You Have a History With God
This is the second video of my Faith Talks. I discuss the idea of having a "history" with God. It came out of my personal devotion time when I suddenly realized that God and I have a history together. And that history was rich with repeated acts of love from God to me. Once I thought of my relationship with God along these terms--that it is more than just a relationship, but it's a HISTORY, it gave me a deeper perspective and appreciation of my relationship with God.
If you've ever had a friend that has been with you through thick and thin, or if you ever wished you had someone like that, then perhaps you will understand how this perspective can deepen your appreciation for God.
I provide the text beneath the video, along with the four areas I challenge you to look at in your life to find that "history." You can respond to those questions as part of your own devotional time (in fact, I encourage you to write out your answers). You will be amazed at what you find.
Please comment here or on YouTube to let me know how this has impacted your life.
Thank you God, for everything you do for me and for just being the amazing YOU. Please bless all those who read, watch or listen. Amen!
Whether you have a relationship with God right now or not, you have a history with him. You might not be aware of it, but if you look back on your life, and if you look in the word of God, you will see that it is true.
When I look back on my life, I can definitely see a history. It is obvious to me though, because I had parents who taught me about God from a young age. So I see my relationship with God starting at the age of five, and going through various stages. Much of my young life was spent walking away from God—trying to find something “physical” to satisfy me. And sure enough, these searches would only lead me to despair and loss. And sooner or later, I’d come running back to God asking Him to take me back.
And he always would.
Multiple times in my life I did this. It was a cycle. The thing is—God always welcomed me into his arms. And the other thing is, God never left me even when I was out there, walking my own way.
So I was thinking about having a history with God. And I looked back on my life, my cycles of turning to him for a period of time and then walking away, and then coming back. And while it would have been better for me if I had just stayed with him all the time, I also realize that I have a rich history with God. One that shows that no matter how awful I was with him, he loved me through it all.
There is a story in the book of Luke of a woman who finds out that Jesus is having a meal at a certain house. She goes there with a jar of perfume and begins to pour the perfume onto Jesus’s feet and as she does this, she begins to cry, and so she uses her hair to wipe her tears from Jesus’s feet. One of the other men who are there with Jesus wonders why Jesus is allowing this woman to touch him—because he knows that she is a sinner. And Jesus answers his thoughts and tells him a parable.
Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”
“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.
Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
Yes, I see myself in this woman, but more so, what I see is WHY that woman is doing what she is doing. She knows that she has been forgiven. Have you ever done something to someone and you needed their forgiveness? And when they gave you that forgiveness, wholeheartedly with no strings attached, did you not realize that they loved you?
Wholehearted forgiveness does not come without love being there first. And the worse you hurt someone and they still forgive you, the greater their love must be. God loved me first. And then when I asked for forgiveness, he forgave. And this shows me his love. But I have been wishy-washy in my life. Needing to ask for forgiveness over and over. And he still gave it. Can you imagine how much love that must be? This is great love. And like the woman who poured perfume on Jesus’s feet, I am so thankful for that forgiveness and love—it truly makes me love him more.
And this is my history with God. It is one of his love for me, despite my utter humanity.
You might say, “well, I’ve never had a relationship with God. So how can I have a history with him?”
But you do.
Psalm 139:13-16 says, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”
I mentioned this in my last Faith Talk—that God knows us all the way from conception to the end of our life. This verse speaks to that truth. And here’s the thing: if God knows us from the very beginning, then we have a history with God, whether we know it or not. And he is always doing stuff in your life, whether you know it or not, he is doing stuff to call you to him. To notice him. Romans 2:4 tells us that “God’s kindness leads you towards repentance.” Did you get that? His kindness in your life is what pulls you to him. His kindness.
So try this: look back on your life. I want you to look for evidence that God was there. Look for kindness. Here are some things you can look for:
Is there anyone in your life who loves you or has shown you love? Parents, siblings, extended family, friends, teachers? If you had this at any time in your life, this was God already teaching you about himself, for God IS love and love comes from him. 1 John 4:7 says “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God.”
Was there ever anyone in your life who tried to talk to you about God? Even if you had good reason to not like that person, it may be that the words they spoke were still true. God will use anyone or anything to get his message to you.
Have you ever had any near misses with your life? A car accident that didn’t happen, or one that did but you escaped with your life? A drug overdose out of which you recovered? Or, maybe you can even look back at your life and see all the bad situations you put yourself in and marvel over the fact that nothing ever happened to you. Let me be the one to tell you, this is God’s mercy. His protection because he wants to give you every opportunity to see him in your life and come to him for relationship.
Lets look at daily life: what about the beautiful sunsets that caught your attention? A flock of birds in the sky in a symphony of flight? A gorgeous view of the mountains? A work of music that set your heart at ease, gave you peace at least for that moment. I am utterly and absolutely convinced that all of these moments of beauty, love and peace are gifts from God, coming out of the loving-kindness of his heart.
Write these down. Begin an inventory of your life, looking for how God might have been there. Likely you will have doubts if that was God at all, but let me tell you that if love was involved, if peace was there, if security, if any good thing was there, that was God in your life. God, wooing you to himself.
Please, don’t place the credit elsewhere. Please don’t place the credit on someone or something who doesn’t know you the way God knows you, and who can’t love you the way God does and who doesn’t seek your well-being the way God does. Give God the credit.
Recognize HIS history with you. And see the love in that history.
Because you ARE loved by him.