Summary: Jesus showed how to get real, in prayer, with God: He admitted His true feelings; He told God what He really wanted; and He enlisted His imperfect friends as companions for the journey.
“Yes, God is Real” Don’t you like singing that song? You
sing that with relish! So do I! “Yes, God is real, real in my
soul.” We believe that. That’s our faith.
Or is it? Do we truly believe that God is real? If we believe
it, why do we play games with God? Why do we hide from
God? Why do we put distance between ourselves and our
God? Why don’t we get honest before God?
Yes, God is real. God is the ultimate reality -- more real than
you and I are, for we shall die one day, but God is eternal;
more real than this earth, for the geologists tell us that earth
is deteriorating, and one day will collapse and fail. But the
Lord God is from everlasting to everlasting, and will not fail.
Do you believe that? Do you believe that God is more real
than galaxies upon galaxies, winging through space for
billions of miles, from that Alpha point where it all began with
a “big bang”, on its way to some distant Omega point, where
it will all burn out? I read the other day that our sun will burn
out in a few hundred million years; kind of got me worried, so
I stocked up with some extra firewood, just in case! Oh, God
is real, God is beyond time, God is beyond failure, God is the
one who needs neither sun to shine by day nor stars by
night. Isn’t that right? God is ultimate reality. God is real.
Do you agree?.
Then why do we ignore Him? Why do we set Him aside?
Why cannot we deal with God honestly? Why can we not
get real with God?
Let me play out a little scene with you. Picture a home in
which there is a parent and a teenager. They live in the
same house, they inhabit the same space, they sometimes
even eat at the same table. They are family. But listen to
Dad: Hi, how was school today?
Dad: Any grades to report? Anything special going on?
Kid: No, nothin’ happened.
Dad: Well, do you have any homework? Do you need my
Kid: No, I’ll be okay.
Dad: Are you sure nothing special happened today?
Kid: Not really.
Dad: Then what’s this I see on the evening news about a
disturbance over at your school and about the kids tearing up
the place? Why is your principal screaming at the TV
camera, and isn’t that you standing over there?
Kid: I dunno.
If we can live in the some house and not connect, if we can
be at the same dinner table and treat one another as if we
didn’t exist, maybe it is no surprise that we treat God the
same way! Maybe it is no surprise that we barely even
acknowledge that God is around. A number of years ago, J.
B. Phillips wrote a little book called, “Your God Is Too Small”.
He said that our ideas of God are way too limited. If Phillips
were writing today, he might call his book, “Your God Is Out
To Lunch” or “Your God Has Gone on Vacation.” For we live
as though God did not matter; we act as though God were
not a factor; and even in our prayers we pray as though God
were not real.
We need to get real with God, for He is the ultimate reality.
He will deal with us, whether we deal with Him or not. In His
own way and in His own time, He will take us on. We need
to get real with God.
Jesus got real with God. Jesus, the most authentic person
who ever lived, got real with God. Jesus not only believed in
His mind that God was real; Jesus actually treated God as a
living reality. Jesus played no games, but brought His own
self before God. And the results were spectacular! The
results changed human history. You and I can learn from
Jesus how to get real with God.
First, notice that Jesus got real with God by admitting His
true feelings, even though they were not pretty. Jesus got
real with God by acknowledging exactly how He felt, without
varnishing anything over or putting on any airs. Jesus let it
all hang out; Jesus trusted God with what He really felt. He
“I am deeply grieved, even to death.”
I am deeply grieved. Now that’s real. That’s a genuine
feeling. Jesus didn’t have to say that. He could have done
what many of us do. We put on a front, we come to church
dressed in our Sunday best, but with all kinds of pain inside,
and make up our minds that come what may, we are not