This past Sunday morning, I launched into a series of studies asking the question, “What Is God Like?” This series will study the nature of God by examining various characteristics of Him that we can observe in scripture. Hopefully, by carefully considering these characteristics, we can come to a better understanding of God and develop a closer relationship with Him.
Most people probably have a fairly shallow concept of God. Most of us probably don’t put a great deal of thought into trying to understand, to any real depth, what God is really like.
There are some characteristics of God with which many people are comfortable. There are others with which they are uncomfortable. We like the idea of God’s love and goodness and kindness and mercy and forgiveness and grace. We may have a little trouble considering too closely God being a God of commitment and absolute truth. But we certainly don’t like to think too much about God’s justice and judgment and wrath. Thinking too much about those characteristics can be most unsettling for many of us.
But the more we understand about God, the better we should be able to understand what God expects of us and why. Many of us have a rather unrealistic image of God. We want Him to be an ever-loving, continually over-looking, always forgiving- no matter what- Heavenly Father.
We want God to always be there for us, when we want Him, but we don’t want Him to get in our way. We want to be able to do pretty much whatever we want to do with no accountability to God for doing it. We want to feel justified in whatever choices we make in life. We want to call the shots, not God.
We want God’s blessings, but we don’t want to be responsible to use His blessings appropriately, except as we personally determine appropriateness. We want His forgiveness, but we don’t want to Him to hold us accountable for our sin. In fact, we don’t want our sin to be counted sinful. We want to be able to make our choices based on a self-formulated philosophy of relativism that can change from moment to moment, based on our felt needs. We want God’s commitment to us, but we don’t want to have to make undue commitment to Him.
People don’t necessarily sit down and reason out the kinds of positions herein described. Such positions sort of formulate in their minds as a result of not sitting down and reasoning out what their concept of God should be. They want to feel good about who they are and how they live, and they don’t want to have to change. So, they adjust their concept of God to fit their lifestyle instead of adjusting their lifestyle to conform to God’s will. Hopefully, this series of lessons will shed much light on the nature of God, our relationship with Him and what He expects of us…
Gary L. Hutchens