The Need for Security
WE are human beings, spiritual beings, and besides that, we are physical, emotional, intellectual, and relational beings. All of us are made to connect with our world. People enjoy meaningful connection with other people, with nature, animals, music, interests, our environment, creative energy and such. Connection is significant, even for the isolated person.
I went to my 40th class reunion alone. None of my former friends, quiet types, were attending. So I asked God to give me a few people to speak and relate to, and for Him to guide the conversations. I didn’t want to let my nature as an introvert to get in the way of a nice evening. The only reunion I’d been to was my ten year.
It was like an amazing evening. Let me take you there. I see J. P. talking with others. J. P., who I last saw in the pediatric ward when my two year old, firstborn son was in traction. I know I want to speak with him before the night is over. J. P. is as well liked as ever, everyone swarms around him. He was one of a few African-Americans in my class of 400, a mostly white high school. We had talked on occasion as high-schoolers.
I wait to approach him until I see an opportunity, when he is alone. I introduce myself, and he says he remembers me. I ask about his life. He pauses a moment, and he then comments that for many years he lived in Hawaii and worked there as a singer and actor. “While there,” J. P. says, “Something wonderful happened to me that changed my life.” He pauses, and then tells me, “I found Jesus.” Wow, I think. We sit down and have a vigorous conversation.
Minutes later, an unsteady, well-groomed woman I don’t recognize comes over to us, she’s with one of our classmates. She is strung out on something. The woman asks our names. Then she bends close, interrupts our conversation flow, and conspiratorially asks, “What is it about you two? You’re different than everybody else in here.” He and I exchange glances. What’s this? Then she whispers to me, “I just found out I have cancer, and it’s serious.”
Right then, I know this is important, probably a God-thing, and that I should care about her soul. She might not have much time left to prepare for eternity. God has dropped this one in my lap. Joe and I ask her questions about herself, she’s a few years younger than us, and gently we begin sharing Christ with her. She keeps making statements about how she can’t do this, she could never find God, shaking her head like it’s an impossibility. “You don’t understand,” she says. She is fairly incoherent, out of it, and we have to keep repeating ourselves to be heard over the music. I’m praying for God to give me the words He wants me to say, and that something will sink. Joe and I share God’s love for her for probably about fifteen to twenty minutes until we get interrupted, again, by someone else.
J. P. tells me he works in juvenile hall in a town not far from mine. He says he plays his guitar and sings during the breaks as teens gather round him and that’s how he shares his light (Jesus). The rest of the evening is much the same; conversation-by-amazing-conversation. The two M’s, who I knew from fifth grade on–the one becoming the student body president our senior year–have done well with their lives…they were always bright lights (I used to play checkers with M 1. on rainy day recesses in sixth grade).
Shy me, I determine I am going to talk with them, and it ends up being a blessed few minutes. After sharing about ourselves, our families and occupations, I tell them I recently wrote a book. “What kind?” “Spiritual, and contemplative.” “That’s cool.” They smile. I say, “I always knew both of you would be successful.” M 2. replies, “So are you; you’ve written a book, raised five kids, taught second language learners . . . You’ve done well.” I was never in their category, but the compliment sings, we are equals in life. It’s a sweet, but brief, conversation, and it makes me happy. I always liked both of them. I’m jazzed.
We are made to know God.
Purpose also contributes to who we are a human beings. Religion seeks to explain our purpose and seeks to assert meaning to human existence. Religion explains who we are and where we came from, and what to believe about it. Even atheistic teachings and scientific explanations are in this category as they seek to explain what is difficult to explain: Our origin, and our purpose. I was reading about a church for atheists that holds regular services. They sing, celebrate their beliefs, and teach their congregants. They are doing what comes natural to a person, that’s the soul part, the need to know “why,” the itch that needs to be scratched. Purpose is wrapped up in this desire to know “what it’s all about.”
I speak from a heart transformed by God. I believe God desires personal relationship with every person on earth. His purpose meets our purpose; we find divine mission there. We are made for relationship with God. He designed us to respond to His grace and His love. As created beings, we are given the right to choose our level of response, whether it is to ignore or to reject His offer, or to be open and to embrace what He offers–to believe and receive, to be born again, and to access a growing relationship with God. God wants to be close to us. But we must believe, first.
Much of society has a wrong impression about God. An assumption is made, that if there really is a God, He is looking for ways to disapprove, punish, and confuse our efforts. If that were really the case, we would respond to the idea of God with fear, afraid our lives would be ruined if we were to choose to follow Him. Churchianity (my term), rather than Christianity, can confuse the issue, when the institution rather than the “life” has become a stumbling block to the person outside, looking in. What is missing is liveliness in Christ, what He offers through salvation–in personal relationship with us, and prayerful surrender. This relationship will produce peace, not pain; love, not disregard, and cleansing, not death.
Christ answers the question of what matters in life. He is what matters, His gentle, strong, and true being. Human purpose is wrapped up in an inward desire for meaning and significance. This need is met as we open our heart and life to the Spirit of God. God is Living Being. Like us, He desires intimate relationship. Our emptiness will be met when we seek God without preconceived expectations. Our spiritual selves will awaken in a unique way. I often feel sad that people don’t know my Jesus, really know Him. If they did “really know Him,” they wouldn’t reject Him and they wouldn’t bolt from the fold, nor would they be sour and dour. Once you “really know Jesus,” you will never be the same, because 1) you can never be the same, and because 2) Jesus Christ gives you His eternal life that’s new and active every single minute (that’s a sermon in itself!).
Life is full of ups and downs. We respond to life by constantly sorting incoming experiences. We find it difficult to feel secure in an uncertain, and often, hateful, world. There is little we can be sure of. The only secure thing we can have in this insecure setting is divine Being, a God Who cares, loves and desires closeness with us. God does not prevent troubles, those are part of living in a fallen world, but He does give us strength to bear up, and He provides us living life to re-energize and remake our approach to life. God is like a parent who is crazy about their child, who has a love that will never die.
God will never abandon us. We are secure in Him. It is our part to trust and follow Him–and that takes time and openness. It is His part to hold us in the palm of His hand.
My friend, maybe you’ve never had a relationship with God. You don’t understand what I’m talking about. You find yourself curious or put off by this message. No worries. Ponder what I have said and give it some thought. Don’t be surprised if God begins to draw you to Himself through thoughts, books, unusual circumstances, and people. I find God to be the answer to my brokenness. There once was deadening and despair, now there is newness and life. I find God to be a loving Father. He wants me to seek and know Him. The more I know Him, the more it changes me, and the more my life becomes full of living Presence. It stirs in the inner person much like a miracle one can’t quite comprehend. It’s beautiful.
Security is not bound to circumstances. Security is bound to Christ. He is the most secure Being you will ever chance to meet.
- Read John 1 – 3. The “word” is Christ. These chapters unfold the meaningful relationship you can have with God.
- Remove any barriers that make you afraid to trust God.
- Release what seems to bind and hold you from seeking relationship with God.
- Talk to a godly person who has an active, living relationship with Christ. Share with them what you’re doing and learning.
- Ask this person to pray for you, for God in your life, for hope and healing, for newness and new life.
- Pray, “Lord, have mercy on me a sinner.”