Most of you who read Fruit of the Vine each month consider yourself Believers/Christ- followers/Christians. Your heart is to follow truth and live according to Biblical principles,
yet even in doing so, a nagging emptiness often exists. All of us, at one point or another, have been so caught up in the “doing” of Christianity, we’ve neglected the “knowing.”
Wegiveourtime,ourmoney,andouremotionalenergyto faith-basedworks,allthewhileneglectingthefoundationof itall—ourrelationshipwithChrist.CountlessBelievershave pouredthemselvesintotheir“calling”onlytolosethemselves (andtheirconnectionwithChrist)alongtheway.Othersare atchurcheverytimethedooropens,volunteeringatevery opportunity,runningheadlonginto“burn-out.”
We were created with a “God-shaped hole” only He can fill. We mistakenly look to fill that space with other things—sometimes worldly things such as sex, drugs, alcohol, and others. After we come to Christ, we try to fill it with good works, and once again, we come up short. Obviously, we know faith without works is dead. We know God calls us to serve Him and one another, and we know He expects us to live what we believe. Nevertheless, our good intentions often lead us into performing and striving, driving a wedge between us and the intimacy Father God desires with each of His children.
At times, I wonder if our being busy isn’t a tool we employ to avoid a close relationship with a God we often don’t understand. As one who values intellect, education, and a growing mind, my faith has struggled with seeming contradictions or actions that fail to align with my finite logic of how God should operate. In these times, God reminds me that He is infinite. I am incapable of ever understanding Him completely, and what I do understand, I understand only because He has illuminated my mind, opened my heart, and allowed the revelation.
For the most part, God desires faith. In fact, it’s impossible to please Him without it. Faith requires an incomplete understanding, for when we know the next step, faith becomes obsolete. While we will never understand God completely, many of us have attributed actions to His character which are simply unbiblical. In her book, Misunderstood: A Refreshing Guide to Dumping Religion for Good and Diving Deep into
a Personal Discovery of a God Who Changes Everything (Amazon, 2017), Andrea Joy Moede takes her readers on a weekly journey of exploring who God says He is.
Andrea’s book is a product of a hurtful time in her family involving great misunderstanding. As she walked through the pain, she was reminded of how God is daily misunderstood by the creation He loves so dearly—His children. She says, “I wanted to take a fresh look at God’s character to challenge the ill-informed impressions we’ve all received of Him, whether through life circumstances or even well-meaning religion. Bill Johnson says it best: 'If earthly fathers were ever accused of teaching lessons in the way that God is we would all be convicted of child abuse!’”
Andrea’s book is designed in a very user-friendly format, perfect for personal or group study. Weekly topics include the following ten concepts regarding who God is:
• Eternal & Unchanging • All-powerful,All-knowing & All-present
• Sovereign & Just • Loving • Good & Faithful • Holy & Beautiful • Merciful & Gracious • Peaceful & Joyful • Jealous & Patient • Personal
Andrea is passionate about her message. She writes, “We are consumed with comparisons and let the misunderstandings of others cloud our own opinion of God. I’m ready for more people to stop looking at God through the lens of this broken world. Instead, it’s time for us to get back to what He actually says about Himself and ignore the little whispers that say otherwise. God is so deserving of fully committed believers who really see the brilliance of His nature and refuse to listen to any more of the slander that has been aimed at our hearts for so long.”
Andrea is absolutely right. Man’s opinions of God are not what matters. We will not be held accountable for what others think, only what we have chosen to believe. Our belief must be grounded in the truth of God’s Word, our inspired, infallible, unchangeable source of truth. As we seek to find Him, He’ll be found. As we seek to know Him, He will make Himself known. When we seek to know God, rather than understand Him, we will not be disappointed.