Is God on your Shoulder?
- or - do you feel like
God is on your Back?
What a difference of perspective! And yet I am afraid that there are many people who feel like God is constantly on their back, and that it is the job of the church to make sure he stays there. It may very well be why some people avoid church. They don’t want to be reminded how they don’t measure up to God’s high and holy standards.
But there is something missing here, since none of us measure up - correct? Why is it that some people find comfort in God, even though they are not perfect, and other’s feel threatened? It comes down to a certain faith-attitude toward God. When a person truly trusts God, then he/she will have a sense of “God on one’s shoulder.” He is there to provide and to protect; to lead in the right path and the guide our very steps. But when one is not willing to trust God, then he/she will have the sense of running from God, always listening for his advancing footsteps.
Perhaps the big dog illustrations will help. The large gentle creature is as gentle as can be so long as you face him and pet him and enjoy his company. But as soon as you begin to run away, the gentle giant barks and begins his pursuit. Same dog; different posture on the part of the person.
Biblically, we find the invitation to draw near to God. As we do so, we are in a position to enjoy all that God will do for us as a gracious and giving God. But the Bible also uses the phrase in that God will draw near, and in that context, He comes in judgment.
So are you pursuing God, and finding the God on your shoulder to be a source of blessing, or is God pursuing you, and you are running so that you can keep your life to yourself?