Summary: We spend a lot of time posing questions to God, but what about the questions that God would pose to us?
Where Are You?
Series: What God Wants To Know
Brad Bailey – September 7, 2014
(Personal reference to returning from taking summer break)
Break… been serving as the Lead pastor for 23 years…pastoral team for 27 years…(1404 weeks)
• Planned a big surprise trip for my family… Hawaii
• House projects
• Celebrated our 23rd anniversary
• Finally last weekend we took our oldest son to college
> Big juncture… when one begins to have to engage some big questions...and realize that they will have to answer for themselves…that is hard.
Life is full of questions.
We may feel that the most dramatic questioning we might face would be from that of a professor in class…or a judge in court…or a confrontation with some human accusation.
The REALLY big questions are those which God asks.
Naturally when we think of ourselves as finite beings in the face of the infinite cosmos we tend to think of questions we want to direct towards God.
Good… but what we’ll discover is that God has questions for us.
> Discover God as the master of questions….
> Today we are beginning a series...entitled What God Wants to Know…over the next 9 weeks we will engage 9 questions that God asks…9 questions that define life…. questions which sort out and sum up much of what really matters.
…. And at the same time reveal the very heart of God.
…. Especially true of the first question we come to in God’s Word.
Comes early in the Biblical narrative…the story of our roots…
The background is the creation of human life as bearers of God’s image….whose very existence is bound in relationship with God.
So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
The Creation story given to us in the very first chapters of Genesis in the Old Testament… has never ceased to speak deeply to the questions of life. There is a poetic quality and brevity that I believe rightfully allows for various interpretations in terms of the details… but however we interpret the details, the Genesis record is clear…. Our very existence is defined by God. God is eternal source and sustainer of life… who created that life that would bear His image in a created world. Within such a relationship lies life…and love...a love which includes freedom.
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, "Where are you?"
He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid."
Having lost their innocence, our first ancestors become ashamed of their nakedness. They hide from each other behind fig leaves… and they hide from God behind bushes.
God’s presence comes with the first question… “Where are you?”
That question, so simple and direct, had and continues to have enormous implications.
It may be the first question God asks anyone… if we will listen.
But before engaging what God said…consider…
What God didn’t say…
1. Why did you do this?
“Why” is a valuable question…but it is a secondary question. As a culture that has invested greatly in a deeper understanding of psychology and sociology, we are fascinated with the question of “why.” As both a pastor and licensed therapist, I find great value in gaining insight into our behavior. But I’ve also come to the conclusion that such insight in itself is not very liberating. Understanding ‘why’ does not itself bring freedom.
- This is one of the great strengths that comes in the 12-step process….commonly a part of AA. The 12 step process doesn’t focus on why we have a problem. It begins with the admission that one is powerless over an addiction and is in need of restoring their proper relationship to what is greater than themselves…to a Higher Power.
God also does not begin by asking....
2. What can I do to fix it?...or You need to fix it?
God doesn’t begin with a quick move to provide a quick-fix solution. This isn’t about a simple moral shortcoming that can be rectified…it is about being separated from life.