Do you understand the God we Love?
There are a lot of motion pictures out these days, but let’s be honest. The majority of them are quite forgettable. There are a couple of, nevertheless, that catch our attention because they have such unexpected twists. I’m thinking about the 1999 film starring Bruce Willis and Haley Joel Osment entitled “The Sixth Sense.”
When we suddenly realized that the ending, remember how surprised we were! I do not want to give it away to anyone that hasn’t seen it yet. But you get what I imply. Since they took us by surprise, we keep in mind these movies. They were unforeseeable and yet pleasing.
Well, guess what?
God resembles that. It is impossible to pin Him down, to totally understand Him, or even guess what He’s going to do next. Certainly, there are some things we know about Him due to the fact that He’s revealed them to us.
Do you understand the God we Love & Serve?
For instance, God has exposed that He is infinite and eternal; He is merciful and caring; He is gracious and patient. I could list a hundred different Bibles to show my point. But you understand. God has told us many features of Himself, and we understand them.
However, there are aspects of God that we simply can’t understand no matter how hard we try. So we need to add to the list above such adjectives as inscrutable, unforeseeable, abstruse, unreadable, inexplicable, mystical, and enigmatic.
Attempt as we may box Him in, He declines to be pigeonholed. God is constantly about doing His own will and getting His own splendor. The problem is that we limited animals don’t always understand what that will is. So we can’t anticipate what He’s going to do next. For instance, take His concerning earth in human form (Jn. 1:14).
Nobody might have forecasted that!
And who would make something like that up?
It’s too unexpected, too unexpected. It sounds insane, except that there suffices evidence to know that it actually happened.
Now, if you checked out the message or heard on how “The Time is Now,” to start serving God with all your heart, and you have decided to do it, then it is time to get to know this seemingly incomprehensible God.
But, the first thing you should understand is that God is not a heavenly Sugar Daddy. He is not a fairy godfather, waiting to grant your every desire. Many individuals think that God exists to meet their every whim.
They are rapidly disappointed. God loves us beyond measure, and His goal is to mold us into His image. His objective is not to make us abundant and happy in this life, but to prepare us to reign with Him in glory in the next life. It suggests we may not get whatever we ask or wish for here in the world. But in heaven, it will be glorious!
Nor, on the other hand, is God a cosmic lawman, waiting to punish our every infraction. Many people see God in this manner, and can’t get past it. Guilt rules their lives, and this need to not be. Feeling guilty enough will not make forgiveness from God.
All sins were already forgiven 2 thousand years ago on the Cross of Calvary. We require to just ask. Ask for forgiveness and move on if we mess up we should be sorry. This is what God wants us to do.
So what is God, then, anyhow? That is what God wants us to find! God concerned earth in the form of a guy, Jesus, and He showed us what God resembles. He is similar to Jesus: loving, caring, graceful, compassionate, forgiving. Yet He is also holy and best. He desires a relationship with us, but He likewise never desires us to forget who He is.
So, is it possible to get at least a little clarity on His character and goals? Of course. We do that by analyzing what has been exposed about Him in Bible. And there is one Scripture that sums things up pretty well. Isaiah 46:9 -11 states:
“Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, ‘My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure’; calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of My purpose from a far country. Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it.”
We should keep in mind, firstly that He is God and we are not. He is not here to serve us. Rather, we are here to serve Him. But He doesn’t treat us like slaves. We are so fortunate to be a part of “His good pleasure.”
Do you Identify the God we Love?
We must just rely on that He enjoys us and will operate in us and through us for both our best and for His glory. It is very important to keep all of this in mind as we look even more into His character.
Another thing we discover from the extremely first words in the Bible is that He is very creative. Genesis 1:1 informs us, “In the beginning, God developed the paradises and the earth.” He did not need to create anything.
But He wished to. Why? We may never ever totally know, except that it glorified Him to do it. So He did it.
But we’re refrained from doing yet. Let’s take a look at what He did create. He established a world teeming with life and beauty and goodness. He made it wonderful, with noises and sights and smells and tastes and textures that might only come from Him. He did not need to.
