God is Alive
Have you ever stopped to consider what it means for us to be following a God who is alive?
Not a statue, not a historic relic, not a myth or a good story character but a living God.
All the way through the Bible, God is referred to as the ‘living God’. Realising this changes everything.
It’s not about knowing all the answers or about having shrines in our bedrooms, it’s about being in relationship with a God who is alive and working in our lives.
And it doesn’t end there:
"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?"
1 Corinthians 6:19
Our living God lives in us, isn’t that incredible?! Not only that but the Bible says that if we follow Jesus then we are being transformed to be more like Him.
"And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit"
1 Corinthians 3:18
But what happens when we don’t feel transformed or when we feel like we’re too far from God’s ideal for Him to transform us?
Perhaps the mistake we make is thinking that the transformation starts with us. That if we somehow ‘stop sinning’ or ‘change our lifestyle’ we will then be able to meet the living God. That once we’ve sorted ourselves out, then we can come to Him and He will use us. Or maybe we think that God is alive at a Christian festivals or camps or when we can ‘feel’ Him but the rest of the time He is a distant, disinterested God.
This is all backwards!
God is alive, He is living in YOU. God is in the day-to-day mundane struggles as well as the mountain-top highs. When we start to realise this and fix our eyes on Him, we begin to walk everyday with God and Holy Spirit continues the transformational work in us.
The pattern I’ve seen is that when we stop looking at ourselves and start worshipping the living God, then transformation begins to take place and we start to encounter the living God in our everyday.
The Scripture in Corinthians goes on to describe us as ‘jars of clay’ (2 Corinthians 4:7), rubbish pieces of pottery that God chooses to use in order that He can work in and through us.
All the way through the Bible we see examples of people being transformed by God. It is clear that God is not a static, disinterested being but a Father and Creator who desires to see transformation in our lives. His desire is that we become more like Jesus, more like who He created us to be.
I reckon the Psalmist had the right attitude...
"How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh cry out for the living God"
Do our souls yearn and hunger for the living God? Do our souls cry out for the Holy Spirit to be at work in our lives?
Notice the Psalmist isn’t crying out for a formula to fix them but for presence of God in their lives. Are we looking for a solution to our problems or are we longing for a relationship with a God who is alive?
As we get to know God’s character as the living God, my hunch is we’ll start to see more and more of His power in our lives. In our human-ness we might be able to provide temporary fixes for our sin or think we can change for God; but if we let the living God begin to transform us we will be astounded by His presence in our everyday. He will heal and mould us to be more like Christ, and we will be able to witness and testify to His glory.