When I was growing up my dad was a pretty picky eater. The list of foods he wouldn’t eat far surpassed the foods he would eat. Those dietary restrictions were imposed on the rest of the family for the most part. At least when we ate at home. Seriously, for breakfast we would have only these few items. We would have my mom’s homemade biscuits with eggs and maybe ham or we would have waffles or pancakes. Occasionally we would have oatmeal. Finally, he would sometimes have Post Toasties Cereal with sliced American cheese diced up and put in the bowl with milk. That was it! There was never Eggs Benedict, omelets, or any of the plethora of breakfast foods. For dinner we would have steak, French fries, and corn one night and the next night we would have steak, French fries and peas. There were the very rare opportunities for burgers, fried chicken (which by the way always came with mashed potatoes, gravy and peas). We didn’t eat casseroles, nothing made with rice, and certainly no fish. We lived, we grew up, and our life was sustained by these very limited dietary choices. When that was all we knew, we thought we were doing great. Eventually, we would visit friends or family and would be exposed to other foods. I remember how I would long to be with my Aunt Guynel (pronounced Gwen-all) because she would have what I considered to be luxuries. She would have candy, she would have cakes and so many other things we never ate at our house. We would visit friends and they would have canned biscuits. It’s weird, I know, but they were delicious. Now remember, my mom made homemade biscuits every other day. Yet these miracles that came out of a can seemed so wonderful to me. I’m sure it had something to do with the regularity that I ate mom’s biscuits that made this simple change seem like a treat.
Why this lengthy diatribe about my restricted diet as a child? It is a very clear picture of how so many Christians look at their lives with Christ. For years, I limited my beliefs about Christ to only what my church told me was correct. I never allowed myself outside the safety of their restricted ideas of who God was and how He moves today. Please know I am not saying that they were teaching anything wrong, it was just that what they taught was limited. I grew up with a fear that if I ventured outside the safety of my denomination I might get caught up in something that wasn’t really God. Funny how that can happen to all of us. We all choose the place we worship because we believe that they have the truth. That is not altogether incorrect. They do have the truth, they just don’t have ALL the truth. I don’t believe any denomination or man has the entire truth of the Word. We are all moving to learn more about who God is. When we find ourselves where we continue to choose the same thing we have always done without being open to seeking more about God we can become stagnant in our faith. What if someone decided to offer you a beautiful tray of food with many varieties of fruit, vegetables, and meats and you choose only a single food item from the tray because it was the only one you recognized? You would probably receive some nourishment but you would miss the opportunity to discover other things you might enjoy just as much or even more. Often, we fail to encounter God in a new or deeper way because we keep ourselves so restricted by fear that getting outside of the safety of our box of the God we know. My relationship with God has grown more in the last 2 years than I ever imagined, all because I was exposed to people who had different revelations about God than I. It was challenging and I, at times, had to wrestle out with God what they were telling me. In this wrestling, God would take me so much deeper in my relationship with Him. It has been life-changing for me.
So, are you comfortable in the God box you have lived for most of your life? Do you rarely entertain that there is more of God than you have now? Do you expose yourself to other people who have different ideas/revelations than you? Does fear of getting it wrong keep you from doing this? If any of this rings true about who you are, then can I give you some comfort? God is a BIG God. He is capable of keeping you from error if you listen to Him and your heart is truly to be right with Him. The Bible says in Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” 1 Corinthians 2:9 “This is why the Scriptures say: Things never discovered or heard of before, things beyond our abilities to imagine-these are the many things God has in store for all of His lovers.” (TPT) There is so much more for us than we have discovered yet. Would you be willing to tear down the walls of the box that you have placed God in? Would you be willing to eat of the rest of the goodness that God has prepared for you? I want to encourage you, be adventuress with God. Allow Him to use other people and other teachings to show you something new about Him you have never discovered before. I promise that on this journey you will become completely enamored by Him and you will discover more fun and more love than you ever knew existed. Be brave!