends decided to pack up their things and go pick some apples. Later a mean man came by and said, “There’s no such thing as God.” The mean man thought he was talking to Joseph but he was talking to the REAL GOD!
Then Joseph came around and the mean man said, “You are not Joseph. I just talked to Joseph.” “Oh, yes I am!” said Joseph, “You were talking to God.” The mean man got mad and left.
Then God had another adventure with his two friends Joseph and Golden Size. But soon Golden Size had to go so he packed up his football to go to school but the mean man told him, “There is no such thing as football…or cars!”
Golden Size told the mean man there was and that he should not be mean any more and he should tell Jesus he was sorry. And so he did…but he wasn’t talking to the REAL JESUS he was talking to the fake Jesus!
And then…the mean man went and got another friend named, Socki. And they were very mean all the time.
At this point in the story, Richard walked through the door and the boy’s focused their attention on Daddy, but I could not get the story out of my mind.
How amazing to me that God is so real in Gage’s mind and heart that just like him and his buddies Gage could see God on an adventure with his friends. It did strike me a bit odd that in this story, as in Genesis, God’s friends left to go pick some “apples” and then the mean man showed up.
Throughout the three minute story the mean man was always there right along with God and the friends. It reminded me of the fact that while we strive to hang out with God, to go on an adventure with God, the carnal man is always there trying to detour us – or derail us.
The first thing out of the mean man’s mouth was, “There is no God.” Now, tell me, who does that remind you of? Our culture will try and tell us that God is some abstract idea, that the Bible is just a bunch of stories told to show people how to be good to each other. The talking heads of our society can tell us all they want…they can in fact believe there is no God, but it doesn’t make it so…the proof is in the Word and the WORD is ALIVE and GOD is REAL! John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” It is in the pages of this all-time best seller that our relationship with the REAL GOD begins, and flourishes.
In the story when Joseph told the mean man that he was in fact, Joseph, and that the mean man had been talking to God…he got mad and left. There are many things I could say here the least of which is how often people become mad, or hostile even, when they come face to face with God. Jobs have been lost, friends and families torn, all for the sake of following the Lord. Have you ever witnessed to someone and they got mad and walked away? Have you ever had someone tell you they didn’t want to hear “preaching” when in fact you were just trying to relate how God had helped you over the humps and bumps of life?
In God’s second adventure in the story, He and His friends, Joseph and Golden Size are doing something as every-day-normal as playing football and going to school and the mean man tries to tell them even that is not real. How often have you been in this place in your life? Everything is going good, you are serving, growing, making a difference… you know God is there with you in the every-day, day-to-day things. Then something comes along and tells you it’s not real; perhaps a tragedy or a minor storm that seems a typhoon when looking at it so close. We are duped by the “it’s not real” syndrome and we begin to pull away. We make decisions with our own judgment and before long…we begin to question the entire relationship or we think God has gone on an adventure with someone else.
In Psalms 13:1 the writer asks, “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?”
But Proverbs 3:5 -7 reminds us “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. (6) in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. (7) Don not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.”
Golden Size could not be fooled…he knew exactly what needed to happen. The mean man needed to say he was sorry to Jesus for being so mean…just like we need to confess our sins and receive the gift of salvation and the companionship of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 10:9, 10 “That if you confess with your mouth “Jesus is Lord,” and you believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (10) For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”
Acts 2:38 “Peter replied, ‘repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’”
Now, here’s the sticky part…the part that really caught my attention…the mean man confesses to the fake Jesus? The fake Jesus! Is there such a thing? How many times do we have the wrong idea of who Jesus is, of who God is?
Isaiah 55:8, 9 “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.’ declares the Lord. (9) ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’”
How often do we “put God in a box?” Taking Him out only when we want to read off our laundry list of things we want Him to do for us, our friends, and our family? How often do we actually meditate on His Word, on just exactly what He has already done for us? How often do we just sit in amazement and awe, with a thankful heart…just to magnify His name…without the list?
I don’t know about you but I sometimes, honestly, most times, have a hard time wrapping my mind around just who God is and ALL God is. I think we are blessed to have glimpses of Him in our every day life.
1Cor. 13:12 “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”
What about unbelievers, the unsaved? How many of them are putting their trust in the fake Jesus? Trusting in careers, money, friends, false religions, etc. and they go about their lives thinking all is good.
What about the pious religiosity that runs rampant in churches the world over?
Just as the mean man in Gage’s story; when we pretend to confess, when we pretend to be a Christian…the regeneration in our soul is never begun…the relationship is not real. Before you know it…more mean friends move in to the place where the REAL JESUS, the REAL Holy Spirit, should be and you just get meaner and meaner as unconfessed sin upon unconfessed sin builds a residue that cakes the heart and steals life... for all eternity. You might not be mean on the outside. You might not be mean to others…but the damage and the destination is still the same.
Consider right here and now…do you have a REAL relationship with the REAL GOD, the REAL JESUS, the REAL HOLY SPIRIT or are you just going through the motions?