He might have made the world white and black, and food might have been unsavory, and so on. We would never ever have actually known the distinction. But He didn’t do that. Why did He create such extravagance and appeal?
He did it for our enjoyment. This is yet another thing we discover in Him. He likes us and desires us to enjoy His creation.
And back in the beginning, there was little requirement for rules. In fact, God had only one rule for Adam and Eve. Regretfully, they selected to break it. That is why there is so much sin and discomfort and death worldwide now, and why we need numerous rules. And yet the world is still a gorgeous place.
Yet another thing we learn about God as we read and study the Bible is that God is constantly pursuing man and creating relationships. In fact, Joel Beeke and Paul Smalley, in their post “Why It’s Both Difficult and possible to Know God” stated, “Definitely, if theology were man’s quest to discover God, it might never ever break devoid of agnosticism.
How Do You Identify Yourself With God
Nevertheless, Christian theology develops from God’s pursuit of male.”1 In other words, if it was always just us attempting to understand God, then it would be hopeless. However, it’s not. God continually pursues males and exposes Himself. Why? Because He wants to. Since He desires a love relationship with us.
We likewise know that God is about repair, not retribution. Retribution is a last resort with Him. And it all began way back near the beginning. For instance, take a look at Noah, found in the 6th chapter of the very first book of the Bible.
If the math in the genealogies is close, then Noah was born a little over a thousand years after Adam and Eve were developed. It sounds like a long period of time, however since Adam lived to be more than 9 century-old, Noah literally simply missed him!
However, we know that already humanity was so corrupt that God was already planning on ruining them. Nevertheless, because God had called humanity great in the beginning, He would never ever fully ruin them. And to show it He picked Noah, the only faithful individual left (Gen. 6:8). Through Noah, God saved mankind from the terrible Flood.
Then, God chose Abraham, a descendant of Noah’s son Shem, on which to bestow His love and care (Gen. 12:1-4). As we know, Abraham had a son named Isaac. Isaac had two sons, Jacob and Esau. God chose Jacob and renamed him Israel (Gen. 32:28). Jacob/Israel had twelve sons, which became the twelve tribes of Israel.
God’s plan was to bestow so many blessings on the tribes of Israel that the other nations would come streaming to them to serve this marvelous God (Gen. 22:18). The Israelites were supposed to follow God fully, and tell the world about Him so that they could come and worship, too. As a side note, this is the very same thing Jesus has called His disciples to do: remain unstained from the world while sharing the love of God to the world and freeing them from their sin.
Sadly, the Israelites chose not to share the love of God with the other nations. Instead, they turned inward and kept everything a secret. But God never stopped loving them. He never un-chose them. He may have disciplined them for their wrongdoing, but He always promised them restoration.
And speaking of discipline, this is one of the objections I hear the most often. People say that the God of the Old Testament was not loving at all. Rather, He was always punishing people. He was nothing but a great big meany, waiting to pounce on unsuspecting, innocent humans. The truth is far different, however. What people miss is just how long it took before God started to punish anyone.
He told Abraham He was going to give him the Promised Land, but He couldn’t do it just yet, because the “sin of the Amorites is not yet complete” (Gen. 15:16). In fact, God waited 400 plus years before having Israel come in and destroy the inhabitants of the land and take it over (see the books of Joshua and Judges for the full story).
Even after the Israelites had moved into the Promised Land and fell into their own sin, God waited. And He sent prophets to warn them, and warn them, and warn them. See the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and some of the minor prophets like Hosea for more information about this period of time. You see, decades and even centuries would pass while God waited.
Only when the sin became too much would God act. And it was never His first choice. Not only that, but God never did anything without first telling everyone what he was going to do (see the verse above, along with Amos 3:7). And, He always had a message of restoration to accompany the message of wrath. The Israelites knew what they were supposed to do and they knew what would happen.
