Attracted to God

What draws us to God?

What repels us from Him?

I spend a great deal of time thinking about how to assist people in their spiritual development. I have found that my own spirituality wanes and drifts and gets pretty wobbly at times so I guess the interest in spiritual development is as much for me as anyone.

But that’s not what I want to explore just now. Maybe later I’ll come back to this theme of my own need for continued faith improvement. (CFI) But for now I want to focus on the two questions at hand.

What draws us to God?

What repels us from Him?

I think back to what drew me to God in the beginning and it was very simplistic and child like. In fact, I was indeed, a child when I remember having first been drawn to God. The most powerful force drawing me to God initially was a spiritual family who treated me with respect, with warmth and love. That spiritual family, to be exact, was a group of Christians in the little community of Sandusky, Alabama.

My mother and father were faithful church-goers. Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday evening. Even as we readied ourselves for church, I remember gospel music being played from our radio or from a televised Christian broadcast. But it was more than just church attendance that made the difference.

The outcome of such consistent involvement at church was formation of friends and a sense of spiritual family. In fact, the anticipation of seeing my buddies at church was more of an attraction than hearing a Bible lesson.

But perhaps the stronger and more significant attraction was the way I was treated by adults. To be certain, I was fortunate to have parents who were an encouragement and a strong influence in my life. But I also was blessed by the other men and women from the congregation who seemed to make it their business to shape me into a young man of God. There was Bill, Roy, C.A. and Cecil. There was Lowell and Elvis….yeah, you heard right….we had a man named Elvis at our church. No blue suede shoes, but he was a man with a heart of velvet. Other names need to be added to this list, but they are a good cross section of the folks to whom I am indebted.

And I haven’t even attempted to list the women who were just as influential in my spiritual development. In fact, I would have to say that the best of my early Sunday School teachers were female. The foundation they laid in those early years serves me yet today.

So, in examining the question, “what draws us to God?, I have to say the biggest thing for me was godly people. Godly, genuine, thoughtful, encouraging people. They taught me that I am loved of God. They demonstrated love. They gave me a biblical framework upon which to hang my beliefs. No doubt, God Himself was active in drawing me to Him, but it was His people who drew me in.

There’s more to be said about this being drawn to God thing.

I have a passion for drawing people to God and assisting in their spiritual development. I am open to utilizing any tool or resource to help me be more effective. But the thing which is shouting to me so clearly in this moment is not about trendy, high tech methodology. It’s about “peopling.” So much of scripture itself speaks to people being drawn to God by other people. A recently read passage sums it up nicely:

“For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord….” 1 Thessalonians 1: 4-6

The other side of the question of attraction has to do with what repels us from God. I’ll address this in more detail later but for now, let me state that the thing which most repels people from God is when those who claim to be followers of God do not reflect His nature in their actions and attitudes. God will seldom be attractive to those who observe Christians who are not transformed into God’s likeness.

If we are to be effective in communicating God we must begin by imitating Him.

More about that later.

Advertisements

About Gary Cleveland

An old chunk of coal waiting to become a diamond some day. I spend the bulk of my time focused on spiritual development. I teach, preach and stand by the hurting and wounded. I believe our heavenly Father offers us daily opportunities to discover who we are and what we can yet become. I serve as a bringer of good news in and around the city of Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Attracted to God

  1. Missionary's Missionary says:

    So happy to have found your blog and to read your comments. I send my love to you and Deb.

  2. Stoned-Campbell Disciple says:

    Great blog post. Always encouraging.

    Shalom,
    Bobby Valentine

  3. Matthew says:

    These are some great thoughts.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s