The Paradox of God

So, there’s this enormous paradox about the identity of God as revealed in the Bible that I am at a loss as to how to figure out. Jesus called his disciples, and by extension, all of us who are his followers, his friends. We are called to intimacy and closeness, and a deep relationship with our Heavenly Father. I get that. I’ve been told that my whole life and I understand that it’s a crucial, crucial part of the Christian faith.

But here’s what I don’t get. I am also called to revere God, to honor him as the sovereign Lord of the universe, the Almighty King whose word is law, whose precepts are non-negotiable and whose identity far, far, FAR beyond my human comprehension. As his disciple, I am supposed to be constantly in awe of the vastness of his glory, in the same way that Moses trembled and fell and couldn’t even handle being in the presence of God on Mount Sinai.

So, how do I juggle these two facets of God? Because, if God is my friend, then I want to be honest with him. I want to pour my heart out to him and express my anger towards him if that’s what I feel, and express my gratitude for him if that’s what I feel.

But expressing anger toward God feels…disrespectful? I don’t know how to share intimacy with God without trying to bring him down to my level. How do I share intimacy with a Creator I will never be able to understand? A God who is perfect and just and holy and…a God who IS LOVE…? I feel as though the very fact of being in his presence ought to make me hush in an awe, whereas if He were my friend, being in his presence would make me gasp for joy and run to embrace him.

So it’s a paradox that I don’t understand. God is my Almighty King. God is also my Friend. But what does that mean for my daily prayer time with him? Can I really be honest and respectful at the same time? Because sometimes the honest thoughts that my heart feels for God are also disrespectful.

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Posted on September 18, 2013, in Bible, Faith, God. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Very interesting post! I must say I have struggled with this same thing a lot! I guess to deal with it, I have had some prayer times to be reverent and some times to be honest and intimate. I am not sure what the answer is. I cant help but bring my mind to Jesus, I feel he is the bridge between the two opposites. He is the part of God that is brought to our level, our friend to help us understand that God is perfect and should be revered, but also cares for our anger and problems. He shows us that anger can be good, and I feel it can be used to lead us to a point of reverence (not saying there is an excuse to sinful anger because there is that too!).

    like for example, i could be so angry at God for something, i am honest with God and expose that anger just to find out later how perfect that situation is. I do not think God reveals everything to us, but I think sometimes He does. When He does, it makes me feel more in awe of Him for his perfect planning.

    I dont know if that makes sense to you or even helps you, but that is how I feel and think (which we all know could be wrong 😉 )

  2. Yeah, I totally hear what you’re saying! I’m not sure I see Jesus as a bridge between the opposites though, because the character of Jesus is also, of course, the character of God. And anything I believe about Jesus is something I must also believe about God. It doesn’t really help me understand the paradox I wrote about above, but it does help me get a clearer picture of who God really is, you know?

    Another thing to think about…maybe, the more deeply we seek relationship with God, the easier it will be to juggle these two opposites, because we’ll more deeply understand that any negative emotions we pour out to God—whether it be anger or bitterness or sadness or whatever—weren’t instigated by God himself, but by the broken world around us. So while expressing that anger in God’s presence is an authentic way of relating to him, we’ve just got to keep things in perspective and remember that He is not the author of those emotions, and that He desires to bring us healing and peace and joy (even in miserable circumstances!!!).

    Hah, that was quite rambly and I’m not sure if it made sense, but that’s kind of where I’m going with this idea. Thanks for commenting, El!!

  3. no it wasn’t rambling; it was just what I needed to hear!

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