A God Problem?

smiling black woman
Photo by Prince Akachi on Unsplash

A friend I’ll call Meeka is a sassy black lady. She’s the rare type of person who can speak her mind bluntly and get away with it. Very open about her faith. One day a friend said, “Meeka, I don’t get how you just talk, sorta face-to-face, right to your God. I could never do that with my God.”

Meeka blurted out, “Why not? What’s the matter with him?”

It’s not that Meeka was upset AT her friend; she was upset FOR her.

I’m upset for Christians who are doing all sorts of things in order to get God’s attention, earn points, contrive for their prayers to “work,” or channel divine power. Things like locating “sacred spaces,” getting into the right posture, breathing in-then-out at specific points in a mantra, imagining what Jesus might be saying (instead of reading/doing what he already said), carrying home souvenirs from demon-invoking ceremonies, lying on the graves of so-called prophets . . . continuing to search for the apparently secret formula.

I confess that my gut reaction to such things is “What’s the matter with you?” But Meeka’s question is more interesting: “What’s the matter with a god like that?”

The one true God has invited us into relationship with him—and has explained how that works. (See Genesis 1:1; Psalm 23, 139; Matthew 6:25-34; 7:7, 8; Hebrews 4:12-16; James 4:7, 8.) No tricks. Nothing is the matter with the Lord Almighty. So we can just talk right to him. Like Meeka does.

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