If they chose to sin, it was their own fault when God booted them out from the land. But, being His chosen people, He promised them restoration. And this is still true today. Though the Jews have been set aside temporarily while the fullness of the Gentiles comes in (Rom. 11:25), God will again deal with Israel at some point in the future.
The God we know today has not changed one bit. He tells us exactly what He expects from us, and He provided the Holy Spirit to help us. Yet we act surprised when we get caught in our sin. But we shouldn’t because God has put into our very hearts His moral code. So some things about God are very easy to understand.
However, some things about God are difficult to understand. Why doesn’t He shower blessings on His beloved children? Look at Mary – she carried Jesus yet she had to travel and have a baby in a stable (Lk. 2:7). Couldn’t He have made her life more comfortable? And look at Joseph, having to take Mary as his wife even though he wasn’t sure about her circumstances.
Was she out playing around on him?
He had to take it on faith and live with the consequences (Mt. 1:18-25). And then they had to flee into Egypt to save baby Jesus’ life (Mt. 2:13-15). God could have miraculously saved them, but He didn’t.
And look at Jesus. He had to live a life just like us, and suffer and die. God could have done something else. But He didn’t. Look at Peter, Paul, and the other apostles. They died for what they believed. There was no picnic, no prosperity gospel, no fancy living. God often lets His most beloved suffer. Why? As I said before, we often forget that God is preparing us for eternity.
In eternity, it will always be His perfect will. So here on earth, He does what glorifies Him most, and what is the best course of action for the most people for the longest time. It may not be what we think we need. But we have to trust that God knows best. After all, we can see down the road only a few way. God can actually see around the corner!
Sometimes God surprises us by answering a prayer that we honestly did not expect Him to answer. Sometimes He is so close and personal we swear we could reach out and touch Him. Sometimes He makes things so wonderful we wonder why we ever doubted in the first place.
Is God capricious?
Not at all. We just don’t understand how He works. And we never will. We just need to trust that He has our best in mind.
Unfortunately, though, it is this uncertainty that causes us to doubt Him and His goodness and His wisdom. We think He doesn’t care, or we think He’s not paying attention to us. Because we can’t understand what He’s doing, we don’t trust Him. And because we don’t fully trust Him, we can’t fully commit to Him. This is the whole sticking point right here. We want to trust, but we feel like God has let us down. So now we’re scared to commit. It is easier to sit on the fence, hedging our bets.
How do we resolve this dilemma?
Do you Identify the God we Love?
There is no magic formula. You have to see God in the big picture in order to trust Him in the small one. That is why I advocate so strongly for daily Bible reading. Only when we can see His constant goodness and unfailing love to those whom He calls His own can we let go of our doubt and start to trust that, no matter what happens, this is exactly God’s best for us at this time.
You see, when God chooses a people for Himself, He never un-chooses them. It is forever. He bestows His love and mercy without measure on those He loves. It may not always come across to us that way.
But we must understand that one of God’s attributes is love. He simply can’t turn off the love of His children. It is part of who He is. He came down to earth two thousand years ago and was born of a woman… for you and me. He, I’m talking about Jesus now, who was God in the flesh, who died on the cross two thousand years ago, already knowing every sin we would ever commit, died for us anyway.
I am reminded of a Hallmark greeting card I saw once. It said, “You’re the answer to my prayers. You’re not exactly what I prayed for, but apparently, you’re the answer.” We may not understand everything He does, but that’s all right. We just need to know that God loves us more than we could ever comprehend. And He has our best in mind. He will deal with us in this life until we are perfected. It may be painful, but it will be worth it.
So here’s the thing. Because our own personal stories are not finished, we should start from here and make the ending way better than it might have been. As James R. Sherman said in his 1982 book entitled Rejection, “You can’t go back and make a new start, but you can start right now and make a brand new ending.”2
It’s time to get to know the God we are choosing to love and serve. He is a great God, a caring God, a loving God. And He wants to perfect us here so that we can enjoy eternity with Him in absolute bliss, free from sin, and pain, and tears and doubt. Will we start seeking Him?