Sunday, March 10, 2013

Do You Know Your God?


They were the elite—the leaders. All men came to them for spiritual guidance. They were the shepherds of Israel. Yet, they crucified their Messiah.

I’ve heard the word heresy many times. You get used to hearing it when you are a Mormon who is open about your faith. The Savior heard it too. Over and over again they maligned the very One whose arrival they regularly prayed for and taught about.  How could they have been so wrong? I believe it is because they stopped listening to their scriptures. Instead they imposed their own desires into its meaning.

I remember one Sunday afternoon at a choir rehearsal in the church of my previous faith. We were singing a song about this very topic of the rejection of the Messiah. I don’t remember all the words because I got excommunicated before that season was over, but the chorus started out like this…. “Oh! What Blasphemy!”

I remember leaning over to my friend Jennifer and saying, “Sometimes I worry this is us.” For some time I couldn’t shake the feeling that we had made God into our own image instead of the other way around. I felt we weren’t in line with what was true. At the time I wasn’t convinced Latter-day Saints were either, but I didn’t feel settled.

How easy it is to assume in our arrogance that we are right. That we’ve interpreted things correctly. That is one of the many reasons I am so grateful for the indwelling presence of the Spirit. As I grow in my faith. I have learned more and more how to hear the Spirit. To know what is true and what isn’t.

But, our Father in Heaven has provided us with the perfect tool to go along with the Spirit. We can know  our God  intimately. His likes. His dislikes. His desires. His love. His wrath. All of Him. The Spirit imparts that knowledge to us, working deeply in our hearts through Scripture.

Every time you pick up your scriptures and really  study them, with a willingness to obey, you are getting to know your God. In fact, when you read it with humility and a passion to serve, the process literally changes you. I can’t explain how that works, I just know it does.

I have many passions in my life. I love mathematics and science. I love music, especially piano and violin. I love the written word. I love pretty things.  I see God in all of them. I feel his presence in quantum mechanics. I love the order I find in mathematics. I am moved by the Spirit in music. None of those passions ( some may call them obsessions) speak to me so piercingly as Scripture.

I hope as you go about your Sabbath today, you take some time to personally get to know your God. But make sure you’re listening to the scriptures and not just imposing what you want them to say into your interpretation. What’s the point in getting to know a fake God? Let’s make sure we’re acquainting ourselves with the real one.