That ‘god’ is an imposter, a judge, a condemner, an accuser.
I will tell you what I want, what I really, really want, but only if you ask.
Yes honestly. And you’ll have to keep on asking because I’ve hidden what I really want for you. It’s hidden and only available when you really want to know.
I’m not quick to pull out my list of desires for you and read them to you. That’s that other ‘god’. He likes to remind you of all his rules, the ones he pretends are mine. An impossible list of ‘must-dos’ that keeps you feeling guilty and coming back to cower before me.
So, on your feet! Don’t cower. I love you. I don’t condemn you. I’ll overlook what I really want for you and just keep talking at the level you want to live at.
You’re like that with your kids Mark. You don’t tell them what would actually be the best course of action, the thing that would make them happiest in the long run. And neither do I tell you.
And if your kids came to you and asked your advice in their deepest areas, would you blurt it out?
Hopefully not anymore. But in the old days yes. I was quick to give my opinion. That did lots of damage.
Exactly. I’m not like that.
God this sounds like an ‘anything goes’ gospel.
Let’s go back to your kids Mark. Often you see what’s best for them but don’t tell them. That’s good, it’s the way of a father. But does it mean you have given up wanting what would really be best for them?
So yes, to answer your question, this is an anything goes gospel. Whatever you want is the level we’ll work at together. Haven’t you read the Prodigal Son, or the woman caught in adultery, or lunch with Zacheus, or Mary the prostitute washing my feet, or Rahab the prostitute’s story? Where was the requirement for all kinds of action, the list of must dos? You Christians want me to be a cosmic rule book. The Pharisees wanted the same thing. I disappointed them. And many of you, when you find out how forgiving I really am, will be disappointed too. You want me eager to punish for misdeeds. I’m just not. I want a conversation. I want to talk with people. Whatever they believe, whatever their behaviour.
The interesting thing is that a person’s perceptions, desires and behaviour often change, gradually, as we talk. Sometimes so slowly it’s imperceptible. But when you look back the change is unmistakeable. The desire to change comes first. The desire to please the one you’re in constant conversation with. Being in love is like that Mark. You fall in love, then you want to do things to please the one you love. I don’t want slaves, I want lovers.
Do people in love hand each other ‘How to please me’ lists. No, and neither do I. If you want to know how to please me, in each of the big areas of your life, you’re going to have to dig, and dig, and dig.
That verse Mark, to seek and keep on seeking, look up the greek for the word ‘seek’.
[zté –to investigate to reach a binding (terminal) resolution; to search, "getting to the bottom of a matter.] REF: MATT 7:7
Can you see Mark? Of course I want you to investigate so thoroughly, in all the important matters of your life until you get to the bottom of what I want. But if you don’t I won’t push you on those matters. This is a friendship, I’ll only direct you strongly when you really really want to know what I think.
I won’t tell you lightly. I’m not the eternal rule book. We’ll have to be in conversation, and I’ll be testing how seriously you want to know before I tell you. That’s the opposite to the ‘god’ you’ve been taught about. That ‘god’ is quick to give you rules. I’m not. Sorry.
The traditional religious model doesn’t work Mark. The pagans are always trying it. Trying to attain holiness, believing that having done so, they’ll be worthy of discussion with me.
Mark here’s the thing; I will work with you at whatever level you want. Everyone has things they’d rather not ask me about. And that’s fine by me. How can that be? Simple. Although of course it would be better that you did converse with me about those things, discuss them with me until you knew what was best for you and those closest to you, I don’t want you to do that unless you want to do it. If I force my will on you it won’t work out well anyway.
I want friends who come by choice, people who genuinely want to know what I think about the deepest things in their lives. I don’t want slaves who cower in fear. I’m not interested in a relationship where you do ‘what I want’ against your will.
But God you tell me to believe things, and do things that hurt.
Yes, the believing is sometimes uncomfortable, but I’ve told you those things because you genuinely wanted to know. You were prepared to risk hearing the opposite of what you wanted to hear. But you’re certainly not like that in every area of your life. And for that reason I don’t push you on those things.
But God I want to know. If there are things, subjects, matters that we should be discussing but aren’t, what are they?
You’ll have to keep asking Mark. I’m not quick to push my will on you. That ‘god’ is not me. He’s an imposter, a judge, a condemner, an accuser.
Let me give you an example. A common one. Some men are not prepared to marry until I show them the wife I have for them. I like that. Others marry who they want to. And yet I am happy to bless the marriage of the second group just as much as the first. I appreciate the intent of the first group more, and obviously they end up in the marriage I want them to be in, but I’m not a big bad judge. Marrying without asking me is not a recipe for disaster, I’m not into punishment.
So God what does it matter then? We might as well do whatever we want if you’re going to come and talk to us anyway.
Mark of course I would far prefer that you do what I want. But that only has value when you do it because that’s what you want – not to avoid punishment or seek reward. That’s why I’ll back and bless whatever decisions you make.
And yet you’d prefer we ask you about everything? Hear your heart on every matter in our lives?
Yes of course, but if you don’t, I’ll accept and work with you at whatever level you want. If you want to know what I really think about those deep matters in your life, of course I’d LOVE to tell you. But I love you enough to accept second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and even seventh best. Honestly. It’s up to you. I just want to talk.
And the talking must never be in order to avoid punishment or get a reward. You Christians are completely focused on me making rules and rewarding those who obey. The real reward is a conversation with me for anyone who ‘obeys’ the prompting to be friends with me.
If you like what you read and want to know more about these conversations with God, you can purchase your own copy of Mark Holloway's book, 'The Freedom Diaries - God Speaks Back'.