So now, let me return to what Sherman taught us in high school. “You will never be satisfied in your relationship with another human being until you are satisfied in your relationship with God.”
I did not understand this question at the time. I thought, “Well, aren’t we supposed to never be satisfied with our relationship with God? Aren’t we supposed to always want more?” Now, I understand. Well, at least more than I did when I was that age.
You see, American discontentment should not be applied to our relationship with God. God has chosen that our relationship with Him shall deepen over time. He never intended us to be “there” right from the moment that we accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior, mediating the connection between us.
Observe as Carson randomly begins to talk about sex
The best metaphor that I can think of to explain the “why” is marital sex. (Of course. Did you expect different?) A lot of married couples are worried about their honeymoon night. Some are simply worried because it’s the first time, but some are worried because they want it to be amazing. In fact, non-Christians (and even some Christians, too!) will justify premarital sex by saying “Well, you need to experience each other first. You wouldn’t want your honeymoon night to suck!”
NEWS FLASH: YOUR HONEYMOON NIGHT IS SUPPOSED TO SUCK. For two reasons.
a) Speaking as a guy, of course…sucky sex is still sex. Sucky sex is great! Great sex is…indescribable.
b) You are married, right? YOU WILL BE HAVING LOTS OF SEX. You will discover each other and how to make it better and better, right?
c) You know what would really suck? To have GREAT SEX on your honeymoon night…and to have “kinda adequate” sex on the other nights.
For fear of embarrassing my wife (who is far shyer than I am), let me put this in cryptic terms that are not detailed. We loved our honeymoon. We loved EVERYTHING that we did on the honeymoon (and I mean everything). As for our skill level in bed, we tend to laugh when we think about our honeymoon. But at the time…we didn’t know. We just liked it. Now, we laugh. We’ve gotten better.
What does this have to do with God?
Phil 1:6 (NASB)
For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
God will not give you IMMEDIATE intimacy with Him. He does not measure your spiritual walk by some ideal standard that you are short of at any given moment. You are supposed to GROW and MATURE and become more intimate with Him. You are not supposed, nor are you ever expected, to start out at maximum intimacy with him.
In fact, Scripture even tells us this…
Luke 2:52 (NASB)
“And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.”
Jesus increasing in wisdom and stature?! Jesus increasing in favor with God and men?!?!?! I don’t know what this means or what theological implications or whatever the heck, but I know that Scripture says it, and God intends to communicate something to me by saying that.
Here’s what I think it is…Jesus is the example that I am to follow, right? I should increase in favor with God (and men, but God first). Oh, and wisdom. I’ve already stopped growing in stature…I’m like the only person who isn’t taller than his dad.
God has chosen that your relationship with Him shall not be immediately intimate but progressive.
Concerning other people…
People are the same way, and this is why we are calling these posts the “Onion theory” posts. Invade too deep of the layer of the onion before that person willingly lets you in, and they get uncomfortable.
Interestingly enough, relationships (with others and with God) are deepened by the following 2 or 3 things…
I put time an experiences on the same line because relationships need time…but time itself does not deepen a relationship. The experiences you go through are what deepen the relationship. However, because of this, I mention time. Don’t expect a two month friendship to be as deep as a two year friendship. But don’t expect a relationship to be deep just because you’ve known them for five years.
It is the experiences together that deepen a relationship. No one seems to be closer to each other than military guys who fought together: They risked their lives together, so suddenly their relationship is far deeper than anybody imagined (Think “Band of Brothers”). Friends who experience stuff together become deeper friends.
In a similar fashion, my relationship with God is deeper because of what I’ve been through with Him. The stupid decisions I’ve made in the past…He was there through them. He was with me, and He pulled me out of them. God was with me at my wedding to Sarah. God was with me when my mom died of cancer.
The main point
So are we never supposed to be satisfied in our relationship with God? Well, how can you have “more” God than you have now? Could it always be better? Or is that an American concept of “bigger/better” that is interfering?
Is Jesus mad that you are not more intimate with Him? Wait, mad is a strong word…is He sad? Disappointed?
I can’t answer for Him…I’m not Jesus. But as I understand Him, no, He’s not disappointed. Are you disappointed in a 1 month old baby for not being able to walk? Are you disappointed in a 12 year old child for not being able to do calculus?
My line-of-thought abilities are not working because it is 2:45 in the morning, so let me jump straight to what I am trying to say. Do not be depressed that you are so far from perfect…be overjoyed that Christ is perfecting you. Do not be depressed that you lack grace…have faith (ooh, a Biblical word!) that God WILL (fact) form you into a more gracious person. And let this faith in this FACT give you JOY!!! Not depression that you aren’t there yet.
And apply that to your friends. It’s okay if you don’t talk about everything that’s going on yet. This will come with time, experiences, and trust. It will happen naturally, so look forward to it, and don’t rush things. Let it go their pace.
Don’t be cranky that you aren’t a perfect human being yet…be joyful that He who began a good work in you will complete it!!!